How Long Do Shocks Last?

Shock absorbers are one of the most important safety components of a vehicle and should be treated with the same care and attention as brakes and tires when it comes to service and maintenance.

Shock absorbers are not intended to be permanent. They can wear out or need to be replaced at any time. However, the question remains how long the consequences will last.

In an attempt to address these concerns, it has been shown that shock absorbers are only 100% effective up to a distance of 30,000 miles. Thereafter, they begin to deteriorate in terms of performance. In general, it is recommended to replace them every 60,000 miles at the latest, even though it is difficult to tell whether they are bad or not under normal driving circumstances; however, you will notice it if you have to perform an emergency braking maneuver or avoid an obstacle.

In these situations, they are critical, so it is recommended to replace them when you reach that mileage, even if you do not notice the lack of response in normal driving, and despite the technician urging us otherwise. If we leave them in place, shock absorbers with more than 100,000 kilometers on the clock will stop damping, and the suspension spring will have to do “all the work”.

What Is A Shock Absorber?

The suspension system of an automobile is responsible, among other things, for managing the vehicle and providing driving comfort. The components of this system need to be adaptive, capable of damping and adjusting to road imperfections, which is why shock absorbers are critical components for safe and efficient driving.

In the suspension system, shock absorbers function as independent mechanisms.

A car’s shock absorber is responsible for absorbing road irregularities during driving, which includes all bumps and impacts that can cause damage to the vehicle.

The main purpose is to provide comfort to the driver while on the road. Shock absorbers are important to preserve vehicle control and stability, as well as to help preserve the original condition of the tires. Shock absorbers must be in excellent working order when driving in high-risk circumstances or at high speeds.

Together with the tires and brakes, the shock absorber is considered a component of the safety triangle. Should one of the components fail, the steering, stability, and braking of the car will be affected.

Shock Absorber Function

Shock absorbers are responsible for the following six critical functions:

  • Shock absorbers help support the weight of the vehicle.
  • They are capable of absorbing terrain imperfections and providing a certain level of comfort to the vehicle’s passengers.
  • They are responsible for steering control of the vehicle, allowing for smoother cornering.
  • Shock absorbers, in combination with tires, provide strong grip, which also influences the vehicle’s stability and braking.
  • Keep the wheels properly aligned. If your car’s tires wear out faster than usual, the shock absorber may be to blame.
  • When they are shredded, the car will be lower than usual, as they have provided the optimal ride height. That is, it no longer has damping and is held to the ground by the springs themselves rather than by the chassis.

How Long Do Shocks Last?

All drivers should ask themselves this question more often. The replacement of shock absorbers is probably one of the least common car maintenance operations in drivers’ minds: but the truth is that we should keep them more in mind since their function is essential for the good behavior of the vehicle. Let’s not forget that shock absorbers are a fundamental part of the suspension and one of the most important elements, along with tires, for vehicle safety.

Always keep in mind that a shock absorber compresses 5,000 to 7,000 times every minute, and is always in operation. Shock absorbers have a useful life of 4 to 5 years or every 60,000 miles, whichever comes first, according to industry experts. It is estimated that your car’s shock absorbers will have been tightened 420,000,000,000 times in this time period.

What Causes Car Shocks to Go Bad?

Due to the stress that shock absorbers are subjected to on a daily basis, they eventually lose their ability to function. There are many variables that influence the service life of shock absorbers, which can range from 60,000 to 200,000 miles.

  • Dirt, moisture, or road salt.
  • Long car life
  • Undetected leaks
  • High loads on a regular basis
  • Persistently poor road conditions
  • Sporty driving style (here the piston rod seals wear out faster)

Signs and Symptoms of Bad Car Shocks

Defective or damaged shock absorbers are often overlooked, as they are subject to gradual wear and tear that the driver is unlikely to detect as a result of his or her driving habits. With defective shock absorbers, for example, the likelihood of a vehicle rollover in a dangerous scenario is greatly increased. Shock absorber failure can be indicated by any of the following signs:

Defective or damaged shock absorbers are often overlooked, as they are subject to gradual wear and tear that the driver is unlikely to detect as a result of his or her driving habits. With defective shock absorbers, for example, the likelihood of a vehicle rollover in a dangerous scenario is greatly increased. Shock absorber failure can be indicated by any of the following signs:

  • Rear-end sway while driving after an uneven road surface.
  • Creaking/squeaking when going over bumps or around curves.
  • Leakage/moisture due to oil leakage from the shock absorber
  • Increased tire wear or uneven tire wear
  • Car leans heavily toward the nose under braking or leans back under acceleration
  • Increased sensitivity to crosswind
  • Aquaplaning

How Often Do You Need To Replace Shocks?

Just as all other vehicle components and systems need regular maintenance, so do shocks and struts. According to auto repair specialists, shock absorbers should be replaced every 50,000 to 100,000 miles, depending on the wear and tear they have accumulated over the years.

Final Thoughts – How Long Do Shocks Last

Shock absorbers, together with tires and brakes, create what is known as the “safety triangle”. Shock absorbers influence, among other things, the braking, steering, and overall stability of a vehicle. In other words, they are responsible for the stability and control of the vehicle, especially when cornering or traveling at high speeds. And it is in these situations that we will suffer the most from the effects of malfunctioning shock absorbers.

After reading this article, you may have a better understanding of how long a shock absorber will survive and when it will need to be replaced. By now you may have realized that shock absorbers are an extremely important component of a car. Therefore, keep an eye on them so you know when they need to be replaced.

Liam

Hi, I'm the initiator and writer of this blog. Cars were and will be my first love, and my favorite hobby, that's why I decided to start this blog and write about my discoveries and techniques to improve my cars or repair them.