Which Shocks Are Right for My Car?

KYB Gas-A-JustHave you ever felt that your car bounces more after you go over a bump? It just doesn't feel as connected to the road as it did when it was new? Shock absorbers are an expendable item that has a big effect on your ride quality. When it comes time to replace shocks, you're going to have access to your springs. This is a great time to add lowering springs.

Not every shock is designed for all driving circumstances. There are two major categories for aftermarket shocks: performance and touring.
  • Performance shocks give the firmer ride, and help reduce body roll. They are often combined with lowering springs for the ultimate handling combination.
  • Touring shocks are more focused on a soft, compliant and comfortable ride. Touring shocks add to that supple, luxurious ride by soaking up more impacts and road imperfections.
Listed below are a few terms that will help you better understand the characteristics of a shock adjustment:
  • Compression - The collapsing stroke of a shock, directly correlated to the movement of your axle.
  • Rebound - The return stroke of a shock, directly tied to vehicle pitch and ride quality. To learn more about shocks check out, "Damper Dynamics."

Take a look at a few of the shocks available at Tire Rack:
  • KYB Gas-A-Just: An Original Equipment replacement shock.These are your excellent-value option, as they are self adjusting.
  • KYB Monomax: Increased load control, and a firm planted feel for your light truck or SUV. These shocks have been known to offer a firmer ride, but the trade off is better control. These shocks are self adjusting. They completely transformed my Chevy Blazer back to the consistent like-new handling I missed.
  • Koni STR-T:  A cost-effective performance shock, designed to offer better handling, without a harsh ride.
  • Bilstein 5100 : Designed with the lifted truck or SUV in mind. These are ideal for your Jeep or pickup truck with mild body and suspension lifts. The articulation in off-road circumstances is superb.
Shop by vehicle to find the suspension components that work best for your vehicle.


Friday, July 5, 2013 by Caleb FLanders

IM looking to lower my 03 Jetta 1.8t wagon, i think i have found springs that i want, but i was told that if you lower a car the shocks will be out of a usable/safe range, so im looking for shocks that could handle a 1.5 in lowering spring, thanks
Thursday, July 11, 2013 by Alex @ Tirerack

Hi Caleb,

You could use Bilstien Sport, Koni Sport, or KYB AGX. Please send me an email alex at tirerackdot com . We can discuss the differences. This page is more focused on heavy duty applications.
Monday, April 7, 2014 by Albanypark

I have a 2002 Camaro, base model and V-6. Suspension always has been too soft. Can I put in pick-up truck shocks as a low-cost option to firm up ride without messing things up?

Leave a comment