Top 11 Best Shock Absorbers [2020]

Every vehicle is equipped with a set of shock absorbers, and it is for a good reason. These vehicle accessories play an important role in ensuring that you get comfortable and smooth rides regardless of the nature of the road or terrain.

They are fitted with powerful hydraulic systems that can withstand both small and large forces. This way, the vehicle will be more protected from damaging vibrations that may occur when the tires are in contact with the road.

If you have been thinking of replacing your vehicle’s shocks, here are some of the best shock absorbers that you can consider buying.

Top Pick
Bilstein (24-186742) 5100 Series Rear Shock...
  • Bilstein Rear Shock Absorber 24-186742

11 Shock Absorber Reviews

#1 Bilstein (24-186742) 5100 Series Rear Shock Absorber

Bilstein (24-186742) 5100 Series Rear Shock Absorber

The Bilstein (24-186742) 5100 Series has a sturdy construction, which allows it to cancel out the impact forces that are generated when the tires hit the ground. This way, you will be less affected by the turbulence even when driving on rough terrain. If you are looking to have a less bumpy ride, you can consider mounting this model on your vehicle. Moreover, they will provide you with a universal fit on a wide range of vehicles. According to the manufacturers, these shock absorbers are compatible with most GMC and Chevrolet trucks.

However, you can also install them on SUVs, prerunners, jeeps, and other heavy-duty vehicles. The advanced ingenuity used in designing these shock absorbers allows them to take on heavy loads without collapsing. They are able to achieve this function through the help of the gas-charged unit, which delivers stability in different situations. The shock absorbers are heavily built with a tough material, which does not break or bend regardless of how heavy the vehicle is.

The chrome finishing, on the other hand, offers protection against rust and corrosion. More to this, it gives the shock absorbers an aesthetic look. The connectors are well reinforced, so they will lock the shocks in place when driving on tarmac or off-road. Also, the pistons have a high-flow design, which reduces terrain harshness. To make them even better, these shocks have independent compression and rebound systems, which will allow your vehicle to make easy maneuvers. These are rear shocks, so ensure you install them in the right place.

Pros
  • Provides you with fade-free performance
  • Feature self-adjusting deflector discs
  • Superior control
  • Large piston working area
Cons
  • Very stiff when brand new

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#2 ACDelco 580-1091 GM Air Lift Shock Absorber Kit 

ACDelco 580-1091 GM Air Lift Shock Absorber Kit

If you own a GM vehicle, this shock absorber kit may just be what you need. It has a maximum stroke length of 7.37-inches, and the eyelets are designed with tough rubber bushings that are resistant to abuse. The integrated air lift system adjusts the ride height according to the weight of the vehicle. Through this, you will have better control over the vehicle even when driving on unleveled ground.

When compressed, each shock absorber measures 15.8-inches and 22.75-inches when fully extended. Numerous scientific principles have been applied in designing these pieces of equipment. As such, the vehicle will be able to haul heavy loads without the wheels jamming. These shocks are just as durable as the ones that your GM vehicle came with. Consequently, they mount easily since the eyelets are compatible with the connectors on the vehicle.

These shocks are easy to install, thus allowing you to make replacements within the shortest time possible. As a safety measure, always ensure that you go for the services of a professional in order to avoid unnecessary injuries. Also, the shock absorbers should be adjusted according to the vehicle specifications. Through this, the vehicle will have a lot of mechanical advantage, thus giving you an easy time when handling the wheels.

Pros
  • Has a high load capacity
  • Anti-friction
  • Convenient dust shield
Cons
  • Experience is required when installing the shocks

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#3 Monroe 58637 Monroe Load Adjust Shock Absorber

Monroe 58637 Monroe Load Adjust Shock Absorber

These shocks are fitted with heavy gauge springs, which can retract and expand depending on how rough the terrain is and the amount of load in transit. Additionally, the all-weather fluid in the pressure cylinder will not freeze when the weather is extremely cold, and neither will it vaporize in extreme heat. As a result, you will be able to operate your vehicle in different settings without worrying about the shocks malfunctioning.

Besides, the fluid contains unique modifiers, which reduces friction and ensures the unit is operating smoothly. As such, the shocks will take on multiple waves of force without the system collapsing. These shock absorbers come as a pair and can hold up to 1,100 lbs. and still, be able to maintain the right ride height. The nitro-carburized rod is strong and durable, so this set will serve you for a very long time.

The full-displaced valving system used in designing these shocks can automatically make adjustments, hence providing you with maximum comfort when driving. Moreover, the pistons are fitted with fluon bands, which provide the pressure tube with an airtight seal. You can mount these shocks on tow trailers, light trucks, and other compatible vehicles. With all these features, you will have longer rides that are equally comfortable.

Pros
  • Self-lubricating
  • Prevents wear and tear
  • Gas-charged
  • Has rubber bushings
Cons
  • Springs are a bit noisy

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#4 BuyAutoParts Rear Air Shock Set

BuyAutoParts Rear Air Shock Set

These shocks have gone through thorough testing to ensure that you get a smooth ride. Furthermore, the shock absorbers have a high response rate, which allows them to adapt to different terrains. The carbon-inspired steel mounts are engineered with exact precision and are also very strong. They will ensure that the shock absorbers stay in place even when the vibrations are high.

The piston seals have a leak-proof design, which keeps the critical components intact. As a result, the units will maintain a favorable working temperature, hence preventing overheating. More to this, the rod guide allows the shocks to expand and retract uniformly, bringing about a less turbulent ride height. Also, this feature limits the possibility of an oil bypass occurring when using the shocks.

Moreover, all the parts are uniquely joined together through a robotic welding technique, which is much more reliable than other binding techniques. Since the shock absorbers come in a set of two, you can purchase two pairs to fully customize your vehicle. The shocks are spray-coated to protect the unit from harsh elements that may weaken the frame.

Pros
  • Equipped with high-quality mounts
  • Easy to work with
  • Automatic leveling
  • Durable
Cons
  • Vehicle specific

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#5 KYB 554384 Gas-a-Just Gas Shock

KYB 554384 Gas-a-Just Gas Shock

The dual-chambered shock absorbers have an advanced design, which gives them an added advantage when it comes to dampening road to tire impact. As such, they have a valve area, which delivers control and also makes the unit more responsive. This way, the shocks will expand or retract depending on how hard the tire-to-rod contact is. The weight of the vehicle and everything onboard may also affect how the system reacts upon impact.

On the other hand, the high-pressure nitrogen chamber is fitted with a floating piston, which delivers comfort when the vehicle is moving on different terrains. Through this, the vehicle will have better performance, thus allowing you to accomplish your tasks on time. More to this, these shock absorbers are tightly sealed to prevent the fluid from leaking. As a result, both the hydraulic and the air chamber will remain operational for an extended period.

Compared to twin-tube designs, this mono-tube shock absorber delivers instant results with every input that is made on the wheels. Consequently, the driver will have an easy time handling the vehicle when off-road as well as when on leveled ground. The nitrogen gas inside the chamber cushions the pistons, thus delivering dependable damping force. This unit will deliver consistent results provided that you mount it as directed.

Pros
  • No performance fade
  • Does not foam
  • Chrome finishing
Cons
  • May not be as effective on some vehicle models

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#6 Detroit Axle Front Quick Struts w/Springs w/Rear Shock Absorbers

Detroit Axle Front Quick Struts w/Springs w/Rear Shock Absorbers

Detroit Axle provides with a six-pack axle, which you can mound on a wide range of vehicles. You will get both rear and front shocks, so your vehicle will be fully customized. Being a brand that is well known for quality, you can use this set knowing that your vehicle is in good hands. These shocks are designed to minimize vibrations and at the same time, reduce the effect of the impact that results when the tire and the ground come into contact rapidly.

Mounting these shock absorbers is also very easy since they have a direct-mount design. The heavy gauge springs on this set are tough and resistant to fade. They will keep your vehicle at a comfortable ride height, thereby giving you an added advantage with the controls. Additionally, the materials used in designing these shocks are of high quality, making this one of the sets that you can consider installing in your car.

They will provide you with a factory fit on Chevrolet Traverse (2009-16), Saturn Outlook (2007-10), Buick Enclave (2008-16), GMC Acadia (2007-16), and other brands that have compatible connectors. Also, these shocks are built in an ISO9002 certified, so you can use them with high expectations since they are less likely to fail you. If you have the experience, you can even mount the shocks on your own.

Pros
  • Robust design
  • Enhances vehicle performance
  • You get a complete set of shocks
Cons
  • Somewhat stiff

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#7 Monroe 911533 Reflex Light Truck Shock Absorber

Monroe 911533 Reflex Light Truck Shock Absorber

This is also another great brand that is well known for delivering high-performance shocks. That being said, the Monroe 911533 is designed with appealing features, which gives it a unique mechanical design that you can fully rely on when on the road. It does not matter whether you are driving on a dirt road or tarmac, these shocks will provide you with the comfort that you deserve.

They can particularly deliver excellent results when installed on SUVs and light trucks. At first look, they may seem simple but are very good at what they do. They prevent the vehicle from swaying when moving on rough terrains. In addition, they ensure that the vehicle is not affected by the vibrations that are generated when the tires or on the ground. Many drivers have found these shocks quite helpful, especially when dealing with recommended vehicle models.

Like most Monroe shock absorbers, this design features a gas-charged unit, which increases damping efficiency. The hydraulic lockout, on the other hand, cushions the vehicle from impact when the tires hit the ground too hard. As a result, the driver and the passenger will be less affected by the post-impact forces. Plus, the shocks are chrome coated, so no element will be able to damage the unit.

Pros
  • Enhances control and vehicle handling
  • Easy to mount
  • Equipped with an all-weather fluid
  • Delivers a smooth rod reaction
Cons
  • Maybe too bouncy for some users

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#8 ACDelco 580-435 GM Original Equipment Front Shock Absorber

ACDelco 580-435 GM Original Equipment Front Shock Absorber

If you want to get exceptional outcomes from your GM vehicle, this is one of the shock absorbers that you use. It is designed to suit all your needs regardless of the nature of the terrain that you are in. These shocks are sturdy and tough, so you can make them your go-to shocks when dealing with GM models. They work by dampening and absorbing road input in such a way that the vehicle is less affected by the resultant forces.

A lot of ingenuity has been used in modeling this unit to ensure that drivers and passengers get high-quality protection from vibrations. These shock absorbers are robustly designed, so they can handle almost anything that you expose them to. They are built from premium quality materials that are equally durable. As such, you can buy a set for each of your GM vehicles since they are effective when taking both short and long rides.

More to this, they will give you complete control over the vehicle when cruising off-road. If you are a driver who values quality, the ACDelco 580-435 shocks are the right replacements that you should go for when the original GM shock absorbers on your vehicle wear out. When installed appropriately, all your rides will be comfortable and less shaky. You don’t have to worry about rust or corrosion since the unit is coated with an element-resistant paint.

Pros
  • Heavy duty
  • Resistant to friction
  • Smooth operation
  • Minimizes wear and tear
Cons
  • The installation process is time-consuming

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#9 Gabriel 43167 Rear Spring Assist Load Carrier Shocks

Gabriel 43167 Rear Spring Assist Load Carrier Shocks

The Gabriel 43167 uniquely combines spring and shock technology to give you a pair of heavy-duty shock absorbers that will provide you with a high-quality cushion from wheel impact. These shocks have precision machined parts, which work as a unit, thereby bringing about the complete cancelation of unnecessary vibrations. The shock absorbers have a leak-proof seal, which enables them to last longer.

Moreover, the coil springs operate at a constant rate and ensure that the ride height is maintained at a favorable level. This will limit excessive bounce when driving on a bumpy road. Besides, the rod is chrome plated to prevent destructive agents from damaging the unit. To add to this, it has an extremely smooth surface, which allows easy operation and also prevents wear and tear.

This pair of shocks provides with a stroke length of 9.11-inches, and measures 13.88-inches when collapsed and 22.99-inches when extended. These measurements will ensure that the vehicle is set at the correct height at all times, even when the vehicle is heavily loaded. You can mount these shocks on light trucks and other vehicles that can provide the eyelets with a perfect fit.

Pros
  • Easy to mount
  • You get two shock absorbers
  • Fade-free performance
  • Durable design
Cons
  • The springs are very stiff when the shocks are new

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#10 KYB 565102 MonoMax Gas Shock

KYB 565102 MonoMax Gas Shock

This shock absorber will provide you with amazing results, especially when installed on trucks. It has a heavy-duty design, which allows it to minimize impact effectively, thus giving you smoother rides. These shocks are fitted with large rubber boots, which prevents dust and other debris from getting into the pressure chamber. More to this, the boot also protects the shaft from harsh elements.

This unit uses a convenient mono-tube design, which is more responsive and efficient. As such, this is one of the shocks that will give you a comfortable driving experience when operating the vehicle in different terrains. The shocks will remain active even when driving on a less bumpy surface. They will cancel out both large and small vibrations that you are likely to experience when driving over a bump.

Additionally, these shock absorbers can come in handy when you find yourself on a rough dirt road. The gas-charged chamber will ensure that the vehicle is not affected even when the tires hit a pothole. Moreover, the shocks have a zinc-coated piston, which is corrosion and rust-proof. This will allow you to use the shock absorbers for a long time before making a replacement.

Pros
  • Make automatic adjustment depending on how rough the terrain is
  • Gives you more control over the vehicle
  • Work-ready design
  • Extremely tough
Cons
  • May not fit some vehicles

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#11 Rancho RS55265 RS55198 Pairs of Shock Absorbers

Rancho RS55265 RS55198 Pairs of Shock Absorbers

The shock absorber set by Rancho may just be what you need if you plan on replacing all your shocks. This package provides you with four shock absorbers, two for the rear, and the remaining two for the front side. As a result, your vehicle will provide you with the most comfortable ride height depending on the condition of the road. The manufacturers have put in a lot of effort in designing these shocks to ensure that you get a strong unit that is equally aesthetic.

With the ten-stage velocity valving design, these shocks will provide you with a customized experience depending on the model of your vehicle. When off-road, the shocks become more responsive thus making your rides more enjoyable. They will ensure that the forces generated by the wheel impact are dissipated as fast as possible, hence giving you a less bumpy drive. These shock absorbers are easy to mount on all compatible models and will deliver even better results when mounted correctly.

They can fit in a wide range of vehicle models such as Chevrolet, GMC, and other light trucks. With the help of the red rubber covers, the unit will be well protected from foreign materials that may cause a malfunction. The seals are tightly sealed using advanced technological procedures, thus giving you a stable hydraulic system that you can depend on the highway and when off-road.

Pros
  • Equipped with large piston rods
  • Delivers comfort
  • Easy to work with
Cons
  • Not ideal for some vehicle models

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Frequently Asked Questions

Must I replace the shocks in pairs?

To get the best ride height, it is recommended that you replace both right and left shock absorbers at the same time. Through this, the wheels will have the same response when they hit a pothole. The other reason why you should replace shock absorbers as a pair is that the vehicle will be able to make easy maneuvers.

How can I know if my shocks are worn out?

At times, it can be difficult determining whether the shocks are worn out. The easiest way to go about this is by taking your vehicle to an auto shop so that the shocks can be subjected to a bounce test.

Will my driving be affected by worn-out shock absorbers?

Yes. Using shock absorbers that have degraded over time will make your rides less comfortable, and may also cause damage to the vehicle. Additionally, you will have a very hard time handling the vehicle when driving on rough terrain.

What should I look for when choosing a shock absorber?

The first thing that you need to consider is compatibility. You have to ensure that the shocks that you are buying will provide your vehicle with a perfect fit. Also, the shocks should be tough and durable, with high endurance when it comes to dealing with road-to-tire impact.

Final Verdict

The shock absorbers listed above will tune your vehicle in such a way that all your rides will be fun and comfortable. Depending on the model of your vehicle, you can pick any of the shocks to get the best driving experience.

They are easy to mount, and all it takes is to have just a bit of experience. Nonetheless, don’t attempt changing shocks if you are inexperienced as this may result in serious injury.

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