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Steering Damper Replacement Cost Estimate

Worried you might overpay for your steering damper replacement? Use Jerry’s GarageGuard to get fair cost estimate for your steering damper replacement.
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John Davis
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Reviewed by Kathleen Flear, Director of Content
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Edited by Jessica Barrett, Senior Car & Insurance Editor

How much does it cost to replace a steering damper?

The exact cost to replace a steering damper depends on your vehicle, location, and the type of damper you plan to install. But on average, it costs around $130. That price breaks down into $63 for replacement parts and $67 in labor costs. 
How long does it take to replace a steering damper? The replacement times can vary between different vehicles. But most trained mechanics will take between 30 minutes and one hour to do the job. 
Here’s a breakdown of steering damper replacement costs for different vehicles:
Estimate DateCustomerCarFair Cost EstimateParts CostLabor CostLabor Time
June 10, 2024
Ram 1500
$133
$70
$63
0.5 Hours
June 8, 2024
Alfa Romeo Giulia
$102
$31
$71
0.6 Hours
June 7, 2024
Saturn L100
$123
$70
$53
0.5 Hours
June 6, 2024
Geo Metro
$133
$70
$64
0.5 Hours
May 30, 2024
Hummer H3
$132
$70
$62
0.5 Hours
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How did we estimate these prices?

Jerry's experts researched and collected data from 2500+ real repair shops in all 50 states in the US, including everything from the total cost of repair services to the hourly labor cost for mechanic labor in each shop. We combined that data with our expert database of hundreds of real repair jobs, thousands of real cars, millions of real car part prices in order to best estimate the cost of each repair service. Our labor cost estimate is calculated by taking the average hourly labor rate for a certified mechanic in the US, times the number of hours it takes on average to complete a repair. We recommend you compare your local shops with Jerry and contact those shops directly to get final pricing for your vehicle.

What parts do I need for my steering damper replacement, and how much do those parts cost?

A vehicle repair guide or your
owner’s manual
can provide more detailed, model-specific information. But here’s a quick overview of the parts you may need:
  • Steering damper: The main part you’ll replace is the damper. Prices can vary depending on the brand and quality. But you should be able to buy a new one for between $30 and $150.
  • Hardware: Depending on whether your old damper and hardware are damaged, you may need new nuts and bolts to install the replacement damper. These parts are inexpensive and shouldn’t cost more than $5 to $20. 
You can buy steering damper parts for your car from auto parts stores like AutoZone, NAPA Auto Parts, and Advance Auto Parts, as well as online retailers such as Amazon and RockAuto. Three brands we recommend for steering damper parts are Bilstein, Monroe, and Rancho. For hardware, Dorman, ACDelco, and Moog are brands we recommend for their compatibility and durability. Keep in mind that the best parts and brands for your replacement will vary based on your vehicle’s year, make, and model.
Original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts are generally the best option for most automotive repairs—especially for newer cars. That said, steering dampers are usually found on off-road and heavy-duty vehicles. It’s very common for owners of these cars to upgrade and customize them with performance-oriented aftermarket parts.
OEM parts are designed by your vehicle’s manufacturer to be a perfect fit for your car. The parts are made with reliable materials and come with a strong warranty. The drawbacks to OEM parts are that they can be expensive and are sometimes hard to find.
Aftermarket parts are made by third-party companies and can fit a wider range of cars. While they tend to be cheaper than OEM parts, they are available in budget, premium, and performance versions. Aftermarket parts are a solid choice for older cars, drivers looking to save some cash, and those who want to upgrade their stock components.
You can buy OEM parts from your local dealership or through an authorized parts supplier. Aftermarket parts are available at a wide range of auto parts stores—like AutoZone, NAPA Auto Parts, and Advance Auto Parts—and online retailers like RockAuto and Amazon.

Where can I get my steering damper replaced?

If you don’t have an established relationship with a trusted repair shop, finding one can be difficult. Fortunately, you can use Jerry's
GarageGuard™
to compare repair estimates and hourly rates from more than 2,500 shops around the country.
Jerry's GarageGuard™ uses real hourly rates from local shops to create fair price estimates for various services. Use Jerry's GarageGuard™ to plan for future maintenance, learn about diagnostic charges, and find the shops in your area with the best customer reviews.
Check out some of our top-rated vetted shops below and download the app to find quality repair services near you.
187 Reviews
1DM AUTO
address
7590 McGinnis Ferry Rd, Duluth, GA
Steering Damper Replacement Cost
Fair Cost Estimate for This Shop
$144
(Parts - $55, Labor - $89)
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$65
182 Reviews
United Alignment Tire Center
address
11251 Burbank Blvd, Los Angeles, CA
Steering Damper Replacement Cost
Fair Cost Estimate for This Shop
$140
(Parts - $55, Labor - $85)
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$150
142 Reviews
The Right Place Automotive
address
2816 Banwick Rd, Columbus, OH
Steering Damper Replacement Cost
Fair Cost Estimate for This Shop
$140
(Parts - $55, Labor - $85)
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$139
121 Reviews
DL Automotive
address
4200 Rozzelles Ferry Rd, Charlotte, NC
Steering Damper Replacement Cost
Fair Cost Estimate for This Shop
$153
(Parts - $55, Labor - $98)
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$105
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How did we vet these shops?

Jerry experts researched 2500+ real repair shops across the US. We talked to real shop customers, and analyzed both real shop pricing data and thousands of real customer reviews from each shop to verify them individually. We do not partner with the shops listed above, and our analysis is always unbiased.

How will a mechanic replace my steering damper?

Here are the general steps a mechanic will follow to replace your steering damper:
  • Lift the vehicle’s front end off the ground and support it with jack stands
  • Locate the steering damper—remove any covers or skid plates blocking access
  • Remove the nut securing the damper to the steering linkage
  • Push the damper stud out of the steering linkage—you may need to use a hammer or an air hammer
  • Remove the nut and bolt securing the damper to the vehicle frame
  • Clean the mounting holes
  • Prepare the new steering damper by applying a light layer of grease or silicone to the new stud, pressing any sleeves into the bushings, and positioning the washers
  • Attach the new damper to the frame using the old nut and bolt 
  • Connect the other end of the damper to the steering linkage using the new hardware
  • Torque both sides to the appropriate specification
  • Lower the vehicle and take it for a 10-mile test drive

What happens if I don’t replace my steering damper?

If you ignore a faulty steering damper and don’t replace it, you’ll likely face the following issues: 
  • Steering issues: The steering damper absorbs shocks and vibrations to prevent movement in the steering wheel. If yours goes bad, you’ll likely notice an increase in vibrations, leading to problems like death wobble and bump steering. Your steering may feel less responsive, and you may have less control of the car. 
  • Uneven tire wear: The increased vibrations and instability resulting from a bad damper can lead to uneven tire wear and premature tire wear.
  • Suspension wear: A bad steering damper can put extra stress on the suspension system. Over time, this can lead to premature wear of components like tie rods, ball joints, and struts.

What is a steering damper?

A steering damper—also known as a steering stabilizer—is part of the
steering system
in many vehicles. Much like the shock absorbers that help support your car, a steering damper is a hollow tube filled with gas, oil, and a piston. Its job is to stabilize the steering wheel and reduce vibrations. 
Steering dampers are commonly found on off-road and heavy-duty vehicles with large tires. As the tires hit bumps, the steering damper suppresses and absorbs the shocks and lateral movement, preventing the steering wheel from moving on its own or vibrating. The damper provides a smooth and controlled driving experience, especially off-road or on uneven terrain. 

When should I replace the steering damper on my car?

Typically, there is no fixed replacement schedule for steering dampers. That means you’ll only need to replace yours when it wears out or breaks. The most common signs of a bad steering damper include the following: 
  • Loose or wobbly steering: The damper’s main job is to stabilize your steering. If the wheel feels loose, unresponsive, or wobbly, it could be a sign of a bad steering stabilizer.
  • Unstable off-road steering: If your steering wheel shakes or vibrates excessively while driving off-road, it could be a sign that you need a new steering damper.
  • Fluid leakage: The steering damper is filled with gas and oil. If you notice fluid leaking from around the damper, it’s a good indicator that you need a replacement.
  • Clunking noises below the car: When the steering damper goes bad, it’s common to hear clunking noises. This can be caused by loose or worn-out bushings or broken parts rattling against the frame. 
Keep in mind: These symptoms can indicate other steering and suspension system problems. For an accurate diagnosis, you should visit a certified mechanic for an inspection.

How often should I replace my steering damper?

There generally isn’t a set replacement interval for steering dampers. Instead, you should inspect the damper as part of your routine maintenance schedule. If you notice signs of its failure, it’s time for a replacement. 
The top signs of a bad steering damper include excessive steering wheel play, wobbles or vibrations, and clunking sounds from below the car. 

Can I replace my steering damper myself?

A steering damper replacement is a solid DIY project for moderately-experienced hobbyists. The job requires mid-level auto repair experience and access to basic tools. 
Most home mechanics shouldn’t have any issues replacing the steering damper. But if you’re uncomfortable performing the service yourself, you should contact a professional mechanic. 

FAQs

A steering damper is not technically necessary to drive. In fact, many smaller cars do not have steering stabilizers. That said, if you drive an off-road or heavy-duty vehicle with large tires, the steering damper can play a key role in stabilizing your steering. 
Without a steering damper, you may notice:
  • Increased steering wheel vibration
  • Reduced steering stability
  • Suspension damage and tire wear
  • Death wobbles at high speeds
  • Increased safety issues
Yes—steering damper and steering stabilizer refer to the same thing. A steering damper or stabilizer is a shock absorber that connects the steering linkage and vehicle frame. Its purpose is to absorb shocks and vibrations and minimize play in the steering wheel.
A steering damper is an important component of many vehicles’ steering systems. It helps maintain steering stability and responsiveness by preventing vibrations and shocks in the steering wheel. The steering stabilizer is an especially important component for off-road and heavy-duty vehicles with large tires.

Meet Our Experts

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John Davis
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Car Expert
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Certified mechanic with 10+ years of experience
John Davis is an expert automotive writer and former automotive mechanic. John's work spans multiple categories, and he relishes the opportunity to research a new subject and expand his area of expertise and industry knowledge. To date, John has written more than 200 articles covering car maintenance and care, car advice, how-to guides, and more.
Prior to joining Jerry’s editorial team, John worked as a mechanic and freelance writer, creating content for clients including HotCars and SetPower.
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Jessica Barrett
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Car Expert
Jessica Barrett is a senior insurance writer and editor with 10 years of experience in the automotive and travel industries. A specialist in car insurance, car loans, and car ownership, Jessica’s mission is to create comprehensive content that car owners can use to manage their costs and improve their lives. As a managing editor for a team of writers and insurance specialists, Jessica has edited over 2,000 articles for Jerry on topics ranging from local insurance shopping tips to refinancing car loans with bad credit.
Before joining Jerry as a senior content editor in 2021, Jessica created visual content for clients such as Expedia, Vivid Seats, Budget Direct Car Insurance, Angie’s List, and HomeAdvisor. Her content was published in Business Insider, Forbes, Apartment Therapy, and the BBC.
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Kathleen Flear
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Car Expert
Kathleen Flear is an expert insurance writer and editor who heads up Jerry’s editorial team as director of content. Kathleen empowers drivers to make smart car ownership decisions through  best-in-class articles on insurance, loans, and maintenance. Prior to joining Jerry in 2021, Kathleen served as managing editor for a team of SEO content marketing professionals at Article-Writing.co and worked as a freelance writer and editor for a range of digital publications, including Chicago Literati magazine and Golden Words. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English language and literature from Queen’s University, and a master’s degree in creative writing and fiction from Sierra Nevada University.
*The price information provided on our car repair webpages is intended for general informational purposes only. Actual prices for car repair services may vary based on various factors, including but not limited to the make and model of your vehicle, the extent of repair required, and the prevailing market conditions. All prices for real repair shops are estimations based on our research only. Therefore, the prices listed on our webpages should not be considered as final quotes or binding offers.