The shock absorber is a crucial component in your car. When you suddenly stop or change your car's direction, kinetic energy is released, which can cause vibration and shock to occur. Any sudden shock to your car's body can damage its body and components. Shock absorbers are used to decelerate your vehicle smoothly.
If there is an indication of damage or the shock absorber shows a worn-out sign, you need to replace it. But, you may have concerns about shock absorber price and factors that determine it.
Like any other car component, shock absorbers also have limited life. Their life expectancy depends on how you drive, what you drive, where you drive, and the load your vehicle carries. As a rule of thumb, you need to check your shock absorbers every 20,000 kms. Here is some crucial information on shock absorber types and how they are priced.
Types of Shock Absorbers
Though shock absorbers perform the same job, different vehicles and their suspension designs require different types for running the car smoothly. Hence, you can find a wide variety of shock absorbers that are radically different from each other. Even the shock absorber price mainly depends on the design of the component.
For example, shock absorbers fitted in a Toyota Camry 2008 model would be more expensive than those compatible with Ford Focus 2002 suspension design.
Based on their design, the shock absorbers can be categorized into three types – Conventional telescopic shock absorber, strut-type shock absorber, and spring seat shocks. Let’s look at these shock absorber types in detail.
Conventional Telescopic Shock Absorber
It is the simplest type of shock absorber available in the market. It can be further divided into twin-tube or bi-tube dampers. The telescopic hydraulic shock absorber comes in hydraulic and non-hydraulic configurations. Telescopic shock absorbers are inexpensive. If there is any problem with the telescopic shock absorber, you need to replace it and not repair it. You can find a telescopic hydraulic shock absorber in the front and rear suspension system.
Strut-Type Shock Absorber
Strut-type shock absorbers do the same job and are commonly found in modern cars. Most car manufacturers have embraced strut-based suspension design for smaller and medium-sized cars. This one is ruggedly built to cope with larger loads and forces.
It is categorized into repairable and sealed units. As the name suggests, you can fit the repairable units with new strut cartridges. On the other hand, the sealed strut-type shock absorbers need to be replaced.
Spring Seat Shocks
The spring seat shocks combine the characteristics of telescopic and strut-type shock absorbers. In spring seat shock, the suspension unit and the damping unit are combined into one. The spring seat shocks are not designed for heavy loads. They are made of components used in telescopic shock absorbers, but they come with a sealed unit. It means you cannot repair spring seat shocks but need to replace them.
The pricing of the shock absorber also depends on the brands you plan to purchase. Shock absorbers of some brands are expensive, while some are slightly cheaper. The price difference could be due to the quality of the materials used in component construction or the finish of the product. Some premium shock absorbers also come with bumper-to-bumper warranties.
Front and Rear Shock Absorbers
According to experts, every wheel in your car has a shock absorber. Experts recommend car owners replace shock absorbers in pairs. For example, if the front right-hand shock absorber is damaged, you need to consider replacing both front shock absorbers. If you look at the prices, you will notice a slight difference in front and rear shock absorbers' prices.
The cost of front shock absorbers and fitting is around $600 to $800, while the cost of rear shock absorbers and fitting is around $500 to $700. It would help if you also considered the costs of wheel alignment when replacing the shock absorbers.
Gas-filled or Liquid-filled
The price also depends on the content used in the damping device. A shock absorber is either gas-filled or oil-filled. Gas-filled shock absorbers are not recommended for vehicles with heavy loads. On the other hand, oil-filled shock absorbers reduce your vehicle's excessive movement through the controlled oil movement under pressure.
All in all, shock absorbers provide you with better vehicle control and ride comfort. You need to always go for the best shock absorber compatible with your car's suspension design that fits your budget.
Before opting for any famous brand, spend some time understanding the product's build quality, mechanism, and performance.