Jul 3, 2020

Shock absorbers. Cost-effective solution: repair or replacement?

Shock absorbers: repair or purchase

Buying used cars is a standing practice. We check all the key vehicle systems and units before purchasing and then come to driving. Somehow, shock absorbers are not included on the list of those key units to check though their condition is often sad. When the problem shows up, the question of buying a new unit or replacing the old one arises.  

Let’s take a closer look.

Shock absorbers: service life and factors that affect it

Some drivers think that good road pavement excludes any problems with shock absorbers at present and in the future. This idea is wrong. 

The condition of shock absorbers depends on their quality in the first turn (quality of the material, especially of fabricated rubber components). Other contributing factors are the driver’s behavior and environmental effects. Rubber products wear out with time and cannot withstand mechanical stresses. Oil aging results in deterioration of shock absorber damping properties. The deterioration of valves and springs leads to their damage. 

Although shock absorbers are reliable and durable units, their service life doesn’t exceed 100 thousand kilometers. After this, they must be replaced.      

Benefits of shock absorber repair

  • The repair cost is 30-50% less than the cost of a new unit. Considering that shock absorbers should be replaced in pairs, the same as brake pads, their repair can substantially save the cost. 
  • The rebuilt shock absorbers are even more reliable than the new ones. The enhancement of guides and seal elements improves their ability to withstand mechanical and environmental effects. 
  • After repair, shock absorbers become dismountable and more repairable. Therefore, the repair of shock absorbers is cost-effective in the long-term as the cost of any subsequent servicing will be lower. 
  • The repair enables to make the car suspension either softer or more rigid by changing the properties of shock absorbers. 
  • Sometimes, it takes less time to repair shock absorbers than to buy them. 

Drawbacks of shock absorber repair

  • Not all the shock absorbers are worth repairing. The cost of spare parts for some shock absorbers is quite high which makes their repair too expensive. In this case, it is better to buy a new unit.
  • The quality repair can be performed in a repair shop only, as it requires special equipment and qualified workers. Such a facility is not always easy to find.  

Repair of shock absorbers is a worthy alternative to purchasing the new ones. To understand whether the chosen repair shop will be able to provide a quality service, figure out the following:

  • Whether they have got special equipment for diagnostics of shock absorbers and whether they can show any previous documented diagnostic results.
  • Whether the workers qualified to repair shock absorbers and have got corresponding certificates.