How To Tell If Shocks Are Bad? Everything You Need To Know


Shocks in a vehicle play a vital role while driving on the road. It basically serves the purpose to help your car handle any sort of bumps or debris or even potholes it faces in its way. The shocks also come in handy when you might be needing to take a sharp turn as it takes over the vehicle’s weight and keeps the tires planted to the road.

Not only that, but shocks also add to the major factor of the comfort in your vehicle. Nonetheless, a healthy running shock means keeping the electronic systems in your car running perfectly fine and extending the vehicle’s life too. Now if some mismatches happen, they can affect your vehicle. That’s why, today, the talk is about how to tell if shocks are bad?

How To Tell If Shocks Are Bad

As per popular discussions, if your research is about shocks for jeep xj, we’d recommend you to go through our passage to find out what exactly needs to be done. But hold on! Not just the jeep xj, our solution applies to a lot more vehicles, and surely yours shall be one of them!

It’s a difficult job to know exactly when you should get your shocks replaced, especially because they tend to wear out very slowly and gradually. Hence sometimes you might want to keep your eyes and ears open to observe the shocks in your car if they are behaving normally.  If you know a few key points, you’ll be able to instantly figure out if the shocks in your car have already gone past their lifespan.

Because it’s not the easiest thing to figure out the right time because of the gradual wear out, you get used to a wobbly and bouncier feel to your car just like the way you get used to slower braking responses when the brake pads go bad in your car!

The durability of shocks usually depends on the kind of roads you drive on, the load you put into your vehicle, how roughly you tend to drive, and even the right tire pressure.

  • Your car is unstable after going past a bump/pothole.
  • Tires treads seem to be wearing out quick
  • Ride comfort reduced
  • Road noise increased
  • The vehicle’s body roll increased
  • The front end of the vehicle dives sharply when braking
  • Multiple fluid leaks on the underside of the shocks
  • Tires bounce quite a lot on uneven roads

Just like the tires in your vehicle need to be replaced after a certain period of time, shocks are expected to be worn out any time between 50,000 to 100,000 miles. Between the time frame, you can just change them up yourself, or by a workshop near you. Just like changing the tires, it’s a very simple thing to work on, if you have the expertise.

How Do I Test My Shocks?

There’s a lot of things to be pleased about if your car is equipped with perfectly new shocks when you’re driving as the role that a healthy shock plays in a vehicle is vital, let us tell you more about what it does:

  • Sustain tires’ firm proximity with the road
  • Keeps the vehicle stable when you face a sharp turn, accelerate or stop.
  • Adds comfort to your ride by absorbing bumps from uneven roads
  • Tire treads wear out very slow and evenly

Knowing all these, you may want to try out ways in which you can test it out yourself if the shocks in your car are still any good or it’s time for a replacement. But how? Leave the stress up to us, as we will teach you some of the most ingenious tactics that will serve your confusion!

  • Try standing on the bumper and giving it force downwards, then jump out. If the car still bounces when you’re on the ground, the shocks are good as dead.
  • Try unscrewing the bottom part of a shock. If it leaves you with only some, to no resistance, the shocks have gone bad. Good ones tend to extend out back to the same place at a very rapid pace.
  • Another easier method is to bounce the front or rear end of the vehicle with your bare hand, give it a shake. Same deal, if it stops bouncing after the incident, your shocks are good. If it takes time to cover up the resistance, those need replacing.

What Does Bad Shock Sound Like?

When you are running your vehicle with shocks that are worn out or at the last stage of their life cycle, you’ll be facing a lot of issues out of which may include hearing certain noises from your car. Let’s get talking about it a bit more.

  • You go through an uneven road, one that contains bumps such as potholes, debris of rocks, or even speed bumps, and the next thing you start to observe is knocking sounds coming from the front or the rear of your vehicle. It usually happens because the shocks tend to hit the chassis of your car because the resistance power is too low. This is a good indicator that your shocks are way past their original form and need replacement.
  • When the shocks go bad, the tread of the tires wears out much faster and unevenly. This uneven surface of the tires can cause bouncing noises while you’re driving. It’s not safe to be driving around with uneven tires, so get them replaced too if needed.
  • Going through a corner, or even braking hard, you may hear squeaking or creaking noise. This is a sign your shocks are damaged.

How Much Does It Cost To Replace Shocks?

Generally speaking, shocks cost way less than struts because they have way less complex characteristics. Although prices may vary depending on a few factors such as the make of the vehicle, the brand, and the quality of the shocks, their availability. In cases where you have to specially order the parts from overseas, shipping charges can add a lot too.

Giving you a rough knowledge, they start from somewhere around $250 to $580 for a pair on average. On top of that don’t forget about the labor cost which can set you back for another $150 to $300.

Talking about the jeep xj in specific, they are quite cheap. A set of four can get from $170 to around $330 out of your pockets depending on the brand and availability. While a set of 2 for the new rubicon can be found for $100 to $150.

It can get a bit tough and expensive at the same time to disassemble the shocks and put new ones on. But it will save you hundreds if not thousands of bucks in the long run keeping your vehicle healthier making it last longer.

Final Verdict

Shocks don’t necessarily assist in handling the weight of the vehicle, that’s the kind of job the springs do. But when you’re running a vehicle with damaged shocks, the springs and other suspension components give out the extra force trying to keep the vehicle steady which causes them to wear out much faster.

Before now, it could have been hard to examine faulty shocks. Now that you know how to tell if shocks are bad- get your shocks replaced from time to time and drive safely!


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