Early vehicles had fixed rear suspension units but now with the advancement in technology vehicles have much better suspension systems for a more comfortable drive. There are various types of suspension components, however, one of the common components that needs replacement after a certain mileage is the rear shocks.
The shocks absorb any bumps and dips on the path while enhancing the vehicle’s stability and handling. This ensures a safe, comfortable and smooth ride. The shocks also affect the braking distance of your car.
If you hear loud banging or crashing sounds when you hit bumps then your vehicle needs replacement of shocks as soon as possible. On an average, rear shocks should be replaced after 50,000 miles since they can’t last longer due to constant exposure to water and other harmful elements.
The cost to replace rear shocks varies from vehicle to vehicle and depends upon a number of factors which include: availability of parts in the local market, labor costs, brand new vs used parts, etc.
What Are Rear Shocks?
Vehicles have a shock absorber or a damper at the back which is known as rear shock. This helps in maintaining the vehicle’s stability and handling by absorbing any bumps and dips on road while driving. If your car slams violently after hitting bumps then it is an indication that you need to replace the shocks. Rear shocks are one of those components that may require replacement once it hits its mileage limit, but this varies from vehicle model to vehicle model depending upon various factors like terrain conditions, usage frequency etc.
Rear Shocks VS Struts – What is the difference?
When it comes to struts and rear shocks there are many similarities. However, the major difference is that struts come with springs attached to them while rear shocks do not have springs. Another difference is that the suspension system mainly consists of struts which consist of coil springs and dampers or shock absorbers which are attached to the vehicle’s axle.
Strut and shock absorber both give a comfortable ride but struts offer more stability as they carry the weight of the vehicle on them while shocks work independently although their performance depends upon several factors including tire pressure, alignment, etc.
Bad Rear Shocks Symptoms
There are several symptoms which indicate that you need to replace the shock absorbers right away. Some of those very common bad rear shock symptoms include:
- Vehicle slams violently: Slamming of the vehicle on road after hitting bumps indicates that the shock absorbers need to be replaced.
- Bouncing excessively: If you feel excessive bouncing while driving your car then it may mean that the rear shocks need replacement.
- Visible leakage: Visible leakage of oil and fluid at the shock body and other parts means that repair is inevitable.
- Broken Shock Absorber Bushings: A clear sign that you need to replace the shocks is broken shock absorber bushings. The bushing keeps the metal shaft rigid inside the rubber part of the unit. When this bushing breaks the metal part rattles, which is an indication of worn-out shocks.
- Longer Stopping Distances: If your car takes more time to stop after hitting a bump then you definitely need a replacement of rear shocks as soon as possible.
- Vehicle bucks excessively: If you feel excessive bucking while driving then it is an indicator for rear shock replacement.
- Rattling sounds from the suspension system: You hear rattle or clinking sound from the vehicle suspensions when you drive over speed breakers which indicate bad shocks in your car.
- Leaking oil and fluid: Both oil and fluid leakage at any other part also indicates bad shocks.
- Uneven Tire Wear: Uneven wear on the tire tread may indicate that the shocks need replacement. If one of the rear tires wears out faster than another then it may mean there is a problem with the suspension system.
What does it cost to replace rear shocks?
For an average vehicle, it can cost anywhere between $200 – $300 per shock. Rear shocks can be replaced by an expert in under one hour depending upon the engine size of your car.
For labor, costs can be $75 per hour while some charge almost $200 per hour. This should bring you to an average total to replace both rear shocks of about $600-$800.
What do bad rear shocks sound like?
They sound like a metal tapping or rattling sound coming from the shocks. It is usually accompanied with clunking, noise and vibration when driving over speed breakers.
What happens when your rear shocks go out?
If your rear shocks are bad then it would result in bouncing, poor control of vehicle over bumps and also will cause uneven tire wear.
Can you drive with bad shocks?
In all honesty, only for a while. Driving with bad shocks over longer distances may cause damage to your vehicle’s undercarriage, suspension and other parts.
Can rear shocks break?
Very simply, yes! Rear shocks can break and they are very easy to replace.
To wrap up, the average price range of replacing two rear shocks usually falls between $600 and $800 depending upon the make and model of the car and the labor rate of the mechanic shop.
Some things to keep mind while replacing rear shocks on any vehicle are:
It is always a good idea to have your car’s alignment checked after replacement of tires or shocks. This will give you more accurate information about whether or not your new shocks are working properly.
Also, do not go for cheap shocks; they may end up costing you more in the long run. It is always better to pay a bit extra and get yourself well-made shock absorbers that will last longer than the cheaper ones.
And finally, always remember that replacing rear shocks can improve your car’s handling ability and also increase your comfort while driving over speed bumps or other bumps on the road.