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All right, you ready for a real surprise? A shock absorber is a part of your car that absorbs shock. You can go ahead and pick your jaw up from the floor now.
But what exactly does that mean? Let’s break it down a little bit further for you.
Your car is subject to a lot of weird movements. There are potholes, speedbumps, and imperfections in the road, not to mention the physical pull of the car as you go around turns, accelerate, or slow down.
So, the shock absorbers absorb a lot of that movement, keeping it from making its way back to you, or to the parts of the car that would be damaged by such movement. They’re actually a remarkably simple component. The shock absorbers are placed above the wheels, and connect to the suspension and the frame of the car. They essentially are cylinders with a piston in them, as well as some gas or oily liquid.
As your car bounces up and down, the piston in the shock absorbers does the same, with the liquid or gas absorbing much of the impact. That keeps the frame of the car from absorbing it, which keeps your butt from absorbing it. And everyone wins.
Many modern cars have two shock absorbers: One over each rear wheel. A lot of older cars, however, have shock absorbers over all four wheels (the cars that only have shock absorbers over the rear wheels utilize strut assemblies in the front of the car).
You can probably imagine that shock absorbers get a lot of action, and, as a result, they can wear out. When that happens, they’ll need to be replaced, by the pair.
Let me guess: You probably don’t pay much attention to your scheduled maintenance or your car’s manual. Who needs it, anyway? Well, you do. So, listen up. Not all cars call for the shock absorbers to be replaced as part of scheduled maintenance, but some cars do. This is done as a preventative measure, to replace the absorbers before they die and potentially cause damage to other parts of your car.
Here’s a news flash: Your car uses a lot of different fluids, and, as a result, a lot of different things can leak. If you notice a leak coming from your car, it could be a number of different things. It probably isn’t the shock absorber - that’s fairly low on the scale of things that you’ll find leaking - but it could be.
If you’re noticing that your car has a bumpier than usual ride, it’s a pretty good sign that something might be wrong with your suspension. That something just might be the shock absorbers. Old school wooden roller coasters might be fun, but let’s keep that feeling at the amusement park, shall we?
Here’s something that I really shouldn’t have to tell you: Your car shouldn’t make weird noises. When it does make a weird noise, it’s usually because there’s something broken that needs to be fixed. If your shock absorbers have kicked the bucket, then you might hear a knocking noise coming from your car.
If your shock absorbers aren’t doing your job, then your car will be making uneven contact with the road. This will often result in your tires being worn unevenly. It’s a good idea to check the wear of your tires regularly, so that you can spot any weird wear patterns before they become bigger issues.Get a Quote 1-Year | 12,000-Mile Warranty
Your car is still safe to drive short distances when the shock absorbers need to be replaced. But you should get them replaced as soon as possible, unless you’re a fan of damaging your suspension and your tailbone.
1-Year | 12,000-Mile Warranty