Want to get the best shock absorbers? Check the 10 best truck/jeep shocks for a smooth ride in our automotive expert review. We have realized that the search for the most suitable shock absorber for your vehicle can be very excruciating and painstaking.
Combined with the array of different shock absorbers in the market; all claiming to be the ultimate shock absorber you need does nothing but making it harder to choose like our previous review of the best headlight & truck bed cover we tried to help find out which is the best for you.
Comparison Table of Shock Absorber
Well, you can stop the stressing and take a look in here. This article has been carefully put together to help you purchase “the ultimate shock absorber” that will not only be easy to select and buy but will also fit into your spending budget. This article was meticulously designed so you can select a suitable shock absorber and have a pleasant drive. Shall we?
What is a shock absorber?
Selecting a shock absorber is better understood if you can get a clearer view of what it actually is, so you can narrow your choice down. In plain terms, a shock absorber is simply a pump like a mechanical device that makes use of hydraulic and oils.
So as to stabilize the effects of shocks experienced while driving. It also helps to keep your car balanced after the other shock support systems in your car (like suspensions and springs) recoil aftershock.
This implies the shock absorbers work with the springs and suspensions so as to reduce the impact of the shock experienced, on the passengers. So as to experience a smooth drive, despite the turbulence.
The principle behind this (a bit of nerd time) is simply the heat energy translated from the motions of the shock absorbers into the air through heat exchange. A piston attached to a vacuum like a tube, high with pressure and filled with hydraulic or oil are involved in its mechanism.
The piston plunges into the vacuum like a tube(high with pressure), when the vertical movement of the suspension or spring is experienced during a shock. This action enforces the hydraulic fluid into the piston’s tiny holes, so only a tiny amount of fluid is passed, therefore slowing the piston down, and also slowing the suspensions and the springs. Amazing!
We cannot overstress the usefulness and importance of the most underrated and misunderstood part of a car. We now know it helps to slow down the suspensions and the springs thanks to the above nerdo-geek manifestation.
Also, another important function of the shock absorber is to ensure the tires are in constant contact with the road. There is no way this can be overstressed, as a car is meant to be driven on a road! This constant contact also affects the effectiveness of brakes and road navigation (the steering wheel).
Despite the fact that the glittering array of promising shock absorbers in the market promises actual “shock absorbers”, one will be tempted to think that all shock absorbers are the same.
But let’s not be convinced so easily; as there are certain distinct features that noticeably differentiates one shock absorber product to another shock absorber product. These differences can come in the form of its design, a more updated technology (and quality) or plain compatibility.
Subtracting differences in design and compatibility, there are frankly different types of shock absorbers. These shock absorbers are differentiated by the details in their mechanisms.
Examples are the; hydraulic shocks, gas shocks, air shocks, dual shocks, etc. knowing the advantages and disadvantages of the different types of shock absorbers will help you easily figure out the right shock absorber to use, and the most compatible for your preference.
Top 10 Best Shock Absorbers Review
Here are some of the best shock absorber products in the market today. These products show promising stats and try to performs as every standard shock absorber does, but each has its own distinct feature.
01. BILSTEIN (24-186742) – Best Quality Rear Shock Absorber
This is one of the most superior shock absorber products to today and should not be overlooked too quickly. It is well known by its unique performance stats over the years and their durability. This product is top notch and is one of the best choices to experience smooth and easy driving.
As for its compatibility, it is known to work on a very wide range of cars, and its versatility is what reassures vehicle owners and experts and makes it one of the most reliable of the array of choices available.
The superior quality of the Bilstein (24-186742) 5100 Series has outmatched many other products in the market today, for instance its superior ability to adapt to intense shocks that could be experienced in bumpy terrains and landscapes.
So, the scintillating driving experience would be felt from terrain to terrain (either smooth or rough) with the driver experiencing little differences.
Coupled with its durability and ability to adapt, with this super shock absorber can support heavier weights than most other shock absorbers available. This is an advantage because it ticks in the option of it being compatible in a wide variety of vehicles with different weights and sizes. This adaptability feature ensures easy steering and flawless driving.
02. Munroe 58640 – Load Adjusting Shock Absorber
Now, this is an awesome option when it comes to choosing reliable shock absorbers. This underrated shock absorber has more quality than it is given credit for. Most users are drawn to the most popular brand names in the market without checking for specifications.
This product though is not only popular but is well known for its superb performance, topped with its unique weather fluids, which helps to reduce friction greatly and improves the overall performance.
Another unique feature is that it comes with fully displaced valves that enable it to adapt well to changes in terrains (from rough to smooth etc.). This feature of consistency and smooth driving which it provides, is what differentiates it from most products today and it’s a top choice for car enthusiasts and adventurers. There are a few contenders to the level in which this products prowls and it is a preferable and affordable choice.
03. Gabriel 49235- Hijackers Air Shocks
This shock absorber is the real deal and would be a champion if there was ever a shock absorb-Olympics. The Gabriel 49235 Hijackers air shocks have been donning cars since the 20th century to buttress my point. These shock absorbers are the best in the USA, and it promises superior quality without fail.
This product ensures steady balance and heavy haulage, which means even in the heaviest of cars, it can stand in and take charge without hitch. This means, it can be used in vehicles that carry heavy goods and its durability assures its user of how long it can carry different weights.
Can you beat that? This shock absorber also makes handling of the vehicle much easier and will make the suspensions last longer due to proper aeration beforehand.
04. Munroe MA822
This product can be nicely put as a superior piece of art. It is similar to the Gabriel 49235 as they are built strong for the purpose of heavy haulage. When it comes to heavy-duty vehicles, this is a very comfortable choice.
The uniqueness of this product though is in how it strives to balance the height of the vehicle despite the weight. Most heavy goods are not even in size and heights like boxes and one side of the vehicle can begin to take more load than the other side. This product tends to distribute the height to the rest of the vehicle by leveling it.
The air adjustable shocks can also be inflated when an amount of load is added to it. The adjustable shocks deflate right back when the load is reduced or when it is used for leisurely driving.
This inflation and deflation are done by the pressure valves, to ensure easy driving. The weather fluids that makes this product different and unique, helps the product to reduce friction of the shock absorber.
05. Bilstein 24191203
A product of the same company was mentioned before in this list, and it was stressed that the quality of this product needs no introduction. It is carefully designed to meet the need for lifted vehicles such as jeeps and trucks, so as to provide valance for the smooth driving experience, while it also provides support for load lifts. With meticulously engineered species and zinc finishing, tother with other rare alloys, this shock absorber really tuned up the competition.
This product also possesses a monotube which expels heat rapidly which might have been created during the course of it performing its functions. And the coolest part is the ever-sensitive pistons aesthetically manufactured to make room for self-tuning compressors and makes the shock absorber by far more superior to most shock absorbers in the market.
This adds positively to the overall design and performance of this product. The detail and technology put into the manufacture of this product, impresses a strive and commitment for perfection.
06. KYB 349105
This is a very popular brand in the market that is not only a common name but provides outstanding quality, with its up to date technology that is focused on comfortable driving, there is no way this product would be missed out or overlooked on any list if outstanding shock absorbers today.
This shock absorber is nitrogen gas charged and has a twin tube design that is made up of super components, all meticulously arranged to form this futuristic product.
This product is common in Asian vehicles that tend to have more control, stability, and stopping, because of this product mainly used in them. The KYB 349105 Excel-G Gas shock makes use of a seamless working cylinder with a PTFE coated piston band for a positive and longer life.
There is also a sintered iron strut guide so the vehicle will be able to maintain an accurate wheel alignment at all times. This product has been used by many manufacturing companies over the years and has proved reliable and efficient.
07. ACDelco GM Original Equipment Front Shock
ACDelco is an automobile parts company that is dedicated to manufacturing the best of automobile parts. This company is well known for the production of exceptional products and the ACDelco 580-435 GM Original Equipment Front Shock Absorber is one of the very best in the market today. When you talk of quality and reassured efficiency, this product is the first to call.
This product ensures relaxation and control of your vehicle by neutralizing the effects of the road and also its effect on your suspension. This will give a smoother feel when you drive and more control over your car’s steering wheel.
At least this is much expected coming from this company that holds. many accolades for their superiority in other products as well as this. This product focuses on performance overlooks as it gives exactly what it offers to the fullest.
This shock absorber is superb for any type of vehicle and is suitable for leisure driving in different terrains and landscapes and its sturdy built will ensure your car provides a scintillating driving experience.
08. Monroe 911262
The Monroe 911262 Reflex Truck Shock Absorber is an epitome of master craft and technological advancement in automobiles and it definitely cannot be left out of this list. This futuristic device gives us a psychedelic taste of artificial intelligence as it possesses sensors that predict impacts from bumps and potholes before impact.
It is a mix of the traditional piston and valve technology which are primary parts of the principle governing a regular shock absorber and impact sensor technology. This impact sensor technology senses and increment in speed and predicts the effect of a bump relating to the speed at which your car is going.
And it prepares the shock absorber to “brace for impact!” Therefore, reducing the effect on the compression, to give you more control over the vehicle. Isn’t it wonderful? It is Built tough for heavy duty trucks (as the name implies!), and gives the vehicle a very excellent performance.
09. Bilstein 24-187374
From the name and the number of products that have been included in this list, it’s no news that the Bilstein company is one of the biggest in the manufacture of quality motor parts. They always find a way to up their game and strive in this ever-competitive market of shock absorbers.
The Bilstein 24-187374 Monotube Shock Absorber is very similar to the other mentioned products from this company, only differentiated by tiny but important details.
As the name implies, its monotube designed and ensures a fade-free performance and should not be overlooked too quickly. This product has the ability to quickly adapt to changes in terrain and gives the driver a fluid feel.
The products easy feel and authentic properties makes it one to go for.
10. KYB 565104
The KYB 565104 MonoMax Gas Shock, popularly known for its strength and durability and it’s usually used on large and heavy-duty vehicles such as trailers. These shocks are some of the best and most affordable in the market today.
This product is also monotube, and it ensures better handling than most shock absorbers and is made explicitly for heavy-duty vehicles. It is to adjust to different road patterns and terrains and provides a fade-free feel that boosts the overall performance of the vehicle.
Yep! These are the top 10 on our list of affordable super shock absorbers on the market. I would have you know that the above mentioned were selected and discussed at random, it doesn’t follow a certain hierarchy or arrangement, or to endorse a particular product over the other.
Each of the above-mentioned products has certain peculiarities that distinguish one from another. They’re all very superb products that are designed to fit comfortably into your preference and provide you with a smooth and excellent driving experience.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT SHOCK ABSORBER: A buying guide
This is pretty much a very important factor as the very wide array of shock absorbers would have to be narrowed down to the most affordable according to the cash at hand.
So, the size of your pockets will have to be the guideline to choosing a shock absorber, but if you can afford the most expensive or can find the cheapest available, it is wise to get the most efficient still, don’t you think?
Although in the market there are quality shock absorbers that are so cheap, they are often looked down upon, but when observed closely, they actually give really superb performance and are dogged in durability.
And on the other hand, at the far corner of the discussion, you can get shocked absorbers that are relatively expensive and do not offer as much as expected. So, let’s not be swayed by the notion that expensive is better… Not in this case eh!
The trick is to ask. Yep ask! Seek the opinion of other buyers and enthusiast that must have experienced the performance of a certain product. Also asking an automobile engineer of the best of shock absorbers according to performance as they are in the direct position to fully explain to you which to buy and which to stay away from, depending on your preference. This is the best “look before you leap” measure to take before we start spending!
For those with prior knowledge on car specs and all that nerdy detail; sites and articles like this that serve as an exposé on this topic is the best choice before making a decision on which product to buy.
The manufacturing company that is referred to on sites and stumble upon should have websites displaying the available and latest products, with their details and mechanism.
And these sites are able to enlighten even novices, as the shock absorbers are grouped into two categories based on what they’re manufactured of; aluminum and steel. And these metals have their pros and their cons about them.
For example, shock absorber products made with steel are usually cheaper and more affordable, but have less handling and find it harder to adapt to changing terrains and conditions as compared to the aluminum.
Aluminum, on the other hand, is way lighter, malleable and easy to maneuver but is by far more costly than the steel shock absorber.
The performance of the vehicle’s shock absorber is deeply dependent on the material it is manufactured with. So from the above mentioned, you can see certain factors have come into a play when choosing a shock absorber.
These factors are important and should not be taken for granted at all. And when we have satisfied the necessary needs and have taken the mandatory precautions, then we can narrow down our choices and move ahead.
Yep! Compatibility is another important factor that should be considered when buying a shock absorber as most shock absorbers (no matter how promising or enticing it’s specifications and performance may be) are manufactured specifically for certain vehicles.
You will not be able to experience the proper function or performance intended by the manufacturer. For example, buying a shock absorber meant for a heavy-duty vehicle for a small vehicle would be disastrous, as it will not in any way work and you would have wasted time and other important resources on a futile project.
There is a slight chance that an incompatible shock absorber might work, but you won’t get to experience the full performance that you paid for… And if that happens, wouldn’t it be a waste?
This is why you are constantly encouraged to visit professionals and people with technical know-how so as to prevent mistakes that could lead to dire consequences. But also, let us not forget the fact that some really versatile shock absorbers are in the market and can work on a wide variety of vehicles (mentioned on the list) but let us not mix it up.
An experienced auto expert will advise you to go for a product specifically compatible with your Vehicle (which is the best though), for optimum performance.
Terrain conditions too, play a very important role in the life span of shock absorbers and also in the selection of shock absorbers. Some shock absorbers are meant for smoother roads that have a low chance of experiencing severe bumps hence severe impacts.
So, imagine taking your modest car out for a drive and deciding to take a detour into the mountainous part of the town, wanting to explore with your car. You might end up having to walk home.
This idea also works with the weight of the car! Some shock absorbers are built to function on light vehicles and hence light impact on the compression. A good shock absorber is supposed to distribute the impact and reduces friction on the compression and springs, but when the impact overwhelms the shock absorber, you get a reverse effect.
The solution? Getting a more powerful shock absorber would be the first go to at this point, but getting a more powerful and yet compatible shock absorber will be painstaking and hard. And on getting one that will work, what are the chances it will work to the maximum of its potential?
So, stay off rough terrains if you know you have a less sturdy shock absorber and ply the roughest of terrains if you are certain you have a very reliable shock absorber. Drive safely anyways!
Well, we cannot deny the fact that some factory designed shock absorbers (that come originally with the brand-new vehicles) are not adjustable. These shock absorbers could serve the user well, depending on the preference, how and how long the vehicle is being used.
An adjustable shock absorber will be able to easily adapt to terrains varying in smoothness. It can also adapt to the particular terrain it is plying at that particular time and ensure smoother a smoother drive (which the shock absorber is supposed to offer in the first place!)
So, in the case of adjustability of the shock absorber, it boils down to choose. Although it is advisable to add it to a watch out list, it’s all to get better driving experience, right?
It is common for consumers to put their trust in the big names when the question of choosing which product to buy arises. It is a safe way to go about it without making mistakes on incompatibility and quality.
Many big-name companies truly are known for fairly better shock absorbers but notwithstanding, there are some up and coming or lesser-known companies that offer almost the same, if not better products than the big shots.
Also, when it comes to affordability, the big companies with their reputation and fame, tend to have more expensive products that boast of the implementation of the latest technological advancements in their shock absorbers and the smaller companies are forced to offer lower prices to garner attention and patronage but still offer excellent quality.
The bottom line is, let us not overlook small companies and their shock absorbers. But still, let us be vigilant as we go about it.
We should also ensure to make inquiries about quality checks the authenticity of the product before we make a purchase.
This point cannot be overemphasized, we’ve talked about it in many side notes in the other points we’ve stated in this article. Asking questions and seeking advice from professionals such as certified mechanics, automobile engineers, and enthusiasts who have in-depth knowledge on the topic of which shock absorber to buy and the most affordable as the case may be, as they are the best to go to do advice.
The need for this is to avoid making mistakes incompatibility, durability and terrain specificity of shock absorbers. Also is in the authenticity of the product as imitations and fakes could find its way to stores and only a professional would be able to tell the difference (sometimes hard to spot).
Also taking advice from a professional can come in handy on how to care for the shock absorber you have. For example, the shock absorber might not be built for rough terrains and also for certain weights. The professionals can give advice and maybe instructions on how to use the product to get the best out of it.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)
What is a shock absorber?
A shock absorber is a mechanical device in vehicles, designed to withstand and disperse the effects of shock that may be felt during driving. The mechanism behind its function is simply to transforms mechanical energy generated as a result of shocks or impacts (experienced when driving a vehicle) into another form of energy that will be easier to dispose of, mainly as heat.
How often do you have to replace shocks?
It is often heard by vehicle and spare part manufacturers that one should endeavor to replace their shock absorbers after around 50,000 miles, but it must be said that it is not always to the users benefit. For safety and standard purposes, you should try to check shock absorbers after 30,000 miles, then 40,000 miles, then 50,000 miles then every year after that. This is believed to be the best and the most safety conscious practice.
Do shock absorbers need to be replaced in pairs?
While this practice is not usually necessary, it is, however, more practical and recommended. When replacing a faulty shock, it is usually better to just replace the entire pair e.g the pair of rear or front shocks.
This is because when new, they will both work better together than when you have a new one on one side and old one on the other side as there is a strong possibility that they will not work at the same pace and efficiency. So it is advisable.
How long does shock absorber last?
The fact of this matter is that there are a lot of factors that come into play when determining how long a shock absorber is supposed to last. Some of these factors include the distance (usually in a number of miles) covered by the car, the kind of terrain plied frequently by the vehicle, and on how gently thoroughly the vehicle is driven.
Thus, these factors make it really hard to determine. However, it is quite common to hear of shock absorbers lasting for about four to five years maximum, that is with moderate and careful usage.
It is also expected that shocks of cars that are driven mostly in smooth roads should last for up to ten years before there is a need for replacement theoretically.
What are the signs of a bad shock absorber?
There are quite a few signs that tell when a bad shock absorber that needs replacing. When the shocks are bad, you will notice that the car’s suspension bottoms fall out when driving across rough roads or even simply trying to go out of your parking space.
Rides stop being smooth and the vehicle becomes bouncy and you get jerked violently when rounding bends or trying to maneuver in unfavorable weather conditions. There is also a very distinctly noticeable tire shaking and whole car vibrations when you hit a bump or pothole. The driving becomes horrible and unenjoyable.
Is it safe to drive with a broken shock absorber?
It is absolutely unsafe to drive around in a car with a broken shock. In fact, it is grossly discouraged, as this might have very dire and fatal results. It is also discouraged to drive on expressways with broken shocks and also to explicitly avoid taking sharp and sudden turns as this can cause serious accidents when you lose control of the steering wheel.
What happens when your shock absorbers wear out and what are the dangers?
An important function of shock absorbers is to keep the car’s tires impermanent contact with the road, helping to provide the right balance and firm grip, when making a corner or trying to apply brakes.
Shock absorbers also work in tandem with a car’s suspension, so if the shocks are worn, the vehicle’s ride and comfort is compromised. Some dangers associated with worn shock absorbers include: – the breaking capability is seriously affected, thus resulting in a longer stopping distance after breaking.
– Stability of the Braking and electric control systems are greatly affected.
– Increased chances of slipping on wet roads.
– Speed it takes for Aquaplaning to occur becomes less and less
– Increased driver stress and a marked reduction in speed
– Increased wear of tires and other suspension components.
What happens when a shock absorber breaks while driving?
This would usually lead to your motor vehicles bouncing uncontrollably and you feeling every turbulent area on that road, be it by potholes and potholes, and this could usually have a very debilitating effect both on your car and you as the driver. Ensure to immediately replace said shocks immediately.
The world of shock absorbers is, without doubt, a daunting one, but it Is hoped that from the above-written article, choosing the right shock absorber should no longer be a major herculean task. There is an array of efficient shock absorbers in the market at the moment, with each one having its advantages and disadvantages.
Said disadvantages are usually minor and do not usually affect the grand scale of things when it comes to choosing the right shock absorber. Picking the best shock absorber, however, is a standard that falls entirely on the buyer as it all boils down to his or her preference in shock absorbers.
That notwithstanding, preference should never come in the way of right and quality, and hence it is strongly suggested to properly weigh all possible options and endeavor to pick out the right shock absorber for the smoothest of rides.
With a multitude of features varying from brand to brand, and by extension model to model, it is very important to always consider the above-listed factors before making the all-important final decision. It is paramount to pick out the right shock absorber because while unpopular and most underrated, shock absorbers play a very important role in ensuring comfort and balance during driving.
Choose the right market known to sell the most quality products, be it a hardware shop or an online market. We believe you now have the resources to select the best shock absorbers for your cars, so take the time to carefully peruse through this article to ensure you get shocks that will provide you with that amazing and near flawless overall performance. Happy shopping!