GM Shock Absorber Buyer's Guide

Unlike some car parts, you can leave your shock absorbers alone for a long time, and they'll work just fine. Shock absorbers eventually go bad, though. When that happens, you want to be ready to:

  • Confirm the issue
  • Find a quality replacement shock absorber
  • Replace the shock absorber

This buyer's guide covers pretty much everything you need to know about GM shock absorbers.

What Is A Shock Absorber?

A shock absorber is a hydraulic tube that absorbs most of the bumps and vibrations on the road. There's one behind each wheel on your GM. Having shock absorbers on your vehicle is beneficial in so many ways. For instance, shock absorbers:

  • Keep your vehicle's ride quality smooth and comfortable
  • Keep your tires firmly planted on the road at all times
  • Limit swaying and nosediving
  • Maintain your vehicle's steering, road handling, and braking response

For a more thorough explanation of what shock absorbers are and how they work, check out this post.

How To Confirm That You Have A Failing Shock Absorber

It's common for shock absorbers to wear out after 50,000 miles. Sometimes a shock absorber can fail before then due to:

  • Corrosion
  • Piston seal failure
  • Bent piston rod

If you suspect that one of your shock absorbers is bad, you can conduct the bounce test. This post has a list of symptoms to look for. It also has detailed instructions on how to do the bounce test.

How To Replace A GM Shock Absorber

AC delco oem shocks

If you have a bad shock absorber on your GM, you don't have to bring it to the shop.You can replace it right at home with this set of instructions! All you have to do is to:

  1. Remove the wheel
  2. Remove the old shock
  3. Install the new shock

Be sure to replace both shocks on the same axle. This keeps the damping characteristics even on both sides.

OEM Vs Aftermarket GM Shock Absorbers

Once you've determined that you've got a bad shock absorber, the first thing to do is to buy replacement shocks. You have two choices:

  1. Buy OEM shocks
  2. Buy aftermarket shocks

If you want to get the most value for your money, OEM is the way to go. Unlike aftermarket shocks, OEM shocks offer:

  • Perfect fitment
  • Reliable performance

To read more about why OEM shocks are better, check out this comparison guide.