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Replacing Your Audi A4 Rear Shocks
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Replacing Your Audi A4 Rear Shocks

Steve Vernon

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$5 to $300

Talent:

**

Tools:

Jack, jack stands, 21mm, 16mm, 13mm socket, 21mm, 16mm wrench, breaker bar

Applicable Models:

Audi A4 (2002-05)
Audi A4 Cabriolet (2003-06)

Parts Required:

New shocks, mounting bolts

Hot Tip:

Check your bushings

Performance Gain:

Better handling

Complementary Modification:

New springs

The shocks on your car are an import component of the suspension system and along with the springs should checked at least once a year. You want to look for worn out bushings/mounts along with any damage including leaking oil. People also like to change out their shocks when performing suspension modifications on their cars. If you are interested in changing your shocks out for after market or a sportier model make sure you match up the springs to go with your new shocks. The shock and springs work in tandem and just changing one may result in worse performance than when you started.

Changing out the shocks on an Audi A4 is a simple job and a great starter DIY project. If you are going to be changing or removing the springs as well please see our article on removing you springs.

Shocks, like springs should always be changed out in pairs. If you have one leaking shock it is always advisable to replace both shocks on the front or rear of the vehicle at the same time. Shocks degrade over the years and only replacing one shock on the axle will affect the performance of the suspension.

Begin by safely lifting and supporting the rear of the vehicle. Please see our article on these procedures for additional information. Remove the rear tires.

The rear shocks are attached to the chassis by two 13mm bolts at the top (red arrow) and a 21mm nut and bolt on the lower control arm (yellow arrow).
Figure 1

The rear shocks are attached to the chassis by two 13mm bolts at the top (red arrow) and a 21mm nut and bolt on the lower control arm (yellow arrow). Audi considers all the mounting hardware to be single use only and recommends that you replace them after each use.

While you can change out the shocks without having to compress the spring I always like to place a spring compressor on the spring in case there is something wrong with the suspension as a safety measure.
Figure 2

While you can change out the shocks without having to compress the spring I always like to place a spring compressor on the spring in case there is something wrong with the suspension as a safety measure. The springs on the Audi A4 are difficult to remove and do not need to be compressed but I was removing the springs as well and figure better safe than sorry.

Use a 13mm socket and remove the two bolts connecting the top of the shock mount to the chassis (red arrows).
Figure 3

Use a 13mm socket and remove the two bolts connecting the top of the shock mount to the chassis (red arrows).

There is a single nut and bolt holding the lower shock mount to the control arm.
Figure 4

There is a single nut and bolt holding the lower shock mount to the control arm. Insert a 21mm wrench up between the control arm (red arrow) on the nut and use a 21mm socket with a breaker bar (yellow arrow) to loosen and remove the lower nut and bolt.

The bolt that connects the lower shock to the control arm like all of the mounting hardware is considered single use only and Audi recommends replacing all mounting hardware after each use.
Figure 5

The bolt that connects the lower shock to the control arm like all of the mounting hardware is considered single use only and Audi recommends replacing all mounting hardware after each use.

Compress the shock down by pushing on the top of it and remove it from the wheel well.
Figure 6

Compress the shock down by pushing on the top of it and remove it from the wheel well.

Inspect the lower bushing (red arrow), upper shock mount and bump stop (green arrow) along with looking for any excessive oil leaks (yellow arrow).
Figure 7

Inspect the lower bushing (red arrow), upper shock mount and bump stop (green arrow) along with looking for any excessive oil leaks (yellow arrow).

If you are changing shocks remove the upper mounting bracket.
Figure 8

If you are changing shocks remove the upper mounting bracket. Use a crescent (yellow arrow) and 16mm (red arrow) wrench to change out the shock from the bracket. Installation is the reverse of removal.





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