How to Change Rear Shocks on a 2004 Vibe

by Jonathan Ryan

The shock absorbers in a 2004 Pontiac Vibe are designed to be replaced as a single unit, so no special tools are required to compress the springs. Each shock absorber will take about half an hour to replace. Replacement shocks can be purchased or ordered from many auto supply and tire stores.


Open the storage area of the vehicle, and remove the side panel on the side with the shock absorber you will replace. Simply turn the knob to release it.


Remove the access panel for the tool storage area, and remove the bolt and panel revealed below. Unbolt and remove the spare tire and spare tire bracket.


Unbolt and remove the access panel covering the shock absorber. Remove the shock absorber retaining nuts if your model has two-wheel drive.


Lift the corner of vehicle with the jack, and place it securely on a jack stand. See your Vibe's owner's manual for a diagram illustrating the lift point.


Support the rear axle and lower control arm with a second jack stand if your model has two-wheel drive. Unbolt the stabilizer shaft from the lower control arm.


Remove all nuts and bolts that retain the shock absorber, then remove the shock absorber.


Bolt the replacement shock absorber into place. Use the torque wrench to tighten the connection to the lower control arm to 103 pound-feet in all-wheel-drive models, and the connection to the rear axle to 59 pound-feet in two-wheel-drive models.


Lower the car, and repeat on the other side. Replace the spare tire, bracket and access panels when done.

Items you will need


About the Author

In 2009, Jonathan Ryan began writing design documents describing digital marketing promotions for clients such as Heinz Ketchup and Kellogg's. His work also appears on eHow. In addition to working with all things computer-related, he has experience with home improvement and auto repair. Ryan holds a Master of Science in computer science from Western Michigan University.

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