Did you ever wonder what makes a car ride smoother on the bumpiest of roads? If not, then the answer to your query is the shock absorber. Also known as the damper or strut, it is the engineering invention in the modern automobile which makes ride smoother. Here we will talk about the best shock absorbers available in the market and its pros and cons.
Shock absorbers are a kind of mechanical or hydraulic device that, as the name implies, absorbs or damps shock impulses. It does so by turning them into another form of energy, especially heat. The best shocks are must for smoother rides with better control for any modern-day automobile. The importance of good quality struts is growing in the global market. According to expert research study, within the next five/six years the Shocks market will record a revenue of 2.1% CAGR, the global market size will reach at US$ 35770 million by 2025, from US$ 32890 million in 2019.
Just so you know, shocks and struts are just as important as any other part of any automobile. However, a good number of people barely think about their importance and ignore them. This often results in horrendous riding experience and even broken car parts due to poor protection from the shocks a vehicle receives while driving. An excellent shock absorber can be one of the vital determinants for the lifetime of your car. Therefore, it's compulsory to choose a good shock absorber for your beloved automobile and also need to know the signs of bad shocks.
However, when you need to choose the best shock absorbers for your vehicle, some questions can generate to your mind like –
Questions for the best car shocks
● Which ones are the best shock absorbers available in the market right now?
Ans.: We have given top rated 10 best shock absorbers review and briefed below for your easy pick. You need to choose the most suitable one according to the vehicle year and model.
● Where to buy the best car shocks?
Ans.: From the below 10 car shocks, read carefully the features and price as well as take the decision.
● How to install the best car shocks?
If you are not expert enough, take support from a good mechanic to install the best struts or shocks or go through the last part of this article, we have explained the step step by guide for your easy installation.
● Which car shocks will survive long, and how to choose the best car shocks that meets your needs?
Ans.: Our recommendation is to purchase the good quality shock absorber which suits your car during replacing. According to our experiences, Monroe, Gabriel, Bilstein are the good shock absorbers brand which last for a long time.
Now, with too many options available to choose from in the market, it's often a task of great difficulty to choose the best shock absorber for you, and upon that, if you are new to this, it's even more difficult. Without proper knowledge on what you're going to buy may also cause you to spend in vain ending up with the worst shock absorber available on the face of the planet earth. Well, I don't have any intention to scare you, but it's the harsh reality, and people have gone through horrible experiences for choosing bad shock absorbers.
However, you need not worry because we have come with a solution. Here is a detailed walkthrough on the best shock absorbers available in the market, and it will surely help you to make wiser decisions for buying the car shocks that will serve you right.
Best Shock Absorbers Available in the Market
1. Monroe 58620 Load Adjust Shock Absorber
Monroe is undoubtedly one of the best shock absorber brands available in the market right now. And their Monroe 58620 Monroe Load Shock can be considered as a piece of engineering art. Like other Monroe shocks, it can easily handle even the bumpiest of terrains, ensuring a comfortable and improved riding experience.
Since its launch, it has achieved great appreciation from a growing number of consumers as well as the experts.
Here is a preview on the Monroe 58620 including the vital aspects you may take under consideration:
● Contains all Weather Fluid, a crucial element that helps reducing friction to ensure smooth shock absorption.
● Includes auto-adjusting valves. The valve mechanism is tuned to adjust its displacement specifically for each application, ensuring consistency and smoother riding experience.
● Contains heavy-gauge calibrated spring ensuring better control. Includes improved dust shield technology
● Comes with FBP or Fluon Banded Piston. The Fluon band ensures proper sealing between the piston and the pressure tube. This factor alone greatly improves control and ensures the durability of the shocks as well as your vehicle.
- Easier to install than contemporary shocks.
- Rapid adjustment to variable road types.
- Improved sealing for longer product life.
- Suitable for heavy-duty usage with additional loads of up to 1,100 lbs.
- Improved corrosion prevention.
- Smooth rod reactions are ensuring a better riding experience.
- Subject to distortion for load exceeding GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating).
If you’re looking for a long-lasting solution costing no extra bucks for your light truck or tow trailer that carries varying loads, the Monroe 58620 Monroe Shock Absorber could just be the ideal choice for you.
2. Gabriel 43180 Rear Spring Load Carrier Shocks
Have you always wanted a smoother life? If yes, then why deprive your car? Get your automotive the smoothness it deserves with the new Gabriel 43180. This engineering marvel can turn your everyday bumps feel smooth like never before ensuring improved riding experience with better control. So, why bother sticking with those old bumpy rides as if life wasn’t bumpy enough when you know that you deserve better? Upgrade to Gabriel 43180, smoothen your life.
● Combined shock and spring mechanism for smoother rides
● Constant-rate front coil springs for stable height maintenance
● Variable-rate rear coil springs ensuring an increased load capacity of up to 500 lbs. per pair.
● Leak-proof piston seal for extended life
● Chromed piston rod for better corrosion prevention
● D.O.M tubing for reduced internal wear ensuring extended product life
• Rear: Cadillac: 1999 - 00 Escalade, Chevrolet: 1992 - 98 Blazer, 1992 - 99 C1500 Suburban, 1992 - 99 C2500 Suburban, 1996 - 14 Express 1500, 1996 - 02 Express 2500, 1996 - 02 Express 3500
• Rear: Chevrolet: 1992 - 99 K1500 Suburban, 1992 - 99 K2500 Suburban, 95 - 00 Tahoe; GMC: 1992 - 99 C1500 Suburban, 1992 - 99 C2500 Suburban, 1992 - 99 K1500 Suburban, 1992 - 99 K2500 Suburban
• Rear: GMC: 1996 - 14 Savana 1500, 1996 - 02 Savana 2500, 1996 - 02 Savana 3500, 1992 - 99 Yukon
- Super easy installation.
- Suitable for heavy-duty use.
- A long-lasting solution costing no extra bucks.
- Super leakage protection with an improved piston seal mechanism.
- Improved corrosion prevention promising extended product life.
- May take damage for load exceeding GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating).
If you're looking for a solution for smoother rides as well as heavy-duty uses and that too for a pretty long time, Gabriel 43180 could just be the one you should go for.
3. Monroe 58637 Load Adjust Shock Absorber
Just like its antecedents from Monroe shock absorbers, the Monroe 58637 is another engineering marvel. With the sole purpose of providing an economical solution to your everyday bumpy rides, it has almost identical specs like the Monroe58620, except it’s cheaper.
If you have small budget and want the best you can get for your automobile, the Monroe 58637 is an excellent choice for you.
●Includes all Weather Fluid that helps to reduce friction to ensure improved road reaction.
● Brings with FBP or Fluon Banded Piston that ensures proper sealing between the piston and the pressure tube, promising greatly improved control and elongated durability of the shocks as well as your vehicle.
● Contains auto-adjusting valves. This mechanism ensures consistency and smoother riding experience due to being tuned to adjust its displacement specifically for each road type.
● Includes improved dust shield technology.
- An economical solution for smoother rides.
- Easy to install.
- Auto and fast adjustment to variable weight conditions.
- Suitable for heavy-duty usage with additional loads of up to 1,100 lbs.
- Improved dust protection.
- Advanced corrosion prevention.
- May face oil leakage if damaged due to excessive load or improper installation..
If you're searching for the best shock under 100 bucks for long-lasting, heavy-duty usage, the Monroe 58637 Monroe Load Adjust Shock Absorber could be the best choice for you.
4. Bilstein (24-186025) 5100 Shock Absorber
Manufactured by one of brands, Bilstein, the new Bilstein (24-186025) 5100 Series Shock Absorber is an absolute beast under your budget. With the sole purpose of providing quality performance, costing no extra bucks, it has been a trendy choice among its consumers.
As mentioned before, replacement shock absorbers damp shock impulses by transforming them into heat and other types of energies. However, sometimes due to excessive heat being produced, your average shocks may get deformed as they are mainly made out of metals and metals deform depending on the heat. This is often ignored but is, indeed, a vital determinant for your shock’s lifetime. A shock absorber with improved heat dissipation is most likely to last longer than one with poor heat dissipation.
And when it comes to improved heat dissipation, the new Bilstein (24-186025) 5100 Series could just be the best economical and simple solution you can find in the market with a monotube design for better cooling and super easy installation.
● Monotube design.
● Improved heat dissipation ensuring better cooling.
● Zinc plated finish ensuring improved rust protection.
● Auto-adjusting disc valving for improved rod reaction.
● Gas-charged suspension.
● High-flow piston mechanism for better compression tuning.
- An efficient solution for smoother rides.
- Super easy to install.
- Auto height adjustment to variable road types.
- Gas-charged smooth rod reactions are ensuring a better riding experience.
- Elongated product life due to better cooling and rust protection.
- Can face damage due to load exceeding GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or improper installation.
If you’re in search of a reliable as well as inexpensive shock that will last, the new Bilstein (24-186025) 5100 Series Shock Absorber could be your automobile’s best buddy for years.
5. Monroe 58653 Load Adjust Shock Absorber
You already know about Monroe and its excellent shock absorbers like the 5820 and the 58637. However, the list just doesn’t stop there. The 58653 Monroe is just another marvelous addition to its predecessors with a brilliant design that promises long time heavy-duty usage.
When it comes to Monroe, it’s all about better quality with long-lasting and smoother riding experience. And this new option does not disappoint at all.
Here is a preview of it including the vital aspects you should take under consideration:
● All-Weather Fluid for improved friction reduction, ensuring smooth rod reaction.
● Self-adjusting valves tuned to adjust and maintain height for each specific road type for consistent and smoother riding experience.
● Heavy-gauge calibrated spring mechanism for better control.
● FBP or Fluon Banded Piston that ensures proper sealing between the piston and the pressure tube for elongated durability and control.
● Dust shield technology.
● Rust protection for improved corrosion prevention.
- Hassle free installation.
- Dynamic self- adjustment to variable road types.
- Smooth shock absorption ensuring a better riding experience.
- Advanced dust protection.
- Improved sealing for longer product life.
- Issue to deformation for load exceeding GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating).
The Monroe 58653 Monroe Load Adjust Shock Absorber is an ideal long-lasting solution costing no extra bucks for your light truck or tow trailer that carries varying loads.
6. Bilstein (24-186643) 5100 Shock Absorber
Just like its forerunners, the Bilstein (24-186643) 5100 Series Shock Absorber is another genius yet inexpensive addition to the Bilstein shock absorbers family.
With a similar simple monotube design like its predecessor, it ensures better cooling with improved leakage protection.
Just so you know, leakage is a vital obstacle that affects the overall performance and lifetime of your shock absorbers. But the preventing leakage protection available in the market are often costlier and may just not cut under your budget. But fortunately, the 24-186643 5100 Shock Absorber has got your back pricing just under 80 bucks with improved leakage protection.
● Includes monotube design for better cooling.
● Washers and bushings for improved leakage protection.
● Piston includes Velocity-sensitive mechanism. Gas-charged suspension.
● Digressive piston mechanism for improved reaction to variable road conditions.
● Contains Zinc plated finish that promises improved rust protection.
● Improved rod reaction due to Auto-adjusting disc valving .
- Inexpensive solution for smoother rides.
- Stress free installation.
- Velocity-sensitive height adjustment to variable road types.
- Smooth rod reactions with Gas-charged are ensuring a better riding experience..
- Improved tolerance to variable weight conditions..
- Subject to damage due to excessive load surpassing the standards.
The Bilstein (24-186643) 5100 Series Shock Absorber is an inexpensive and direct-fit solution for your lifted trucks and SUVs with its improved cooling and leakage protection.
7. Monroe 58640 Load Adjusting Shock Absorber
If you have followed this far, you already know about Monroe shock absorbers. With self-adjusting valving and improved corrosion control, these shocks are one of the champions in their game. And the new Monroe 58640 Load Adjusting Shock Absorber is no exception at all.
Just like its precursors, it ensures quality with the performance that goes on and on for years of heavy-duty usage. Specifically ideal for your tow trucks, these shocks can maintain smooth rod reaction for loads even up to 1,100 lbs.
Here are the topics you should take under consideration:
● Ensures All-weather fluid to reduce friction and smooth rod reaction.
● Full-displaced valve mechanism that adapts to each specific road condition ensuring comfort with consistency.
● Piston with Fluon banded and long-lasting sealing with the pressure tube ensuring better control and leakage protection.
● Nitro-carburized rod for improved corrosion prevention that promises long service life.
● Nitrogen gas-charged design for improved handling and ride that helps to maintain tire-to-road contact by aeration reduction.
● Self-lubricating fluid seal mechanism for retaining gas as well as excessive wear and friction prevention.
- Easier installation.
- Fast self-adjustment to variable road types.
- Excellent shock absorption ensuring a better riding experience.
- Better sealing for longer product life.
- Better corrosion and dust protection..
- Deformation may occur for load exceeding the specified load.
The new Monroe 58640 Load Adjusting Shock Absorber could just be the ideal choice for you for a long-lasting solution costing no extra bucks for your light truck or tow trailer that carries varying loads, .
8. Bilstein (24-185783) 5100 Shock Absorber
If you have read this far, I bet that you know who to call when you need an amazing shock absorber without expensive monstrosity – it's Bilstein and their genius shock absorbers.
For years, Bilstein has been turned into a brand of reliability under budget with its simple monotube shock absorbers that handle heat dissipation like none other. Their quality and inexpensiveness have given them the spot of peoples’ favorite for years after years, and the new product does not disappoint at all.
Well, a similar monotube design for cooling and zinc plated rust protection that comes under 80 bucks, the 24-185783 5100 Series is another Bilstein beast like its antecedents.
● Built in Monotube design for the sole purpose of better cooling.
● Impressive heat dissipation ensures elongated product service life preventing heat-produced mechanical distortion.
● Adjusts to variable road requirements for Velocity-sensitive piston mechanism.
● Super Zinc plated finish that ensures improved rust protection.
● Quality Gas-charged suspension for consistency and comfort.
● High-flow piston that ensures compression tuning.
- A reasonable solution to bumpy rides..
- Smooth installation.
- Easily adjust with variable road types for Velocity-sensitive suspension.
- Better dust protection with zinc plating.
- Gas-charged smooth damping ensuring a better riding experience
- May take damage due to excessive load surpassing the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating.
The Bilstein (24-185783) 5100 Series Shock Absorber is another inexpensive solution for your lifted trucks and SUVs with its improved cooling and leakage protection.
9. Monroe 58648 Load Adjusting Shocks
Everyone wants better things for their life. But what is better may not always come inexpensively. We all know that, and yet we work for the better. And just like you, your automobile also deserves better shock absorbers, and if you prefer your car to expense and have what it takes to do the best for your automobile, you should take a look at the new Monroe 58648 Load Adjusting Shock Absorber.
These engineering beauties are also from the same manufacturer that blessed our automobiles with genius shock absorbers like the Monroe 58653 and the Monroe 58620.
These come at slightly over 100 bucks but delivers performance and quality over any other contemporary items available in the market.
When it comes to Monroe, it’s about quality and performance merged for a more extended period of product service life, and the 58648 Absorber is, undoubtedly, no exception to that legacy.
● Improved friction reduction, ensuring smooth rod reaction for all-weather fluid that ensures Auto-adjusting valves tuned to adjust and maintain height for each specific road type for consistent and smoother riding experience.
● Heavy-gauge calibrated spring mechanism for better control.
● Ensures proper sealing between the piston and the pressure tube for elongated durability and control FBP or Fluon Banded Piston.
● Nitro-carburized promising improved corrosion prevention that promises long service life.
● Nitrogen gas-charged design that ensures improved ride and handling, which is a reliable method for maintaining tire-to-road contact by aeration reduction.
● Improved Dust shield technology.
- Quick and easy installation..
- smooth self- adjustment to variable road types.
- Innovative and better sealing for longer product life..
- Consistent and smooth shock absorption ensuring a better riding experience.
- Fast self-adjustment to variable weight conditions..
- Matter to mechanical distortion for load exceeding the rated loading.
The Monroe 586548 Monroe Load Adjust Shock Absorber is undoubtedly one of the best and long-lasting solutions for your light truck or tow trailer that carries varying loads.
10. Bilstein (24-186742) 5100 Rear Shock Absorber
Last but never the least, we have another significant piece of engineering genius from Bilstein, the Bilstein (24-186742) 5100 Series Rear Shock Absorber.
Cutting well below 80 bucks, the product is an ideal choice if you're running a little low on budget and looking for a pair of quality shock absorbers with great long-time performance.
Judging by their quality as well as service over the years, there is no other competitor for the 24-186742 5100 Series Rear Shock Absorber at this price range.
● Superior single-tube design built for better heat management.
● Super heat dissipation that ensuring product service life preventing heat-produced mechanical deformation.
● Velocity-controlled piston that adjusts to variable road requirements.
● Zinc coated finish that ensures improved rust protection.
● Self-adjusting disc valving for improved rod reaction.
● Gas-filled suspension for better control and comfort.
- Swift and easy installation procedures.
- Quick adaptation to variable weight conditions.
- Gas-filled sound damping ensures a better riding experience
- Promises better control with consistency.
- Longer service life due to better leakage protection.
- Question to damage due to excessive load.
The Bilstein (24-186742) Rear Shock Absorber is an ideal inexpensive solution for your lifted trucks and SUVs with its improved cooling and leakage protection.
How to Choose the Best Shock Absorbers
If you have followed this article this far, you already know the best options available in the market right now. This gives you a significant advantage to choose the best car shocks for your vehicle. But the most important question you should be asking yourself is -
“Which one is the best shock absorbers for light trucks?”
Is it the one that costs the most? Or is it the one that has better cooling or leakage protection? Well, there is no stopping to these questions, but it can be resolved by considering a few vital determinants such as –
The type of your vehicle
You see, the same shocks or struts can be the best match for you while being the worst choice for someone else. It depends on your conditions and requirements. For example, suppose you have a tow truck, and you buy the best shock absorber for an SUV. This may not end up serving you well as a tow truck has a different carrying load than an SUV, hence needs a shock and strut specifically made for such operations. So, the best shock absorber for an SUV may just not be the best ones for your tow trucks or farming vehicle or your everyday car. It varies depending on the vehicle type.
Again, if you have a decent budget, you don't have to worry much about the price of a top-notch shock absorber, but if you're running a little bit low, it’s better to find the best in your budget for immediate requirements.
Your region is another important factor as you may not find some of these shocks in your region. So, you may have to either order online or take similar steps.
Your carrying load is perhaps, the second most important factor for choosing a shock absorber. You see, some can handle many loads up to 1100 lbs. Where others may not. You must be sure about your load specification when choosing one for your vehicle.
It’s a very common occurrence where shock absorbers get damaged due to excessive load carrying that surpasses the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating). So first, you should know the GVWR standard for your specific type of vehicle, whether it's a tow truck or an SUV, and then lookout for the shocks that can tolerate this much weight applied on top of it.
This will not only help you to choose the best shock absorber for you but also keep them serving for a more extended period. Because a light-tolerance struts will last less if it is applied to do the job of a heavy-tolerance shock absorber.
Therefore, make your decisions with all of these parameters above well-considered. And only then, you are ready to choose the best items for your vehicle. The key to remember is that what is best for someone else may not be the best for you and vice versa. Hope our shock absorbers review will help you to choose the suitable one.
How to Replace and Install Best Shock Absorbers
Replacement and installation of shock absorbers are just as important as choosing the best one for your vehicle. It is very much possible that you buy the most expensive and the best shock absorbers ever produced on this planet, but unfortunately, your installation was just as bad as it can get. It will immediately or in time damage your shock absorbers providing poor or tragic performance and could even cause fatal road accidents.
Therefore, pay close attention while replacing and installing shock absorbers for your vehicles. For newbies, it, perhaps, is a task of difficulty as well as confusion; hence it's wiser to consult local experts or vehicle-repairing shops in the beginning.
However, if you want to learn how to do it yourself, do not worry because we are here to help. Here is a step by step walkthrough on how to replace and install shock absorbers for your vehicle
Step#1: Do I need new shock absorbers?
New shock absorbers do not only cost extra money but also require you to temper with the default system, and sometimes, improper installation turns out to be risky. So, first, ask yourself why you need new shock absorbers. These questions may help-
Are the old ones damaged?
Do you just need a better upgrade?
Damaged or worn-out, leaked shock absorbers must be replaced. There is no denying that. A good way to know if your shocks are damaged is to push down hard directly on the wheels and let it settle. If your shock absorbers are not damaged, it'll bounce up, forcing the car or vehicle to stabilize its height quickly. A damaged one, however, will show poor or weak deflection, hence, ensuring whether or not your shock absorbers are damaged.
You can also replace our old shock absorbers with new updated ones. The new ones offer new and improved features, but it’s up to you if you want to spend some extra bucks for those upgrades.
Therefore, if your shocks are working just fine and they are not so backdated, they do not require to be replaced, so think wisely before changing your shock absorbers.
Step#2: Jack your automobile in a proper location
Now that you are sure that you need a new pair of shock absorbers and you have also chosen the best ones for you, it is time to get your hands dirty.
First, park your vehicle on a plain surface and then using a wrench loosen the lug nuts on both sides of your automobile. Stabilize your car using a decent jack stand. Then carefully, remove the wheels and locate the existing shocks. These shocks are fixed with a vertical bolt extracted from the trunk. They are quite easy to notice for their coiled spring around a rod structure. Take help from experts if needed.
Step#3:Spray the shock mountings with a metal cleaner
If your shock absorbers are old or rusty or deformed or damaged, it is very likely to get stuck due to the shock mountings getting stuck because of the rust or the deformation. This makes removing old shocks very difficult. So check if the shock mountings are loose enough. If they are, then you are good to go to the next step. Otherwise, try spraying metal cleaner on the shock mountings and let it sit for a few minutes. WD-40 and PB Blaster are two widely used options in this kind of operation.
Repeat this step until the shock mountings are loose enough for easy removal.
Step#4. Remove the shock-tower bolts
Check if your car has the top bolts under the fabric in the trunk. If so, then you will need to lift up the lining and remove the shock-tower bolts using a ratchet. Your vehicle's shop manual can be very helpful in determining these locations.
Turn the ratchet counterclockwise to unfasten the bolts. Use grease if required.
Step#5. Remove the shock from the suspension
Disengage the nut connecting the shock to the suspension and carefully remove it from the bolt. Use a similar process to remove the nut from the top.
Step#6. Remove the old shock absorber
Removing the old shock off the bolts can be a task of difficulty. Sometimes, if the shocks are attached to the studs with a retaining bracket, which is rusty, the task becomes of even more difficulty. In this case, use metal cleaners and twist it until it easily comes off.
Step#7. Install the new shocks onto the suspension control arm:
Now that you have removed the old shocks, the hardest part is done. And installation of the best struts and shocks follows the same procedures but in reverse.
Use some pressure to lift the suspension and install the new shock absorber back into the existing suspension. Sometimes, it may need some help. Take expert help if you're stuck.
Step#8. Check your manual
Checking your manual is very important before fixing everything back together for proper positioning of the bolts and knowing the torque specs, which is a must. Go through the shop manual again and again before fastening or positioning of bolts.
Step#9. Read and repeat
Now that you have successfully installed a new shock absorber, all you have to do is read the instruction again and repeat them for the rest of the shocks to be installed into your vehicle.
Step#10. Check everything before driving
Driving without checking if your installation is a job done right is never a good idea. As you have replaced your shocks as well as tempered with the default mechanical structure of your vehicle, it’s a must to check if something is done wrong. Accidents often occur due to improper installation. So, pay close attention while checking if your installation is done in an appropriate manner. If something seems wrong, take help from expert mechanics.
Car Struts can greatly influence the overall performance, control, safety, and lifetime of your beloved vehicle. Hence, choosing a decent shock absorber is just as important as choosing the brakes for your vehicle. And always remember that it's always your requirements and conditions that define the best shock absorbers for you, so make your decisions with great consideration of the aforementioned facts. You may in search for best shocks for dodge ram 1500 4x4, best replacement shocks for chevy or best shocks for f150 2wd, check the best fit shock absorbers according to your model. Then go for final decision of purchasing. Hopefully, you already know that the installation of shocks is another task of great importance, and the safety and overall experience hugely depend on proper installation. A proper installation will take you miles, whereas an improper one will result in really bad experiences and even safety issues. So make sure that your installation of new car shocks is just on point and always feel free to take expert help whenever needed. Drive safe, follow the traffic rules, and always remember – "Happy ride, happy life" with our shock absorbers review.