How To Replace Shocks

Shocks are important for ride quality and safe driving. They help keep your Volkswagen’s tires firmly planted on the ground. Like most auto parts, shocks wear out over time.

If you found out that one of your shocks is failing, you can replace it at home with this tutorial. You could always bring your car to a Volkswagen dealership and have them replace the shocks for you, but expect to pay a lot of money for labor. Replacing your shocks at home is straightforward as long as you have all the right tools.

Ordering Replacement Shocks

You need replacement shocks first before you can start the job. We recommend buying genuine OEM shocks because they’re designed with quality and precise fitment in mind. If you’re interested, this article has more information about why OEM shocks are much better than aftermarket shocks.

At VW Parts Vortex, you can find a pair of genuine OEM replacement shocks at great discounted prices. Visit our catalog and then look up your VW model to see if we carry shocks for your vehicle.

Once you have your replacement shocks, you can proceed to replace the shocks by following the steps below.

How to Replace Your Shocks - An Overview

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This set of instructions is for the 2008-2012 MkVI Golf. Please be aware that replacing the rear shocks on this car is more involved than on some other vehicles. To replace the shocks:

  • The HID (headlight) leveling arm must be disconnected. (It is on the drivers side.)
  • Each lower control arm must be unbolted where it meets the hub assembly.
  • Each rear spring must be removed to gain access to the lower shock bolt.

The following steps are an overview of the shock replacement process. It will help you decide if you want to do this job yourself. If you are up for the job, searching for a more detailed video is recommended.

  1. Lift the rear of the vehicle and support it on jack stands.
  2. Remove the rear wheel.
  3. Unplug the ABS sensor wire.
  4. Remove the HID leveler arm on the driver's side. Mark its position before you remove it.
  5. Place a jack under the control arm, and raise it very slightly. (When choosing this jack, choose one that you can easily adjust up or down in small amounts when it is loaded.)
  6. Remove the two 16mm bolts from the upper shock mount.
  7. Remove the 18mm nut from the bolt that connects the control arm to the hub.
  8. Slowly lower the control arm just enough to remove the 18mm bolt.
  9. Slowly lower the control arm further to remove the spring.
  10. Remove the 21mm lower shock nut.
  11. Remove the shock.
  12. Place the upper shock mount in a vice, and remove the retaining nut from the top of the shock shaft. (A special shock nut tool is very helpful for this step. Don't start this job without knowing what you need.)
  13. Install the new shock in the reverse order of removal. Torque every nut appropriately.

That’s all! Please contact us if you have any questions about finding the right part number for your Volkswagen model, or if you need assistance replacing your shocks.