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AC Delco vs Monroe Shocks: Comparison and Review

Many people ask, “What are AC Delco shocks vs Monroe shocks?” To answer this, we need to first understand what these types of shocks do. They both provide a better ride, but there are some differences in how they perform.

The AC Delco shocks have been around since 1936 and were originally designed for GM cars. Their automatic load-leveling feature automatically adjusts to your driving conditions for an improved experience on every trip you take.

Ransom E Olds Jr developed the Monroe shock in 1916, so it is one of the oldest brands available today! Monroe is known for its heavy duty performance and durability over time, with its tough rubber construction that can withstand harsh road conditions or uneven terrain.

In this article today, we will know some of the key differences between these two popular manufacturers.

AC Delco Shocks vs Monroe Shocks: What are the differences?

AC Delco vs Monroe Shocks featured image

Adjusting mechanism:

AC Delco shocks have a self-adjusting mechanism. Depending on the model you purchase, the adjuster knob can be located on top of the shock or sometimes inside it. They also have an internal floating piston design. That is unique to AC Delco and creates a smoother ride with better control over how your truck responds to road conditions.

Monroe shocks are manufactured with a different approach. They have an external adjuster knob that is easily accessible, making it easy to change the settings on your cars without any special tools or knowledge required. This makes them great for beginners who are still learning about their light trucks and what type of ride they prefer!


A great warranty backs AC Delco shocks. They will cover the parts and labor of the AC Delco shock for 12 months or 12,000 miles. If you face any issue with your truck after that time period, it is still covered under an extended warranty (not lifetime warranty) plan, which can cover up to 36 months/36,000 miles.

The Monroe shock does not have a lifetime warranty, rather a limited warranty of 12 months or 12,000 miles. And their warranty does not cover any shipping fees if you have to send it back for repairs.


AC Delco shocks are easy to install by yourself at home, since the external adjuster knob makes them accessible from outside your truck. They also include all the necessary hardware, so you don’t need to worry about picking up anything extra.

The Monroe shocks are more difficult to install, since they require special tools and knowledge of your cars to get them installed correctly.


AC Delco will always be cheaper in price than other brands like Monroe, but don’t let that fool you! They are durable and will save you money in the long run.

Monroe shocks also tend to be more expensive, as they have a much longer warranty time period than AC Delco or any other brand.


AC Delco shocks come in many different colors, so you can pick the one best fits your car. Some of these colors include black, orange, and yellow or silver, depending on which brand you choose to buy from.

Monroe shocks only come in a few different color choices, such as blue and red, so they will not fit every truck out there!


AC Delco shocks are perfect for trucks that are used daily and drive on rough roads full of speed bumps.

Monroe shocks will work great if you only need them temporarily, but not as a long-term solution, since they have a shorter warranty time period.

Also read: Monroe vs Gabriel Shocks and Struts

Features Need to be Considered Before Buying Shocks or Struts

AC Delco Shocks


The cost of shock absorbers is vital to consider. Expensive shocks and struts do not automatically mean that they are better than cheaper ones, but many people choose them because they believe it’s a good investment.

While this can be true in some cases (e.g., expensive OEM parts), consumers should also remember to shop around and compare the prices of good shocks absorbers or struts before making a purchase.

Build quality:

Good shocks or struts that are of higher build and ride quality will generally last longer and perform better. When considering the cost-effectiveness of shock absorbers, many people also think about how long they can expect it to last before needing to do shock or OEM replacement (i.e., lifespan). 

When purchasing shocks or struts, this is an important consideration because most automotive parts only come with a limited warranty.


Auto parts like shock absorbers’ warranties vary by manufacturer and part type. Some Shocks or Struts might have lifetime warranties, while others are guaranteed for less than five years (i.e., 80,000 miles). Consumers should familiarize themselves with the warranty of their chosen product before making a purchase.


Shocks or struts must function properly for a long period of time. They are supposed to cope with the vibrations and demands placed on them by the rest of the suspension system, engine, transmission, etc. Many parts come with their own set of unique features that affect durability (e.g., piston rod designs, shock absorbers’ construction, etc.).


Some shocks or struts are easier to install with strut mounts than other shock absorbers. Consumers should compare the difficulty level of their chosen product with that offered by competitors before making a purchase. A number of online resources provide valuable information on this topic (e.g., Installation Instructions).

Suspension types:

There are many different suspension types available. Each type is designed to suit a particular driving style or environment (e.g., sport suspensions). With so much variety, consumers should make sure that their chosen rear shocks or struts will function properly with the rest of their vehicle’s systems before purchasing.

Tire and wheel size:

Air shocks or struts must be able to cope with the weight of both the vehicle and its passengers. This is important because if your air shocks are unable to do so, there might be damage done to other system components (e.g., suspension).

Consumers should make sure that any shock absorbers or struts they purchase can accommodate their tire size before making a purchase.

Ride height:

Shocks or struts respond to the weight of a vehicle and its passengers by compressing slightly, then releasing that energy back into the suspension system. This is why they are sometimes referred to as “dampers.”

In this way, standard shocks can help control stock ride height—which refers to how far off the ground a car is. You can adjust the stock height by replacing the shock absorbers or struts with another part of different stiffness (i.e., spring rate).

Load capacity/Vehicle weight:

The load-carrying capabilities of new shocks are expressed in two ways—load index and gross axle weight rating (GAWR). The first shock value represents how much weight shock absorbers can carry at one time (e.g., 220 lb).

The second value refers to how much weight a car’s axles and suspension system can support when fully loaded (i.e., gross vehicle weight rating or GVWR).


Rear shock absorbers contain valves that control the flow of hydraulic fluid through small holes in the piston rod. The hundreds of tiny holes in the valving play an important role in controlling car ride height and optimizing car handling, stability, softer ride, cornering response, etc.


Are Monroe shocks better than AC Delco?

Neither company has a specific advantage over the other. They both make high & good quality parts like shock absorbers for different prices, as explained in our article.

Are OEM parts worth it?

The short answer is yes, OEM parts are worth it! However, not all OEM shocks will be the right choice for your car. Sometimes aftermarket or remanufactured rear shocks can perform better than their factory shocks or counterparts at a fraction of the cost.

To determine if you should replace your old AC Delco vs Monroe Shocks, take some time to read other customer reviews.

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