What are Shock Absorbers and how do they work?

shock absorber is a mechanical or hydraulic device designed to absorb shock impulses. Most vehicles have one shock absorber for each of the four. Shock absorbers are an integral part of a vehicle’s suspension. A shock absorber is designed to absorb or dampen the compression and rebound of the springs and suspension. They control the unwanted and excess spring motion. Shock absorbers always keep your tires in contact with the road.  When you hit any bump or dip in a road, your vehicle’s suspension and springs move so the tire can stay in contact with the road and absorb the energy.

What role do Shock Absorbers play?

A car shock absorber helps to minimize tire tread wear by stabilizing and controlling the movements of the vehice tire. Tires that are held firmly against the ground and held in position by a firm shock absorber last longer and experience much less tread wear. Depending on road conditions or driving style, a vehicle can go from smooth and controlled to bumpy and erratic in a short period. Shock absorbers stabilize the overall vehicle ride, preventing an excess of vehicle body lean or roll in any one direction, especially when cornering or navigating sharp turns. This stabilization allows for greater vehicle control and stability. On rough and bumpy roads, Shock Absorbers can raise the vehicle with the push of button for greater ground clearance. The main purpose of shock absorbers is to limit overall vehicle body movement, or sway. As a vehicle is driven, the body will move up and down or side to side to various degrees in response to driving and road conditions. These types of vehicle movements are kept in check by shock absorbers.

How do Shock Absorbers work?

The shock absorbers dampen the movement of the springs by converting the spring’s kinetic energy into thermal (heat) energy. This thermal energy is then degenerated in hydraulic fluid. Shock absorbers are an oil-filled cylinder. When your vehicle’s suspension moves, a piston moves up and down through the oil-filled cylinder. The up-and-down movement of the piston forces small amounts of fluid through orifices (tiny holes) in the piston head. Since only a small amount of fluid is forced out, this slows down the suspension’s movement and dampens the compression and rebound of the springs. Shock absorbers are also velocity sensitive. This means that the faster the springs are moving, the more resistance the shock absorber provides.