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How Long Do Shocks Lasts? Everything You Need To Know

When driving, shocks serve some very important purpose in a car as it significantly contributes to the vehicle’s safety and help stabilize your vehicle’s movements. Your car would just bounce down the road without shocks. 

Nowadays, vehicles use both shocks and struts or a combination of the two to enhance control when you turn your car, accelerate, apply the brake or ride on uneven road surfaces.  

Shocks last for a certain long period of time, but everything has an expiry date, and so do shocks of your vehicles. 

You need to change the shocks when they wear out, and before that, you must know how long do shocks last. As you read ahead, you will surely find answers to this, along with its location, and also, many other queries would get cleared out of your head. We recently talked about How to reset the GM instrument cluster. So make sure to check it out too. 

Location of Shocks In Your Vehicle

Before talking about the lifespan of shocks, let us first know where shocks are actually located. Shocks are placed between the lower and upper control, near the axle and frame of the vehicle’s rear. 

Shocks come in pairs, so if you have a shock on the rear right wheel, then you will also have a shock on the rear left wheel.

Some vehicles have shocks or struts, and some come with combinations of both, but it still varies from company to company and model to model because of the different designs and engineering of the vehicle.

How Long do Shocks Last

When talking about the life expectancy of shocks, it majorly depends on your driving habits and vehicle-keeping conditions and may vary from person to person.

You can expect to replace your vehicle’s shocks sooner rather than later if you frequently drive on unpaved, bad, or rough roads, hard braking, manufacturer, drive aggressively, or otherwise tow heavy loads. Such type factors can affect the lifespan of a vehicle’s shocks. 

However, it is estimated that shocks can last up to 5 – 10 years, or about 50k to 100k miles when ideal conditions are maintained while driving. Moreover, we can say it’s 50,000 miles on average.

When you reach around 40,000 miles or if you experience that your car starts to have increased braking distance or bounce, sag, and other problems related to suspension, it is best suggested to check these parts regularly. You can also check them once a year. 

Cause Of Wear and Tear On Your Shocks

The cause of wear and tear on your shocks depends on several factors, including the track you often ride on, the conditions you drive in, and even your own driving style. 

Here are some causes that can accelerate the wear and tear on your shocks, and you can take action by just avoiding them when driving once you know about them: 


Mud not only affects the outer surface but also gets into the inner components of your vehicle that also include your shocks, which may damage the seals and cause leaks. Leakage diminishes the ability of shocks to absorb impact and reduces the effect on your vehicle. 


Your shocks can get damaged if you are often driving on hitting potholes or bad roads. Shocks are supposed to bounce down your vehicle, and this will cause more frequent rebounding, no doubt, resulting in damaged shocks.

Dirt roads

Generally, loads of dust are generated in the air when you travel or drive for long on dirt roads. These dirt and sand particles can cause damage to the shocks by causing the fluid inside to leak out get into the seals.

How To Make Shocks Last Longer?

You can surely extend the life of your shock to the fullest by avoiding the conditions mentioned above in “cause of wear and tear on your shocks,” along with checking them regularly and cleaning the wheel hubs of your car. 

Here are some suggestions to make your shocks last longer: 

  • You can check your shocks once a year at the very least or every 20,000 or 40,000 miles alternatively. 
  • When you drive slower, especially on uneven or bumpy roads, the slower you drive, the more time you give to the shocks to adjust to the road. Therefore, slowing on bad roads is a must if you want a longer life of your car’s shocks.
  • Unaligned wheels can put destructive force on the shocks resulting in wearing out quickly. The wheels directly connect to the shocks, and a negative force is exerted in the shocks when wheels are unaligned; as a result, they wear out more quickly.
  • The tires are the direct and primary contact between the vehicle and the road and take maximum hits. Wrongly inflated tires or bald tires pressure the shocks and decrease their lives, so always make sure that your tires are in excellent condition.

Frequently Asked Questions

Shocks don't die out all at once as they deteriorate slowly over time. As mentioned above, that shocks generally last for about 50,000-100,000 miles, get worn out, and need to be replaced. 

Although this may differ as your shocks will wear out faster, you will need more frequent replacements than average if you're a more aggressive driver or frequently drive on rough roads. 

The reason behind the failure of shocks is the poor sealing surfaces that will cause the unit to leak. 

Suppose the pitting or lost chrome plating is large enough. In that case, it can damage the seal, leading to water and debris getting into the unit and damaging the valves and piston seal if the outside of the shock body is damaged in any way due to road debris or collision.

Ten years is a long time, and till that time, the shocks of your car will get all worn out. You shouldn't drive your car for long if your shocks go bad. 

Driving with bad or worn-out shocks might put your safety at risk because the stability of your vehicle is compromised. You will experience poor handling,  poor traction, excessive body roll, and a wobbly steering wheel.

Normally, it is best to have a qualified technician who knows what indicators to look for in worn shocks. Initially, the inspection technician often looks for an oil leak and irregular tire tread wear signs. 

Suspension parts will break down and start leaking fluid over time from the top side. The technician will also watch for corrosion, worn or broken mounts, and bushings in and around the suspension components, and that’s what you can look for too.

Too old or worn shocks can absolutely cause your new tires to wear unevenly. This is because shocks and struts offer damping pressure to govern tire movement. 

When the tires advance excessively, they develop a wear pattern that may damage them. Other elements, together with wrong air pressure, worn suspension additives, or improperly aligned steering, additionally reasons uneven tire wear.


Shocks are an independent component that controls the movement of the suspension to manage the ride and keep the vehicle’s tires in contact with the road. I hope this article cleared out the queries regarding shocks and their durability.

In order to keep your vehicle on track in good condition with performing time-to-time replacements and keep your shocks in regular maintenance and check, you need to know how long do shocks last and what can affect their life expectancy.

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