How to Change the Shocks on a Subaru

by John JohnstonUpdated November 07, 2017
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Shock absorber image by Neryman from

Items you will need

  • Car jack

  • Jack stands

  • Wrench set

  • Hammer

Shocks on a Subaru help absorb the movement of the vehicle when driving it over bumpy surfaces. If your vehicle bounces around when you are driving, you may need to change your shock absorbers. If a replacement is required, carry out the work as soon as possible to prevent any structural damage to the vehicle. The procedure can be tricky and requires preparation.

Raise the Subaru off the ground using a car jack. Support the weight of the vehicle with additional jack stand supports.

Remove the lug nuts on the tire with a wrench. Life the tire off the axle. Loosen the safety bolt located on the top of the stud of the shock absorber.

Remove the cross bolt from the bottom of the shock absorber with a wrench. If it has rusted in place, use a hammer to gently knock it out. Some Subaru models will have studs instead of the cross bolt similar to those at the top of the absorber.

Install a washer and rubber cushion onto the brand new shock absorber. Place the new shock absorber in the absorber casing. Do not cut the wire restraints off the absorber until it is firmly in place in the vehicle. If you do so, it will cause the absorber to decompress. Once you have installed it, do not tighten the safety bolts too much. Let the shock absorber decompress in to the top of the hole.

Reattach the components of the shocks and the wheel by following the removal steps in reverse.

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