Shock absorbers, despite being a very small component of your vehicle, are vital for keeping your car running at peak performance. Once in a while, these shock absorbers need replaced.
What is a shock absorber?
A shock absorber is a small part of your car that absorbs shock from the suspension, ensuring that this shock doesn't reach anyone inside the car. This function is crucial for riding smoothly over bumps and ridges along the road. And when you hit the brakes, it is the shock absorbers that absorb most of the impact. They work by reducing the kinetic energy from a shock into heat, and only let a tiny amount of hydraulic fluid flow through to the piston, thereby reducing the shock and movement on the suspension itself.
There are three common types of shock absorbers. A conventional twin tube shock absorber is the most common, and simply has a pressure tube and a reserve tube that lets the hydraulic fluid move inside, allowing the mechanical energy of bumps along the road to transform and dissipate as heat. Mono-tube shock absorbers only have one pressure tube and two pistons, which move in sync with the car's movement to dissipate shock. Spool valve shock absorbers use oil passages inside a cylindrical sleeve to dissipate kinetic energy.
How long do shock absorbers usually last? Do my shock absorbers need replaced?
Shock absorbers don't have an expiration date or set routine, unlike many other car parts. You can tell that your shock absorbers need replaced when your car is slow to brake and tends to dive when you step on the brake pedal. Your ride may also feel bumpier or more unstable.
You can also identify that your shock absorbers need replaced by examining your vehicle. If there are oil stains on the suspension or behind the wheels, or if there is cupping on your car's tires, your shock absorbers most likely need replaced.
Bad shock absorbers can be dangerous due to the impeded braking ability and hazardous diving, so it's crucial to get your shock absorbers replaced when you start to notice these issues.
As soon as you notice that your shock absorbers aren't performing at their best, you should prioritize taking them in for a skilled replacement as soon as possible. Repairing shock absorbers can be complex and require specialized tools, but our experts are ready and happy to help you replace your shock absorbers. If you need a shock absorber replacement, we invite you to bring your car into The Detroit Garage today!