Costopedia / Automotive / How Much Do Car Shock Absorbers Cost?

How Much Do Car Shock Absorbers Cost?

$ Shock Absorber (each) $18 to $350+ $ $ Professional Install (hourly) $50 to $100 $ $ $ Wheel Alignment $40 to $400

Although many people don’t know much about them and what they do, shock absorbers are a vital part of your vehicle.

They are part of the suspension system of your vehicle which helps compensate for the up-and-down movement of your car when you are on the road (remember that batch you couldn’t miss? Yeah, thank your shock absorbers for that!).

Shock absorbers are vital to have a safe drive and prevent the wheels from being “shaken” when driving on a bad road; they smooth out bumps and vibrations, as well as ensure that the vehicle’s tires stay always in contact with the road to ensure a good braking response.

So, when their lifespan is done for or they are damaged, it’s best for you (and everyone else) that you change them immediately to prevent any accident.

So, When and How Change Your Shock Absorbers?

Actually, you can’t measure the lifespan of a shock absorber by time, so it’s difficult to say how long you should wait before looking for replacements.

You’ll have to replace your shock absorbers depending on the wear and tear, which usually depends on each individual driving style and the roads you drive on.

The price of a shock absorber will depend on the model and suspension design of your vehicle, as we can classify shock absorbers into three types: Conventional Telescopic (individual single-unit), Strut Type (they’re part of the strut), and Spring Seat (has part of both telescopic and strut shock absorbers, they are individual but need to be changed completely).

The single units are replaced more than they’re repaired and cost much less than the complete unit/cartridge which costs more because they are part of the strut of the vehicle, and it’s best to replace them in pairs.

Shock absorbers can cost from $18 to $350 each, but it always depends on type and brand, and the make and model of your vehicle, so it can always be more, especially if you have a luxury car; a set of four can cost as much as $1,400.

You have to also include in your final price the installation costs and how much the mechanic will charge you for it, which can go from $100 to $500 or more depending on the hourly rate (this service usually takes from 2 to 5 hours).

Top Retailers/Brands and Costs

Retailer and/or Brand Price Range (all types)
Autozone $18 to $500+
Kmart $23 to $350
Sears $23 to $500+
Walmart $20 to $433

Things to Consider

Before Buying:

  1. First, you need to know if your vehicle has shock absorbers on the front and rear, and the type of shock absorber it uses, that way you know what to expect at the time you are at the mechanic to change them.
  2. Research about different shops and retailers that sell the shock absorbers and install them, this can help you with your budget, because usually, they have offers for the installation service if you purchase with them.
  3. Look at reviews of different types of brands of shock absorbers to know which one suits you best.

When Buying: 

  1. Make sure to choose the right type of shock absorber your car needs. It’s strongly advisable to change all the shock absorbers at the same time.
  2. Remember that the price can go up depending on the make and model of your vehicle and the shock absorber you need.

After Buying:

  1. After buying it’s the moment to install them. If you have shock absorbers at the front and rear of your vehicle, don’t try to only change the front or rear shock absorbers. This is not advisable because you are not saving money by doing so, as the shock absorbers you left unchanged will need to be replaced soon after, spending more money and time at the mechanic.
  2. If you have strong experience with DIY auto repair, you can save on labor costs by doing the replacement yourself, here’s a video on how to do it. However, we recommend you leave this job to a professional.
  3. After installing the shock absorbers it’s advisable to do a wheel alignment. This can cost you from $40 to $400 depending on if you do it to just the front wheels or to all four, and also the mechanic, the shop, and its price rates. This is an extra cost that can make your final price go higher than you expected.
Giovanna Soto