What Are Shocks?
Shock absorbers, usually called simply “shocks,” are hydraulic, mechanical, or electronic devices that connect the wheel of your vehicle to the body. They use mechanical resistance to absorb the kinetic force of wheel travel. This reduces the impact on the body of the vehicle and, in turn, the impact that the driver and passengers feel.
Types of Shocks
There are several kinds of shock absorbers used in the auto industry. Here are the most common:
Gas: A passive shock that uses compressed gas inside either twin tube or mono-tube metal housing to dampen the force of road travel.
Air: A kind of active suspension shock that uses a computer to read and respond to changes in the road by inflating air springs with compressed air.
Magnetic: A kind of active suspension that uses electronically-controlled magnets to provide resistance and absorb shock from the road.
Twin Tube vs. Mono-tube Shocks
There are two main types of passive shocks—twin tube and mono-tube. Twin tube shocks have two chambers, one for gas and the other for hydraulic fluid. When the shock absorbs impact, the hydraulic fluid flows between the chambers to dampen the ride.
Monotube shocks, on the other hand, put both gas and fluid into the same chamber where a free-floating piston separates them. This provides a superior damping action and reduces the chance of failure.
When Should You Replace Your Shocks?
Your shocks should provide all the damping, support, and handling you need. If they don’t, you should consider replacing them. This can happen for a few different reasons:
Worn out shocks: Like most car parts, shocks have a limited lifespan. If you’ve put a lot of miles on your vehicle, the shocks may have simply just lived a full life and aren’t up to the task anymore.
Damaged shocks: Shocks can get damaged from a collision, off-roading, or even just going over a curb the wrong way.
Underperforming shocks: Sometimes, your shocks may just not do as much as you want them to. In this case, you can replace them with an upgrade.
How Can You Tell If Your Shocks Are Bad?
Some vehicles have suspension warning lights that turn on if the system detects issues with the shocks. But even before then, there are ways you can spot bad shocks. As with all car problems, early detection can help you save additional wear and tear on your vehicle, along with money for repairs.
Here are a early warning signs of bad shocks:
Noisy suspension: You shouldn’t hear your shocks, whether they’re active or passive. If you hear creaking or groaning noises from your suspension when turning, accelerating, or stopping, you could have bad shocks.
Long stopping distance: If you know your brakes are in good shape but your car is still taking a long time to stop, your shocks could be to blame.
Squatting: If your car has the appearance of “squatting” due to the rear end sagging down, this is a telltale sign of bad shocks.
Nose diving: When your front shocks are bad, your car may dip down in the front when coming to a stop while the rear lifts up slightly.
Failing the bounce test: The “bounce test” is a simple way to check for bad shocks. Push down at each corner of your vehicle. If it takes a long time to get back to the proper height or bounces up and down before settling, you likely have a suspension problem at that corner.
Of course, the best way to tell if you need to replace your shocks is to have a mechanic inspect them. You can always ask them to take a quick look the next time they’re under the hood.
Best Way to Fix Bad Shocks
Unfortunately, there’s not a lot you can do to fix bad shocks. In most cases, you’ll need to replace them.
The good news is that you have options. Most people will head straight to the dealership for replacement shocks. But not only is this an expensive way to fix your shocks, those expensive OEM parts dealerships use are the same ones that just broke or wore out.
When you replace your shocks, you have an opportunity to upgrade. Aftermarket shock replacements can often be an improvement over the original ones—sometimes at a cheaper price, too. That means the best way to fix bad shocks isn’t to fix them at all—it’s to replace them with something better.
Strutmasters Certified Replacement Shocks From Fox Factory
Fox Factory replacement shocks are one of the newest products to join the new Strutmasters Certified lineup. In order to become Strutmasters Certified, a product must meet the same rigorous standards as our suspension replacement kits and other products.
Fox Racing Shox has been one of the first names in racing and off-road performance shocks for more than 35 years. Built to withstand Now, Stutmasters is offering these Fox Factory shock replacement kits, which offer top-level performance at affordable prices.
What’s Inside a Shock Replacement Kit?
If you decide to go with a Fox Factory shock replacement kit from Strutmasters, you’ll get everything you need to install your new shocks. No last-minute trips to the hardware store needed.
Monotube Replacement Shock
The superior design of monotube shocks and sturdy construction means long-lasting performance, even under the most rugged conditions. Each high-quality shock features the following:
Aluminum body: High-grade aluminum alloy boasts similar strength to steel and dissipates heat more efficiently.
Internal floating piston: Innovative design keeps hydraulic oil and nitrogen gas completely separate.
Aluminum components: Made with black anodized CNC-machined aluminum components for long-lasting performance.
Specialty Fox racing oil: Developed for racing performance, this custom suspension oil goes above and beyond standard suspension fluids.
Large ⅝-inch shaft: Made from heavy-duty chrome to withstand and absorb even the toughest impact and distribute weight evenly throughout the assembly.
Hourglass bushings: Specially-designed bushings allow for better articulation.
The hardware used to mount your shocks is one area where some manufacturers like to cut corners, or leave it as an afterthought. But your suspension is only as strong as the parts that hold it together.
Every nut, bolt, and washer in these kits is made to the same standards as the shock itself, meaning top-shelf alloys and meticulous manufacturing. That means hardware—and not just main components—that you can count on.
What You Should Look For In Replacement Shocks
Aftermarket shock replacements can be an inexpensive upgrade if the company you buy them from is a reputable one. But not all manufacturers are. And from a distance, it can be hard to tell the difference.
However, spending a little time researching a company can save you time, money, and frustration from buying shocks that aren’t up to the task. Here are some things to look for:
Premium materials: Some companies use cheaper alloys that might look the part but don’t perform as well. All Strutmasters and Strutmasters Certified products use the best materials for the job in their class.
Precision engineering: “Close enough” doesn’t cut it with suspensions. Some companies repackage the same components for similar vehicles. A good company will engineer its components for each model to ensure a perfect fit.
Customer service: Many companies will stick with customers only as long as it takes to make a sale. It’s unlikely that you’ll need after-sales help with any products Strutmasters sells, but if you do, our Suspension Experts will be there for you.
Strutmasters Certified: Quality You Can Depend On
Since 1999, Strutmasters has been a leader in the suspension industry with a reputation built on quality products and customer service. We don’t lend our name to just any products because we know our customers trust us. With something as important to your vehicle and your safety as suspension components, that trust is everything.
Use the links in this article or look for Fox Factory shock replacements for your vehicle using the search bar at the top of the site. If you need help, feel free to use our 24-hour chat assistant on the right-hand side of the site. During business hours you can also call our Suspension Experts at 866-597-2397 for help with your order or anything else you might need.