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Always Install New Shock Absorbers in Pairs



Best practices for best results,
including performance, safety and reliability

When functioning properly, a vehicle’s suspension does a bit of everything. It promotes precise steering control and handling. It contributes to a more stable and comfortable ride. It reduces braking distance and protects the vehicle’s tires from abnormal wear. And the suspension helps increase overall driving safety in a wide range of road and weather conditions.

When not functioning properly – including when shock absorbers and other components are worn out or damaged – the suspension might not be able to provide these critical benefits. This is why each suspension component should be inspected every 20.000 kilometers or at least once per year and immediately replaced when signs of wear are detected. 


But simply replacing worn suspension components isn’t enough. Installers must also remember to replace new shock absorbers in pairs and performing the complete job by also installing new protection and mounting kits, which are critical to obtain the right performance of those important safety elements.

In this article, we’ll examine why it is important to always replace shock absorbers in pairs – never individually.


Why are shocks important?


The most important benefit of shock absorbers is to help hold the vehicle’s wheels against the driving surface for increased traction and control. As the vehicle encounters uneven road (or off-road) surfaces, the suspension moves vertically to help maintain stability, control and passenger comfort. Maintaining a strong between the tires and driving surface is a critical part of this job because it helps preserve steering and braking control as well as overall vehicle stability. In order to perform these functions effectively, every shock must be in good working condition.



Why should shock absorbers be replaced in pairs?


Any time a shock absorber needs to be replaced, its companion across the same axle (front or rear) must also be replaced to ensure that at least both shocks are in equivalent working condition. Because a new shock has not yet experienced any internal wear, pairing it with an older unit is likely to create uneven damping characteristics across the axle, which can cause the new shock to overcompensate, putting it a higher risk of damage and premature wear.

Additionally, in some countries, a notable difference in the condition of the shocks might cause a vehicle to fail its technical inspection.


Conduct frequent and thorough inspections


Monroe® recommends inspections of shocks absorbers and struts every 20.000 km as well as during all routine maintenance appointments. Technicians should check for a number of common indicators that would warrant replacement, including damaged steering and suspension ball joints, poor steering response, fluid leaks from the shock or strut body, “cupped” and uneven tire wear, excessive vehicle bounce, and/or leaning or swaying during lane changes.

If any of these conditions are evident, replace both the damaged shock and the corresponding unit across the vehicle. 



Always choose the best: Monroe


Vehicle owners seeking a “like-new” driving experience can count on Monroe for exceptional quality, performance and value. Popular Monroe Original shock absorbers, for example, feature the same technologies – and are often manufactured in the same Monroe facilities – as the original equipment shocks found on millions of passenger vehicles.

Then, to ensure the repair is done right the first time, always install the new shocks in pairs and, when applicable, use the corresponding new Monroe shock mounting and protection kits to achieve smooth, quiet, precise and long-lasting performance.



The content contained in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be used in lieu of seeking professional advice from a certified technician or mechanic. We encourage you to consult with a certified technician or mechanic if you have specific questions or concerns relating to any of the topics covered herein. Under no circumstances will we be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on any content.


Additional tips for protecting suspension systems

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