How to Free Up Frozen Shock Absorbersby Maikeisha Cuyler
There are times when your vehicle's shock absorbers freeze, thereby impairing the proper functioning of your suspension system. Releasing the frozen shock absorbers remains a matter of getting in the right position to apply enough torque after lubricating the absorbers with penetrating oil. Applying new absorbers to the suspension system will have you up and running in no time. It is imperative to release the frozen absorbers because your suspension system depends on the absorbers to control the motion of the vehicle. Shock absorbers prevent your vehicle from bouncing on the flexing spring. The absorbers transfer energy created by the spring to a piston, which releases the heat.
Position the jack by using the jacking points of the vehicle, allowing the jack to support the weight of the car. Then lift slightly without lifting the wheels from the ground. Loosen wheel nuts with a wheel brace and remove the wheels. Raise the car slowly until the tires are just above ground.
Remove the interior covering in the trunk to access the upper shock mounting nuts. If needed, use the pliers and wrench to remove hardware to access the lower shock mounting nuts.
Spray the upper and lower shock mounting nuts and absorbers with the penetrating oil and allow the oil to soak into the parts before attempting to remove. Wait at least 10 minutes.
Dislodge the lower and upper mounting nuts and washers with the wrench and pliers, and remove the old shock absorber.
Mount the lower shock mounting nuts and new shock absorber. Tighten the lower mounting bolts to secure torque with the wrench.
Install upper grommets and upper mounting nuts. Make sure all grommets are installed in the proper place. Reinstall the wheels. Lower the vehicle and jounce the vehicle four times to settle the grommets.
- Always inspect the condition of your shock absorbers and other components of the suspension system every year or 12,000 miles. Don't drive on damaged absorbers. Look for cupped wear on the tires when inspecting. Cupped patterns are the best sign of expired shock absorbers.
- Use the make, model and year of your vehicle to order the new shock absorbers to avoid a mismatch.
Things You'll Need
- Jack and wheel brace
- Pliers or wrench
- Penetrating oil
- Shock absorbers
- Shock mounting nuts and washers
- Be careful to ensure that the mounting nuts are torqued to manufacturer specifications. Avoid overtightening the nuts and bolts.
Maikeisha Cuyler has been writing since 2009. Her work appears on eHow, specializing in topics related to health and women's issues. Cuyler earned a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing from Florida State University.