When you think of your ideal car, you probably imagine driving a comfortable car with a smooth ride. You definitely wouldn’t think of your current Land Rover which has started to feel like a bad roller coaster wherever you go over a bump on the road. Each time you hit a pothole and find yourself momentarily in the air, you think of getting rid of your Land Rover.
But the truth is, your Land Rover is not the one to blame. The fault probably lies within the worn-out shock absorbers in your Land Rover. So, all you have to do is change these out, and you can once again, comfortably drive your Land Rover as if it was brand new.
What are Shock Absorbers and How do They Work?
Before you can actually change them, you first need to understand what shock absorbers are and how they form an integral part of your car’s suspension system. Each car’s suspension system consists of springs over the four wheels. Every time the car hits a bump, the wheels are forced upward which compresses the springs.
Contrary to what many people believe, this compression is what absorbs the shock and not the actual shock absorbers in the car. Once compressed, these springs need to decompress and come back to their original shape. In doing so, the car body is forced upward and then pulled down due to gravity. Consequently, Land Rovers have shock absorbers, also known as dampers, to restrain this constant movement of the vehicle.
Basically, shock absorbers are devices, similar to hydraulic pumps, mounted inside or alongside the springs in the suspension system. They work by converting the energy from the springs and releasing it as heat to control the bouncing of the Land Rover. More importantly, it ensures that your car tires stay in contact with the ground and don’t fly up after each bounce.
So, it is crucial that you replace them immediately. You can read more about it here.
Why is it Important to Make Sure Your Shock Absorbers are in Good Condition?
It is important to understand why to keep your shock absorbers in good shape. Because a little bouncy car can hurt a lot of people. These shock absorbers may not be visible to you, but they are as important as your steering wheel or brake system or headlights.
- - Safety
When it comes to safety, the suspension system is one of the most important considerations. The shock absorbers in the suspension system help in controlling and steering the car. They prevent the car tires from losing contact with the road, in which case, the car becomes harder to control. Also, it can cause damage to other parts of the Land Rover.
Moreover, they also affect the efficiency of the brakes. So, worn out shock absorbers can delay braking and pose serious safety risks for everyone in the vehicle.
- - Steadiness
The shock absorbers also provide steadiness and balance for more stable driving. They can increase the friction between the tires and the road for steady driving. Additionally, most roads have some bumps or holes, which, when hit by the car, can cause the vehicle to move up and down. The shock absorbers can reduce this movement for stable driving.
- - Comfort
Besides all the other reasons, shock absorbers can affect your comfort level which you will feel directly as a driver. If your shock absorbers are in bad shape, you will find yourself often launched in the air when your car hits a bump. Therefore, shock absorbers are very important for a comfortable drive.
How to Replace Shock Absorber in a Land Rover?
Just like any other part of your Land Rover, the shock absorbers can also wear out due to constant use. Moreover, worn out shock absorbers pose a lot of dangers like reduced braking efficiency, higher chances of skidding, less control, more discomfort while driving, more damage to tires and suspension system, and many more. Which is why it is critical that you keep checking them and replace them when needed.
Here is how you can replace the shock absorbers.
You will need the following tools which you can easily get from here.
- - Floor Jack
- - Spanner
- - Socket Set
- - Silicone Grease
- - Ball Joint Releaser
- - Hammer
- - Wire Brush
- - Pliers
- - Pry Bar
- - Electrical Tape
- - New Shock Absorber
- - New Mounting Stud
Moreover, you can also get a full suspension repairing kit from here.
Steps to Follow:
It is important to note that whenever you replace shock absorbers, you need to replace them in pairs, i.e., both the front ones or both the rear ones. Here are the steps.
- - Raise the front/rear end of the car with the floor jack (Don’t raise it too high or you risk the spring coming off during the replacement).
- - Unfasten the bolts from both ends of the shock absorber.
- - Remove the shock absorber.
- - Unfasten the bolts of top mount.
- - Remove the top mount stud.
- - Brush back the mount holes for easier replacement.
- - Install the new top mount stud.
- - Attach the new shock absorber to the top mount.
- - Extend the shock absorber to fit into the bottom mount.
- - Secure the shock absorber from both ends.
- - Remove floor jack.
To change one shock absorber, it will take you approximately 10 to 15 minutes.
When Do You Need to Replace the Shock Absorbers in Your Land Rover?
Now that you know how shock absorbers work, their importance, and how to replace them, all that’s left to know is when to replace them. Even though it is recommended that you change them after every 35,000 miles traveled, there are some other signs that you need to watch out for.
- - Tires worn out in patches
When your shock absorbers are worn out, they won’t be able to keep your tires firmly on the ground. This will result in uneven wear on your tire, in which case, you’ll have to get a tire repair kit.
- - Vibrations in Your Steering Wheel
A little vibration in your steering wheel is normal on any bumpy road. But when you start feeling it on a smooth road as well, then it’s time to change the shock absorber. It doesn’t hurt to keep your steering in good shape either with new parts.
- - Excessive Swerving and Dipping
If you’re constantly experiencing swerves every time you turn or nose dives whenever you brake, your shock absorbers have gone bad. This symptom can be particularly dangerous on wet roads.
- - Leaking Suspension Fluid
Constant use can weaken the seals around your shock absorbers which will cause the fluid inside them to leak out. As a result, there will be less fluid for the shock absorber to work properly.
- - Longer Braking Time or Distance
One of the most apparent and dangerous signs is when your brakes take more time to stop the car or stop at a further distance. This kind of problem can result in a severe accident and needs to be addressed immediately. If you feel there are other problems with your brakes, you can find replacement parts here.
A simple way to check the condition of your shock absorbers is to press down on one end of your car and see how many bounces it takes the car to stabilize. If it takes more than two or three bounces, your shock absorbers are no good. At this point, it is best for you to replace them without any delay.
Moreover, with our easy step by step guide, you’ll be done with it in no time. Also, even if you’re not driving a Land Rover, you can find repair kits for other cars from here and quickly replace your shock absorbers.