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Shocks aren't difficult to install. McPherson struts take a lot more time and you need spring compressors, which can be dangerous if you don't follow directions well. However, a mechanic should be able to do the job in around 1/2 hour, maybe a bit more if it's a backyard mechanic who doesn't have a lift. So add that to the parts cost if you don't plan to do it yourself. Changing shocks was one of the first things I learned to do when I was still a teen. If you need some help, get a repair manual for your make and model of car and follow the directions for replacing shocks. If you change out the rear shocks, this is also the time to consider whether your rear springs are letting the rear part of the car drop a bit closer to the ground than before. If it is, you can buy shocks with helper springs. Or you can buy air shocks and you can add air pressure when you're loading the car down in the trunk to level the ride, and let some out when it's not heavily loaded. It, too, can compensate for slightly weak springs.
On Irish roads, shocks are a continuos problem, one of the more expensive auto maintainence issues we got here on some of the worser roads
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