Buy Sport Shocks

If you're replacing your car's shock absorbers, you might consider switching to sport shocks. Because sport shocks lower the center of gravity for your car, they can allow you better steering control and a smoother ride on bumpy roads. If you live in a in rural community or often drive off-terrain, you might find sport shocks a great investment. Know the different kinds of sport shocks and the benefits of each model to make an informed buying decision.


Choosing the Right Shocks

  1. Pick oil-based sport shocks for a cheap option. Oil-based sport shocks are filled with hydraulic fluid that absorbs pressure placed on your vehicle. Oil-based shocks are more affordable and generally more durable. They are a good choice if you hope to have your vehicle for a long time.[1]
    • Oil-based sport shocks do not provide as smooth a ride as gas-charged alternatives. If your car rides on extremely bumpy roads, oil-based shocks might not be your best option.
  2. Choose gas-charged shocks for a smoother ride. Although pricier, gas-charged shocks are best if your car drives on rural roads a lot. Gas-charged sport shocks contains nitrogen gas in one end of the cylinder. When the nitrogen gas mixes with the hydraulic oil as pressure increases, it prevents the oil from foaming and maintains shock absorbency.[2]
    • Both gas-charged and oil-based shocks use hydraulic oil: the main difference is that gas-charged shocks heavily rely on nitrogen gas.
  3. Use MacPherson struts for a highly compatible model. These sport shocks work by connecting to the car's ball joint, which gives the vehicle more room in the engine compartment. MacPherson struts work with a variety of vehicle makes and models because of its simplistic design. If you're installing the shocks on your own, you may prefer these shocks.[3]
    • Because of their affordable cost, MacPherson struts are also best if you're on a budget.
  4. Buy coil-over sport shocks if you value adjustability. Coil-over shocks adopt well to your car's model and are great for custom modifications (especially if you want a "lowrider" car). They work by wrapping the shock absorber in a coil spring, which gives the vehicle support as it handles jolts and bumps.[4]
    • Some drivers complain that coil-over shocks make for a stiff, unpleasant ride. Quality coil-over shocks vary with price: cheaper coil-overs will likely compromise shock absorption.
  5. Pick strut cartridges for easily replaceable sport shocks. Strut cartridges are inexpensive and easily replaced when damaged or worn. If you've never replaced shock absorbers before, strut cartridges are very beginner-friendly. Strut cartridges work by inserting itself into the strut housing and muffling road bumps.
    • Strut cartridges can be of lower quality than some shock absorbers. Decide whether quality or cost is most important to you.
  6. Determine the sport shock size you need. Keep in mind what effect shock absorbers will have on your vehicle's clearance. Sport shocks can lower the clearance slightly, so consider the height difference before buying the shocks. Contact a mechanic or your vehicle user manual if you're unsure what your clearance levels are.

Shopping for Sport Shocks

  1. Shop at local auto stores. Talk with the store employees about different sport shocks and the benefits of each model. If the store doesn't have the style you want, ask employees about their recommendations and whether they know of other sellers.
    • Ask about the store's warranty policies. You will want reassurance in case your sport shocks break prematurely.
  2. Check your local classified ads. Car owners often advertise used auto parts in online or newspaper classifieds. If you find someone selling shock absorbers, ask them if you can meet to inspect the car part for any damages. If the sport shocks are in good condition, negotiate a fair price with the seller.
    • Ask the seller why they no longer need their sport shocks. This can help you determine the condition and reliability of the shock absorbers.
  3. Visit auto salvage shops. Junkyards often sell used car parts at a low price. Call a local salvage shop beforehand and ask if they have sport shocks in stock. Talk with salvage yard employees and ask them for a quote. After you've verified the shock absorbers' condition, you can then purchase the sport shocks at an inexpensive price.[5]
    • Some salvage yards may offer return policies within a certain time period. Others mark all sales as final. Ask shop employees about their policy, and decide whether the condition is worth any potential risks.
  4. Shop online. Check online retailers that sell shock absorbers new or used. If your car model is rare and only works with certain shocks, you may have more luck finding sport shocks on the internet. Review your retailer's shipping and returns policies before you buy, and make sure to ask the seller for pictures to determine its condition.
    • Check auction sites such as eBay for new or used sport shocks at a reduced price. Review the seller's feedback and selling history before you bid to make sure the product is trustworthy.

Determining When to Buy Sport Shocks

  1. Get new shocks if you car shows early warning signs of shock absorption damage. Inspect your vehicle for signs that you need new shock absorbers. If your shocks are leaking oil around the seals or the mountain bolts are loose, your shock absorbers are likely damaged.[6]
    • Push your vehicle down in one of the corners. If it bounces excessively, your shock absorbers are worn.
  2. Buy new sport shocks immediately if your car acts up while driving. If your car starts to show warning signs while driving, you should get your shock absorbers replaced immediately. The longer you wait to replace them, the greater your risk of vehicle damage. Cars that rock back and forth after stopping, sway while changing lanes, or drifts to the left or right at high speeds likely need new shock absorbers.
  3. Determine how much your car hauls. What kind of sports shocks you'll need depends on the size of your vehicle and how often it transports heavy loads. If you drive a large vehicle (like a truck or SUV), choose more durable, heavy-duty shocks.
    • Keep your location in mind, too. Avoid buying heavy-duty shocks if you usually drive on highways or urban roads.
  4. Choose sport shocks if your car struggles with bumpy roads. Shock absorbers are used to absorb vibration caused by road bumps or pot holes, and different shocks work on different terrain. Traditionally, sport shocks are used by sporting drivers who need increased smoothness and control on the road.
    • Those who drive on particularly rough roads (such as off-terrain vehicle drivers or people in rural cities) can also benefit from sport shocks.


  • Never change one shock absorber at a time. Shock absorbers should always be changed in pairs, and ideally you should change the front and back absorber pairs together. If one pair of shock absorbers is worn, the other likely needs repair as well.
  • Consult your driver's manual for specific advice related to your car.

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