Shock Absorber Replacement » Cost · Symptoms | UK

How much does shock absorber replacement cost in the UK?

Shock absorbers absorb vibrations from the body and wheels and are vital to the vehicle and the safety of the driver. Find out how to tell when it’s time for a shock absorber replacement and what the average shock absorber replacement cost is in the UK. Plus: Get free quotes!

How much does shock absorber replacement cost in the UK?

The average shock absorber replacement cost ranges between £700 – £1,900 in the UK. Typically the front and rear shock absorbers are replaced together. The average cost for front shock absorber replacement is between £400 – £1,000 and for rear shock absorber replacement it is £300 – £900. This includes the cost of materials.


These figures are only estimates. For some car brands, such as Mercedes or BMW, the costs can also be higher. A shock absorber repair is not possible. For this reason the part must be replaced with a new one. Below is an example of front and rear shock absorber replacement cost including labour on a Ford Fiesta in a car garage in a suburb of London. All figures shown in this article are for guideline values only and may of course vary.

Example: Shock absorber replacement cost – Ford Fiesta
Front shock absorber incl. replacement
£400 – £550
Rear shock absorber incl. replacement
£300 – £450
Total cost
£700 – £1,000


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What do car shock absorbers do?

The shock absorber absorbs shocks and vibrations that are transmitted from the road surface to the vehicle. The structure of a shock absorber is quickly explained. It consists of a cylinder and a piston. Inside the cylinder is gas or oil. By moving up and down, the gas or oil is pressed through fine openings or sucked back again. This causes the vibrations to lose intensity.

Signs and symptoms of worn out shock absorbers

There are several signs that indicate a broken shock absorber:
  • The driving is very spongy
  • The steering wheel vibrates or wobbles
  • When driving there are rumbling or squeaking noises, especially when driving off
  • The car vibrates
  • The tyre wear is unusually high or uneven
  • Oil is leaking from the front or rear shock absorbers

Often, the symptoms mentioned are not noticed, because they come insidiously and as a driver you have gradually become accustomed to the worse driving behaviour.

The shock absorber bounce test

You press down one corner of your vehicle at a time and then let go. If the following bouncing motion of the car lasts longer than 1-2 swings, you should have the shock absorbers checked. Of course, the test should be carried out with each of the four corners. Note: The bouncing test alone is not sufficient. Vehicles that do not pass this test already have very worn shock absorbers.

Can I drive with a broken shock absorber?

In principle it is possible, but it is still absolutely advisable to have the faulty shock absorbers changed immediately. Not only can they result in personal injury, but they can also cause wear and tear on other car parts. This means that the repair costs will be even higher in the end than if you had had the broken shock absorbers replaced straight away. If you notice a defect, you should go to the workshop immediately and get it checked. If a shock absorber is broken, it must be replaced.

How long does shock absorber replacement take?

The exact time to change the front and rear shock absorbers varies between car models. On average, however, 2 – 4 hours can be calculated.

What happens during a shock absorber replacement?

The shock absorbers on the car must be of an appropriate quality to ensure driving safety. Unlike other car parts, shock absorbers cannot be repaired, which means a replacement of the entire vehicle part is required. At the appointment in the garage, a mechanic installs a new part.

The procedure is complex and a job for experienced professionals. First, the wheel and the support and guide joint are removed. Then the specialist dismantles the coupling rod and the suspension strut. Next, the suspension strut must be detached from the body dome. Now the mechanic tensions the truss spring. This allows the strut bearing to be removed and the shock absorber to be replaced.

How often does a shock absorber need to be replaced?

The lifespan of a shock absorber depends on various factors. Bad roads with many potholes, frequent driving on dirt or forest roads or driving too fast in curves cause a shock absorber to become worn out more quickly than it would be the case under normal conditions.

The shock absorber is a wearing part and should be checked approximately every 60,000 – 100,000 kilometres. The wear of shock absorbers is gradual and one quickly gets used to a shock absorber that no longer functions properly.

Savings tip: Get free quotes for your shock absorber replacement

The shock absorber replacement cost varies not only between car models, but also from city to city and garage to garage. The costs in cities like London, Manchester or Birmingham are always somewhat higher than in the rest of the UK. For this reason, it is always advisable to do a regional price comparison in order to find the best value for money in your area.

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