We have all experienced the worst when your car hits a bump and everyone inside the vehicle gets thrown around. Even with seatbelts on, not having shock absorbers can make the cabin of the vehicle get tossed around like it is at sea.
Still, you may know that needing the best shock absorbers is important for your vehicle, but not know where to turn in the first place.
No sweat! This buyer’s / review guide has all your bases covered. From products to frequently asked questions, you will have everything you need to buy the right ones for you. So, grab a glass of your favorite beverage and take a seat reading this article from start to finish.
This way, you will be able to upgrade your vehicle in no time at all. Without further ado, here are shock absorber products you can be proud of.
Best Shock Absorbers: Editor’s Top Picks
Things To Consider When Buying Shock Absorbers
When it comes to buying the shock absorbers that work for you, there are a few things that you have to consider. As you look through this list, do your best to pick our 2 or 3 things that are imperative to get. Then, this will help you get what you need when it comes to shock absorbers.
1. Starting With Style
One of the best places to get started is with style. There are so many types of options on the market today, it can be hard to determine what works best and what does not for you and your vehicle. One of the most popular types of shocks is gas shocks.
This is a very common shock that has nitrogen and oil inside the body of the shocks. In turn, you will have a very cushioned ride that can even handle the most bouncing out there. For smaller vehicles, this is a great option to consider.
Standard shocks are another avenue to consider. These are usually the shocks you get when you get a new car for the very first time. For these shocks, do not expect anything extra here. Additionally, do not expect to get more than 100,000 miles out of these.
Automatic shocks are next. Luxury vehicles are the ones that will have these types of shock available to you. With a pumping system, you can activate them to give an even load distribution. The leveling controls set these shocks apart from the other, but they are not very cheap, so keep that in mind.
Shocks of the heavy-duty variety are a type you should look into as well. Expect these shocks to be used for vans, trucks, and most SUVs. You can expect a center shaft that is quite large, as well as attachment points for standard and gas shocks.
With these shocks, you can bet you will have a stiffer ride. But, when you get a heavy load under your belt, the ride will be as smooth as can be.
Shocks will air are what a lot of people like in this day and age as well. The brand Monroe loves to make a lot of these types of shocks. Expect them to be comparable to the automatic shocks, but just add a little air.
Additionally, they use more of a manual type feel to make the shocks work right. By using air, pressurization happens to lift the vehicle to give you an improved ride and some of the best control around.
2. Looking for Compatibility
With a world full of shock absorbers, choosing the right one for your vehicle can be the ultimate challenge to say to least. But, depending on your vehicle type, they certainly make standard types of absorbers for the model. For example, since this article is focused on trucks, off-roading trucks need a type of shock absorber with an external reservoir.
But, what if you have a raised truck for off-roading? We are glad you asked. A monotube is your best option here, and we will get into options a little later when we navigate the different types of shock absorbers.
Lastly, if you have the standard type of pickup, Original Equipment (OEM) replacement shocks will do your right. Of course, you can go with other shocks if you want. Still, this is what most people roll with.
3. Working With Driving Conditions
Depending on the type of roads you venture on have a big say in what shock absorbers to get for your vehicle. If you are a fan of off-roading, then you surely will need extra tough shocks. On the other hand, if you normally do street and highway driving, then any type of shock absorber will work for you and your vehicle.
Typically, you will see gas and standard shocks for standard driving conditions. On the other hand, you will see the toughest of shocks used for gravel and muddy roads. Whatever you decide, know that you should adapt to the terrain you are most on to get the best ride possible.
4. Types of Material
As it pertains to shock absorbers, there are a variety of types that have varying constructions. But, if you change your types out every couple thousand miles, it will be hard to determine which is the best for you and your lifestyle, due to the limited time of knowing what is up.
Because of this, you will be spending more in the long term, as you consider a plethora of shock options.
So, before you buy anything, you have to look at the materials that are used. Some of the most common involve aluminum and steel. Steel is one of the cheapest options around, but you can expect the install to be quite challenging.
For aluminum makes, they are extremely light and simple to adjust. Most drivers like this kind of material because of their user-ability, but the price goes up here.
Lastly, look for companies that make greatly constructed products that are sturdy and ultra-durable. This way, you will not have to worry in the slightest. Now, let us head over to price, shall we?
5. The Price Is Right
When it comes to any purchase, knowing the price is imperative to budgeting what you can spend and what you cannot. Of course, all the things aforementioned are important, but the price cannot be overlooked either.
Start with a budget and go from there. You can still find great options in your price range. For example, most shocks start around $20 and work their way up to $500. This, of course, all depends on the size of your vehicle, as well as the make and model.
6. Installing Your Goodies
After you buy your shock absorbers, you need to think about how they will get installed. You can certainly hit up a local mechanic and pay the labor to make this happen. However, many people can surely install their shock absorbers all of their own.
But, not all shock absorbers are created equal when it comes to this product. So, check into this if you feel like you are going to install your very own shock absorbers.
Some shocks can be very difficult to install because some modifications and customizations can be done, making the journey that much more perilous. As you look to install these shocks on your own, be sure to get some kind of mounting kit to help you out and read the instructions to get the full picture of what you are trying to accomplish.
7. The Warranty Life
The last thing that many people think about is a warranty. If you are paying the big bucks for shock absorbers, they should come with a lifetime warranty or a limited lifetime warranty. This way, if anything ever happens, you will be covered. Still, do expect if you are not paying very much for shock absorbers, that they probably will not come with any kind of warranty.
Top 10 Best Shock Absorbers for Jeep Grand Cherokee Reviews:
Here are the top-10 shock absorbers that will change the way your vehicle feels. You will be glad you changed things up to, so you will not get thrown around in your vehicle. So, dive into the world of shock absorbers.
1. Bilstein 5100 Series Rear Shock Absorber
The first best truck shock absorbers come to us from Bilstein. At only 5.7 pounds per shock, this zinc exterior product is as strong as they come. Additionally, with the body, you will see that this smooth body is 46 millimeters (mm) and certainly not a Coilover. Along with dark black bellows, the extended and collapsed lengths will astound you.
Another thing you will love about this product is the lifetime warranty. If the shock absorbers break before you sell your car, you can bet Bilstein will send you a new one at no charge to you. Since this product works in GMC Sierras, this absorber is certainly meant for a truck. Give it a chance to wow you.
With parts made in Germany and assembled in the United States of America, this product is built with cars in mind that have power and muscle to them. You certainly will not get the second-best from this company. Only the most beneficial absorbers will come to you.
- Very easy to install this product
- The stability you will get from this product is second to none
- Your ride will be a lot smoother
- The compression is ultra-strong
- A fair-priced model
- Your cornering will improve
- The breakdown of these absorbers is a gradual decline when they do struggle
- Not ideal for towing
2. Rancho Pairs of Shock Absorbers for Chevrolet Silverado
Racho Suspension is the next model that needs to be in any shock absorber review. In this kit, you will get both rear and front shocks for any vehicles at stock height. With the help of protective boots, that is red by the way, these are some of the most stylish models on the market today.
The ten-stage sensitivity is something that you will love as well. With exceptional valving, you can tune these absorbers to the way you want for your vehicle. Know that the diameter of the piston rod is 5/8 of an inch, while the diameter of the piston is 1 and 3/8 of an inch.
Lastly, you will love that these absorbers have a lifetime warranty as well. If you ever have any trouble with your absorbers, Rancho Suspension will get you a new one to use. What is not to love from this prestigious brand.
- The 4 absorbers only weigh 28 pounds
- Rancho has been in business over 30 years
- These shocks were the first brand on the market to bring you specific valving
- Great for highway rides
- Off-roading vehicles and lifted models do great with these absorbers
- Not stiff absorbers
- Does not come with directions
- Sizing can be difficult
3. Monroe MA822 Max-Air Adjust Shock Absorber
This shock absorber uses a piston rod that is 1/2-inches long. With hardening and precision, this rod will give you the best performance around. Even the service life is extra long for the best result.
Something else that is unique to Monroe is their all-weather fluid. This will help reduce any friction at all, and you will have the smoothest of rides. There is also great valving with this product. For the best extension and compression, these absorbers work with Buicks and Cadillacs. Even Oldsmobile and Pontiac work as well with these best shock absorbers.
At only 11 pounds, these absorbers will not weigh you down. Also, since they are not discontinued by Monroes, you will get great customer service on this product. You can even vary the pounds per square inch (psi) with these absorbers.
- Comes with an owner’s manual
- Ideal for do-it-yourself projects
- Quick shipping straight to you
- Comes with new nuts and upper washers
- No wobble will happen with these absorbers
- Great cost-effective option
- The capacity of this product is limited by transmission and tires
- Only for the rear portion of your vehicle
4. ACDelco GM Original Equipment Front Shock Absorber
ACDelco is certainly known for their great products. Their absorbers are no different. With sensational dampening power, your vehicle’s suspension will truly be one of a kind. GM recommends this product as a replacement part for all of its vehicles.
Since the quality of this absorber is one of the best in the business, you can bet that durability and reliability certainly count for something.
This product fits Yukons, Escalades, and much more. At only 1 pound apiece, these absorbers are super-lightweight. Anywhere in the United States of America, you can buy this product. There are even international shipping options as well.
Since ACDelco sells parts to over 2 million vehicles, this brand is hard to beat. The brand certainly will fit your high-expectations. They even have unbranded components that are priced in the aftermarket if you are ever interested.
- Comes with a lifetime guarantee
- For both the right and left strut
- You will have an easy time installing this product
- A perfect fit
- Amazing packaging
- A great alternative to replacing electric magnetized shocks
- The product has been discontinued by ACDelco
- This is not a folding product
5. Monroe Load Adjust Shock Absorber
Monroe has done it again with these best shock absorbers. With the assistance of weather fluid, there are specific modifiers that help to limit friction all-together. In turn, you will have some of the smoother rod movements possible.
There is also great valving with this product. No matter the application you are looking for, these absorbers can adjust to what you certainly need. This way, you will have a better consistency.
The piston on this model is truly amazing. Since the piston itself is fluon banded, you will have a sealing like none other, as well as a pressure tube that speaks to the value you get with these absorbers.
- These absorbers only weigh 2.2 pounds
- Manufactured by Tenneco
- The absorbers keep the height of your ride up to 1,100 extra pounds
- Perfect for light trucks that can also tow around trailers
- The calibrated spring is extra heavy-duty
- A very simple addition to your vehicle
- You will need to make adjustments to the axle height
- Can not be moved by hand during install
6. Bilstein Monotube Shock Rear Absorber
Bilstein has done it again with their great shock absorbers. At only 5.6 pounds, these absorbers will be a great addition to any vehicle, not weighing you down in the slightest. Also, since the manufacturer has not discontinued this product, rest assured that you will be in good hands if your absorbers ever have any problems at all.
With a body design of 46 mm and a smooth one at that, chances are you are going to love this product. The lifetime warranty is nothing to scoff at either. If you ever have any problems at all with your absorbers, Bilstein will gladly send you out a fresh, new product to put into your vehicle.
So, if you own a Dodge Ram truck of any size, these absorbers will work for you. Even if your truck is lifted, or you own an SUV, this product has you covered for every base. Give this product a little chance, and you will be intrigued from day one.
- Amazing comfort and handling option
- The velocity sensitivity is unparalleled
- The stability from this product will wow you
- The install will take you no time at all
- Much better than an OEM
- Gives each vehicle a great stance
- The shock does not have a coil over the shock itself
- The absorbers will not provide any lift for your vehicle
7. Gabriel Read Spring Assist Load Carrier Shocks
Gabriel shock absorbers enter the scene ready to make a name for themselves. Since the brand uses spring and shock tech, the combination makes for added strength and durability. With the help of the front springs being a constant rate of pressure, there is great stability to keep the height of your vehicle the same.
For the back shocks, they can maintain around 500 pounds of load capacity per pair. Of course, you should never exceed this number, or your vehicle might be compromised. So, do not think for a second that your payload will be increased.
Ultimately, this product is an economical solution, as it pertains to your vehicle’s absorbers. Ford’s specifically are best used with these absorbers. From Broncos to Super Duty’s to Ranger’s, you will like what you get out of these absorbers. Specifically, these absorbers work with a 1980-1996 Bronco, Super Duty from 1990-1997, and the F-150 between the years 1980-1996.
- The absorbers only weigh 15 pounds
- The exterior of this product is painted
- Comes with two shocks during the purchase
- Drawn-Over-Mandrel is tubing that extends the lift of the product by eliminating internal wear
- Top-notch brand because they created the original shock and have not looked back
- The piston seal is leak-proof
- Need to be replaced every 50,000 miles
- Still can have squatting issues with your vehicle
8. ACDelco 530-301 Professional Premium Front Shock Absorber
ACDelco is back and better than ever with this quality shock absorber. As a chromed, hardened option absorber, the technology that ACDelco is out of this world. What ACDelco does in one sense is unreal.
With the help of microcracks that certainly will not cause bigger issues, this ultra-smooth product is self-lubricating as well. Even the body of this absorber is stell with an anti-scratch and ant-corrosive surface.
The cylinder is also Drawn-Over-Mandrel, which means that the sealing properties of this model will limit any internal friction for a long-lasting nature. Additionally, with the help of a gas-charged creation, fluid aeration will not happen to you for limited foaming and better response time.
Expect that you will get more from these gas shocks than non-gas options. Since there is a solid perimeter with this product and several lips, dirt and other contaminants will not get into your shock absorbers. There is even the help of the O-ring for hydraulic pressuring that will restrict the chances of your piston ever blowing up.
- You will get consistent control from this product
- The absorbers only weigh 1 pound each
- The shocks are twin-tubed
- Perfect for SUVs, smaller trucks, vans, and other sedans
- Ideal for any road condition
- The install will be a breeze for you
- Are not self-leveling shocks
- The washers could be a harsher usage
9. KYB 565104 MonoMax Gas Shock
KYB enters the review because their absorbers pack a punch as well. With the help of the highest performance around town, your absorbers will be 40% more effective when it comes to damping. Think of this product as one of the best solutions for upgrading your suspension problems.
For any GM truck, these absorbers are a no-brainer for you. The monotube design specifically for trucks looks to outperform all its competition in a few ways. First, the absorbers are zinc-coated and the piston ring is pure stainless stell.
This means you will get the best seal around, no matter the weather conditions. Secondly, the protective rubber boot will keep dirt at bay and any debris will be sent away from your vehicle at once.
At only 5.5 pounds, this product is one of the lightest around. So, consider this gas shock as your next purchase. You certainly will not be disappointed in the slightest. Check out what this product can do for you and your vehicle.
- Sturdy stability
- The install is one of the easiest around
- Great for Chevy and Toyota trucks as well
- A smoother feel when turning and making corners
- Your towing performance will improve with these absorbers
- Better road grip-ability
- The front absorbers can start to droop over time
- The instructions are not in multiple languages
10. Monroe 31000 Monro-Matic Plus Shock Absorber
The last absorbers for the product review is another great Monroe model. By starting with the piston rod, you will start to get the picture quickly that these absorbers are built to last. Since the piston road is nitro-carburized, expect the longest of service lives. The bore is stellar as well. With a bore of 1 and 3/16-inches, expect the larger bore to give you the best control around.
This product also uses a fluid that is powered by all-weather technology. In turn, your vehicle will have less friction and give you a solid, smooth ride. It is a product like this, that only weighs 2.6 pounds by the way, which you will see its value right away.
- Powered by nitrogen
- Will help improve your vehicle’s economical prowess
- Amazing value for the money you pay
- Your install will take you a limited amount of time
- Your ride will be much softer
- A perfect fit for any installation
- Have to pay more for shields to limit dust
- Will not fit the Desert Runner kit
Types of Shock Absorbers
As it pertains to shock absorbers there are two main types that you should examine: monotube and twin-tube. From these two categories, there is a ton to hit, so let us get you acquainted with all the options to make an educated decision. Then, we will be off to FAQs and the wrap-up, so you can get to work quickly and efficiently.
A monotube shock uses high-pressured gases to rock one pressurized tube. In each tube, there will be a couple of pistons, and their jobs are to divide and work all the pistons in the tube. One thing that separates monotubes from the rest is the fact that they can be installed up normally or upside down. This gives you a lot of flexibility to work with many types of vehicles.
But, do not expect monotubes to have a base value. The control cannot be customized because the compressions and extensions only work inside the piston itself. Since the piston and rod work up and down on their own, you can expect balance like never before across your vehicle.
These shocks are also nice because they do not heat up. They stay cool allowing the natural air to do its job. So, if you want the best off-roading performance, then the monotube shocks are the way to go. But, do note that these shocks are more expensive than the next model we are going to talk about soon, which is the twin-tube.
Lastly, know that if you are looking for some of the highest pressurization around, a stiff ride is what you will get. Additionally, if you want shocks that are close to factory standards, these probably are not what you are looking for. Still, if you like your vehicle being extra responsive, then replace OEM parts for monotube shock absorbers.
Twin-tube shocks are the other type you should get to know. But, there are a lot of varieties that fit into this picture. The twin-tube shocks include gas-charged, Position-Sensitive Damping (PSD), and Acceleration Sensitive Damping (ASD).
For starters, twin-tubes are the ones where the inner tube does all the work. The outside tube runs hydraulic fluid around keeping everything lubricated. Depending on what you prefer, gas-charged is one of the most common options on the market in the 21st Century.
When it comes to gas-charged twin-tubes, the hydraulic fluid will never be aerated. With the help of pressurized nitrogen gas, air bubbles are always compressed in hydraulic fluid. So, when air and oil are not mixed, you can expect no foam, which limits the capabilities of any shock absorbers. Also, the compressible foam will always limit performance and that is no good in this industry. Lastly, expect that these shocks are predictable and have a solid response time.
Position-Sensitive Damping is the next option to consider. Handling and comfort are what make PSD stand out from other options. They use some of the most advanced technology in the game to control the hydraulic fluid, as well as the positioning valve.
With the help of taper grooves and a pressurized tube, you will get some of the best functioning around. Every detail of this product gives you the best two zones around, perfect for what you need in a twin-tube model.
Acceleration Sensitive Damping is the last thing to look at here. Ballance, comfort, and control are their specialties. With a focus on the impact, you can bet you will have a comfortable ride. Check out their new valve design, which is state of the art as well.
FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the top questions to help you on your journey to get the right shock absorbers. We have found the best of the best here. So, no need to sweat the small stuff.
Q-1: Why are KYB shocks good?
They fit well in the market because they stiffen in a ride. This is ideal if you are towing anything. Give them a look if you are in need.
Q-2: Why do shocks make an impact on any vehicle?
By adding smoothness to a ride, you will have more comfort wherever you travel to. This way, you can be prepared for what weather conditions and driving conditions get thrown your way. Do not underestimate their need.
Q-3: Should I change out all of my shocks at a time?
Yes, this is the best way for you to get consistency for your vehicle. Having worn ones still in your vehicle can result in some very bad things to happen. However, if you cannot, replace them at least in pairs. So, the front or the backs will work here.
Q-4: When do I know I am having trouble with my shocks?
When your comfort starts to deteriorate during a ride, you can bet your shocks have seen better days. Bad bumps and bad noises can also point you to the right conclusion about your shocks. Rocking is another thing to pay attention to.
Q-5: What is the life expectancy of shocks?
On average, most shocks last 4-5 years at a time. The worse the road condition means the worst your shocks will be. But, if you have good roads you drive on, you can get up to 10 years on some shocks.
Now that we have navigated the shock absorber waters, you are ready to make the best decision for you and your vehicle. The best shock absorbers have been shared and all the details that will help you be successful. And that is what we want for you. Failure is not an option for you.
Everything on this list was meant with you in mind. Because we know that when you make the right decision, you will feel empowered, enjoying any road you decide to drive on because this is what it is all about, right? So, go out there, have some fun, and be extra safe. Happy trails living your best life with the right shock absorbers.