What exactly are shock absorbers? And why are they important?
Shock absorbers are devices that reduce the impact of a collision or sudden stop. They are found in cars, trucks, motorcycles, bicycles, snowmobiles, and other vehicles. The shocks absorb energy from the impact and dissipate it into heat. This reduces the force of the impact and helps prevent injury. Also, we can’t ignore that shock absorbers are one of the elements that keeps the value of your car in case you decide to evaluate your car and sell it.
Shock absorbers come in two types: hydraulic and mechanical. Hydraulic shock absorbers use oil pressure to dampen movement. Mechanical shock absorbers use springs to cushion the impact. Both hydraulic and mechanical shocks absorb energy. Mechanic shock absorbers are also called suspension units or sway bars. Shocks can help protect your vehicle’s frame by absorbing impacts when you’re driving on rough roads or hills with lots of bumps. On smooth roads, shocks aren’t as helpful because bumpy roads don’t throw off much energy. When there is some energy being thrown off, though, the shocks keep the car stable. The shocks absorb this extra energy as well. If you have an older vehicle, you might not need shocks if your suspension has enough travel (the distance the wheels move up and down without hitting anything). For example, most small sedans have about three inches of travel.
How do I install a shock absorber?
Shock absorption is one way to keep your car on the road after an accident. A properly installed shock will save you $1,000s of dollars over the life of your car. Properly installing a shock means putting it back in its original position once you’ve removed it for service. Most shocks can be put back in place with no special tools. However, some parts may require specialized equipment.
A shock goes where the spring used to be. It stops the motion of the wheel and absorbs the excess energy from bouncing. Springs wear out quickly and need to be replaced frequently. Shock absorbers last longer than springs but their effectiveness decreases over time. A worn-out shock absorber doesn’t deliver the same level of protection as a new one will. You’ll need to replace them as soon as the damage shows up.
How do I check my shock absorbers?
Checking shocks isn’t difficult at all. You can do a visual inspection. Your mechanic should let you know when there is excessive wear or damage. You can also ask him or her what the condition of your shocks look like. Look closely and you’ll probably see signs of wear. A car with good shocks looks more “solid” than one with bad shocks. If your shocks are worn, then you’ll hear them squeak when you drive. If they make too high of a noise, then there could be problems down the road. Your shock absorbers should never screech. They should only make a low noise that resembles air blowing through your ear.
Is a shock absorber broken? What does it mean?
If something feels loose or disconnected, that’s often a sign that something is wrong. One common cause of looseness or disconnection in a shock absorber is improper installation. If you noticed that your shocks were loose or disconnected, take them to a shop for repair. They’ll get you back on the highway safely again. But if the problem persists, call a professional. If you want, you can read a complete article on the topic called How to Fix Suspension Issues.
How long will a shock last?
The life expectancy of a shock absorber depends entirely on how much work gets done on it. If your shocks haven’t been serviced regularly, then they won’t last as long as they otherwise would. Also, the type of rubber bushings you choose affects the length of life. Good quality bushings will last longer than cheap ones. And replacing regular intervals lengthens your shock absorbers’ lifespan even further.
What are my maintenance requirements?
Your shocks go under the hood with the rest of your suspension components. That means keeping an eye on them means checking other suspension components. As mentioned earlier, a damaged shock absorber will eventually lead to a bigger issue. And every part of a suspension system has its own functions. For example, your shocks absorb bumps while your coilovers (also known by the brand names KWAs) control ride height. Other suspension components like your springs and struts play many roles as well. Checking each component periodically ensures the best performance possible. You might notice something odd about the way you park, or maybe you feel the car bounce when driving over uneven ground. When you’re finished examining all of your suspension components, have your mechanic check them out for you. He or she will help you identify any issues early on.
Which shock absorber model is right for me?
There are several different types of shock absorbers available. The two most common types are hydraulic and air operated. Hydraulic shocks use oil to regulate their force during compression and rebound. Air shocks use air pressure instead. It’s worth noting that air shocks come in many shapes and sizes. While some models have a large reservoir of air, others aren’t as big. This doesn’t mean that a small-sized shock is less capable than a larger sized one. Just make sure that you pick a size that fits snugly inside your vehicle. Make sure the valve stem seals tightly against the body. Check the level of fluid as well. Some vehicles require a certain amount of fluid. And others don’t need it at all. As always, if you plan on changing your shock absorber fluid, contact your auto service center before doing so.
Sultan Asad is the Branding Manager at WeBuyCarsDXB. More than 5000 customers from all over the UAE have chosen We Buy Cars DXB as a trustworthy car selling service that provides a hassle-free way for any person selling their car by taking care of the deal front to end in under 30 minutes.
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