Shock absorbers, also known as shocks, are among the most important components of your vehicle. They are crucial to the running of your vehicle and protect the occupants from experiencing every single nasty bounce and shake.
The question, of course, is whether you’re completely sure that you have the right shocks installed in your vehicle to give you a smooth ride. Most people, unsurprisingly, really don’t know. That’s why we wrote this review.
It will help you figure out if you have the right shocks for your vehicle and also choose the right one.
SENSEN Shocks Review
Sensen Shocks Struts
Sensen is known for making high quality materials, including shocks and struts.
Their premium shocks and struts are engineered to precision and have superior performance when it comes to safety and durability.
Each shock is also fully visually inspected and tested for quality to ensure that you’re getting the best of the best.
- Designed for direct fit to restore factory height of vehicle
- All the components are designed to meet original equipment manufacturer specifications
- They come with a limited lifetime warranty
- They are ISO9001:2000 certified
They are also very versatile and will easily fit in most vehicles.
You might want to grease the bottoms a bit to help them with that first fit.
If you’re a do it yourself kind of guy, about 4 hours of solid work should get them into place. However, if you have no idea what you’re doing, it’s better to get an expert to handle it otherwise you might break off a bolt or two.
Now, the big problem is, despite all the great claims about them, many customers claim that they don’t last much beyond 100,000 miles.
There have even been a few isolated cases of them not going beyond 10k miles. If you’re looking for something affordable and halfway decent, these shocks are definitely a great start, especially if you’re sure your vehicle isn’t going to be overloaded or ride on rough roads.
Otherwise, you might want to look elsewhere.
What are customers saying?
“I think they’re really great shocks at first and they do well, but they don’t seem to last half as long as you might expect. Anyway, you get what you pay for. ”
Bilstein is yet another company known for the quality of its products.
In fact, you’ll find that many people on forums about automobiles prefer these shocks to others.
They certainly have a lot of advantages to them, which we’re going to check out.
- The kit includes both front and rear shocks.
- The front shocks are adjustable up to 2.5 inches, though this does not work for 5 lug shocks
- The kits fit Toyota Pre Runner and Tacoma models from 2005 to 2014.
- Comes with a lifetime warranty
- Very easy to install with no modifications required and direct bolt-ons
For starters, they fit just about every four wheel drive vehicle you can think of.
They also have an incredible capacity to absorb vibrations and bounces while driving.
They make the suspension system of your vehicle durable and lend it longevity, not to mention superior performance.
The division piston allows the oil to expand whenever heat builds up preventing aeration, which would lead to foaming, and the loss of viscosity in the oil.
They are very easy to install since they don’t require any additional nuts and bolts.
Everything you’ll need for the installation comes in the package.
What are customers saying?“Wow these are some great shocks! I installed them just yesterday and my vehicle was cruising like a jet liner!”
“I wish I bought them 10 years ago!”
Monroe definitely had to make it to this list due their solid reputation for making strong, durable, and performant automotive parts.
These load adjusting shock absorbers are among their best works yet.
They are able to rapidly adjust to changing weight and road conditions, giving you great comfort and incomparable control over your vehicle.
- The fluid is all-weather with special modifiers that reduce friction
- Valve automatically adjusts to different weight and road conditions
- The piston is fluon banded. Ensuring consistent sealing in the tube and delivering full control
- It contains a heavy gauge calibrated coil spring designed to enhance performance as the ride gets harsher
It also has a full displacing valve attached to the end of the piston which adjusts rapidly and automatically to changing road conditions.
The piston itself is fluon banded for a better seal, which enhances both comfort and control.
Finally, it is gas charged for minimum aeration to prevent the loss of viscosity and formation of foam.
What are customers saying?“These shocks are worth every single penny I spent on them! They just took 40 minutes to install and provided the kind of upgrade I had been hoping for on my riding experience. ”
FAQ: Buying Guide
Where are SenSen shocks made?
SenSen shocks are made in China but distributed worldwide
Does SenSen make good struts?
Their struts are good enough. They are inexpensive and perform at the right standard, but they are not necessarily the best on the market.
Do SenSen shocks have a lifetime warranty?
Yes, they have a limited lifetime warranty
Sensen Shocks Installation
Before you start the installation, measure the ride height for every tire in your vehicle. Start from the ground and end at the bottom of the fender, making sure to pass across the center of the wheel. After removing the old part compare it to the new one for compatibility. Install the top first for struts, then the bottom.
Will better shocks improve ride quality?
Yes they will. In fact, not only will they make your ride more comfortable, but also safer.
What are the best rated shocks?
The best are either Monroe shocks or Bilstein shocks, both of which have been covered in this review
How many miles do shocks last?
A bare minimum should be 100k miles. Anything less and you’re dealing with low quality shocks. The very best will go for double or triple that.
Should I replace front and rear shocks at the same time?
Not necessarily. However, it is recommended that you replace them in pairs. So either both front shocks at the same time, or both rear shocks at the same time.
FAQ: General Info
What are Shock Absorbers?
As you might have gleaned from the name, shock absorbers absorb shock, or, to use slightly more technical parlance, they dampen the shocks that your vehicle experiences during a ride. They therefore make the ride smoother when it gets bumpy or just generally rough. The end result is that you’re comfortable, no matter what road your vehicle is on.
At its very heart, a shock absorber is no more than an oil pump.
It has a piston rod with piston attached to its end. The piston rod moves up and down through a hydraulic fluid in a pressure tube.
As the piston rod moves the piston up and down, tiny holes form in the piston and the hydraulic fluid flows through them. The fact that only a small amount of fluid is allowed to flow past the piston effectively slows it down and, by extension, the movement of the spring and suspension.
That’s how the shock gets absorbed.
The Different Types of Shock Absorbers
While you’re on the market looking for the best shock absorbers for your car, there are some very important things you need to know about. The very first is to have a good understanding of the different types of shock absorbers.
There are two main configurations in which shock absorbers come.
The first is the twin tube and the second is the mono tube. They both have specific contexts for which they are idea. They each fit in with a specific desired ride quality and a specific driving style.
It’s therefore important to understand both in order to figure out which is best for your vehicle.
Twin Tube Shock Absorbers
Twin tube shock absorbers have two tubes: one is the external tube that will hold the hydraulic fluid as a kind of reservoir while the other is the inner working tube which actually does the dampening action.
There are 3 subcategories under this category of shock absorbers. These are the gas charged, acceleration sensitive damping, and position sensitive damping shock absorbers. We are going to look at each of them individually.
Gas Charged Shock Absorbers
Gas charged shock absorbers have one main role and that is to stop the aeration of the hydraulic fluid within them. Nitrogen gas is used in these shocks, where it is used to provide pressure to compress any air bubbles existing in the hydraulic fluid.
That way, the air is prevented from mixing with the oil. Had the air been allowed to mix with the oil it would have led to the formation of foam, which is actually bad for performance.
Foam is compressible, unlike hydraulic fluid. That compressibility can have an adverse effect on performance. The shock absorber would be slower to react and would not be as effective. When aeration is reduced, the shock absorber reacts in more predictable ways and also has a much faster response time.
The benefits of gas charged shock absorbers include, among others, improved handling, reduced face, and a quicker response time, all due to the reduced aeration.
Position Sensitive Damping Shock Absorbers
Position sensitive damping, or PSD, shock absorbers are designed for balance. They seek to strike a delicate balance between ensuring comfort and also providing the best handling capabilities to the driver.
PSD shock absorbers use technology that goes beyond just controlling the velocity of the hydraulic fluid. These shock absorbers go even further by factoring in where the piston is along the inner pressure tube. For this to work, the pressure tube should have tapered grooves marked to incredible precision.
In PSD shock absorbers, the inner pressure tube is divided into two zones. The first zone is where normal shock dampening happens during normal driving conditions. Here it behaves like a regular shock absorber.
Let’s call it the comfort zone. The second zone is where more control is given to the driver for particularly demanding driving contexts. This is the control zone.
There is definitely a lot of engineering that goes into the design of these shock absorbers so that every detail is just right, whether it is the length of the tapered grooves or their precise taper and depth. The end result is that the shock absorber perfectly balances handling ability and ride comfort.
The major benefits of PSD shock absorbers are fast response to sudden changes in road conditions and the balance they provide between control and comfort.
Acceleration Sensitive Damping Shock Absorbers
Acceleration sensitive damping, or ASD, shock absorbers are much like PSD shock absorbers in that they are also designed to strike a fine balance between comfort and control.
They offer much greater control while ensuring you get the best ride comfort. The major difference between them and PSD shock absorbers is that, while PSD shock absorbers are sensitive to the position of the piston within the pressure tube, these shock absorbers are sensitive to impact.
That way, they kick into action as soon as you get on a rough road where there are more cases of impact. Ultimately, however, they achieve the same thing as the PSD shock absorbers.
The benefits of ASD shock absorbers include, among others, a reduction in ride harshness, a rapid and automatic adjustment of the shock absorbers to whatever road conditions there are, and more control over your vehicle.
Mono Tube Shock Absorbers
The other main kind of shock absorber is the mono tube shock absorber. These shock absorbers only have a single tube: the pressure tube. They only operate on gas and have a very high pressure. There are two pistons inside the pressure tube of a mono tube shock absorber and they are the working piston and the dividing piston.
The main difference between the mono tube shock absorber and the twin tube shock absorber is that the mono tube shock absorber is orientation agnostic, which is to say it will work whether it is mounted upside down or right side up.
The mono tube shock absorber also lacks a base valve since the piston is where all the compressions and extensions occur. In such shock absorbers, the piston and rod have to constantly move up and down during operation to balance the force.
The greatest benefit of mono tube shock absorbers is that the working tube has a cooler operations due to its full time exposure to the air.
Generally speaking, if you want your ride experience to be as close to factory conditions as possible, you should go for twin tube shock absorbers.
However, if you want the vehicle’s responsiveness to be at its highest, you’re better off with mono tube shock absorbers.
Also, if your factory installed shocks are mono tubes, you should only replace them with mono tubes.
Hopefully you’ve enjoyed reading this review as much as I enjoyed writing it. With the right shocks, your ride will be safer and more comfortable, and you’ll be able to enjoy driving once more.
Pick any of the shocks listed in this review and you should be able to see why they’re worth it. Thank me later!