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Old 08-19-2012, 03:23 PM   #1
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When do you replace shocks

I just read on the Internet last night that shocks need to be replaced "just like tires". Meaning that shocks only last about 50k miles or so. I can understand that driving conditions (hwy vs. off road) can play a huge part. Do you change shocks every 50k or do you let them go until there is a problem?

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Old 08-19-2012, 03:53 PM   #2
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Old 08-19-2012, 04:15 PM   #3
Knows a couple things...

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I don't replace shocks according to any schedule since how long shocks last is highly dependent on how gently or harshly they are used.

What I will offer is this; there are two basic shock types used, hydraulic and gas-charged. If you remove a shock to try to see if it is bad, only a gas-charged shock will extend out fully on its own. The run-of-the-mill hydraulic shock will stay at whatever position you push or pull it to. So don't pull out what may be a hydraulic shock and pronounce it bad because it didn't extend out on its own... it's not supposed to. A hydraulic shock is only supposed to resist being compressed or extended. A gas shock also resists being compressed and extended but it will extend fully out if it is removed for examination.
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Old 08-19-2012, 04:21 PM   #4
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You will begin to get a bad almost non swaybar connect feeling or the vehicle wil bounce uncontrolibily shocks the articulation of the vehicle and controll the springs. Its a "washy" feeling. Hope this helps
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Old 08-19-2012, 04:23 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford
I don't replace shocks according to any schedule since how long shocks last is highly dependent on how gently or harshly they are used.

What I will offer is this; there are two basic shock types used, hydraulic and gas-charged. If you remove a shock to try to see if it is bad, only a gas-charged shock will extend out fully on its own. The run-of-the-mill hydraulic shock will stay at whatever position you push or pull it to. So don't pull out what may be a hydraulic shock and pronounce it bad because it didn't extend out on its own... it's not supposed to. A hydraulic shock is only supposed to resist being compressed or extended. A gas shock also resists being compressed and extended but it will extend fully out if it is removed for examination.
Yep Jerry is spot on with this, I work at AutoZone and sell shocks all day long and most of the people that come in thinking they need new shocks don't.... Most of the time it is a loose swaybar link or weak suspension springs, and even a busted shock mount, but usually not the shock itself...
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Old 08-19-2012, 04:27 PM   #6
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And weak springs will cause the shocks to not perform correctly because they are supporting too much of the vehicles weight, and that isn't what they are designed for....
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Old 08-19-2012, 06:30 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by rubiconvict05 View Post
You will begin to get a bad almost non swaybar connect feeling or the vehicle wil bounce uncontrolibily shocks the articulation of the vehicle and controll the springs. Its a "washy" feeling. Hope this helps
Picture a SWB version of "grandpa's cadillac" Trust me, I'm still on my original shocks. It's a nice smooth ride, but crosswinds really push it around, and I get some pretty good lean in the corners.
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Old 08-20-2012, 10:29 AM   #8
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While you can't judge replacing shocks on a "rule of thumb" schedule, I think it is wise to at least put yourself in the mindset of the possibility of replacing shocks around 60k miles.
Everything that has been mentioned is correct....type of abuse on shocks, other suspension components operating properly, etc. However, shocks do have a lifespan; it's just not something that can be written on paper.

What I'm saying is that if it comes to a budgeting factor, I would plan to have the money to replace them around 60k miles. There is not a shock out there (other than a rebuildable unit) that is designed to last 100k miles. Whether you think it still rides well or not, the shock is not performing optimally at 100k miles.

Also keep in mind that shocks play a large role in the way your tires wear.

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