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Shock absorbers are hydraulic pump-like devices that help to control the impact and rebound movement of a vehicle’s springs and suspension. Apart from smoothing out bumps and vibrations, the key role of shock absorbers is to ensure that the vehicle’s tires remain in contact with the road surface at all times. This helps to ensure that the safest control and braking response from the car is maintained.
Below is a brief show on how shock absorbers work, refilling, as well as their replacements.
How Shock Absorbers Work
More of scientific knowledge is applied in the working of the device. It works by taking the kinetic energy (movement) of your suspension and converting it to thermal energy that is then transferred into the atmosphere through the mechanism of heat exchange. Shock absorbers are basically oil pumps that have a piston that is attached to the end of a piston rod. It then works against hydraulic fluid in the pressure tube. As the suspension travels up and down, the hydraulic fluid is forced through tiny holes inside the piston. These orifices only allow a small amount of fluid through the piston; therefore the piston is slowed in a way that it slows down spring and suspension movement. After a while they adjust to road conditions as the suspension moves. This movement helps them to provide more resistance.
Types of Shock Absorbers
1. Conventional telescopic shocks
It is the simplest type of shock and is replaced rather than being refilled. This shock absorber can be found on both front and rear suspension systems and it is not much expensive.
2. Strut-type shocks
These replaces part of the suspension system and must be more ruggedly built to cope with greater loads and forces.
3. Spring seat shocks
Have both characteristics of conventional telescopic and strut-type shocks. Built using similar components to conventional shock absorbers, spring seat shocks are also sealed requiring full replacement.
Refilling and Replacing Shock Absorbers
Regular checking of your vehicle is an important practice to maintain its best condition. It is a recommendation to replace the shocks for every 50,000 miles covered, but this greatly depends on the treatment of one’s vehicle suspension.
Steps in Refilling a Shock Absorber
I. Start by removing the bolt in filling hole
II. Empty old fluid, forcing it out by compressing the shock
III. Starting with shock compressed, draw in new fluid through a tube and extending shock bench bleed to remove trapped air
IV. Replace filling the whole plug.