Shock Absorbers: What do they do?

Shock absorbers are undoubtedly an essential component in any vehicle, as they influence the driving and performance of a car.

To ensure your vehicle has the maximum grip possible and to safely benefit from maximum comfort on every trip, it is highly recommended that you check that your vehicle’s shock absorbers are in proper working condition. How? By servicing your car every 20000 km.

As your shock absorbers functioning properly contributes to a safe, comfortable ride, it is essential you’re aware of how they work.

To find out more, keep reading!


What is a shock absorber?

Car Shock absorbers are components that control spring oscillations and keep vehicle wheels in continuous contact with the ground.


What are shock absorbers for?

In short, the main functions of a shock absorber is:

  • To keep car tyres in contact with the ground;
  • To provide comfort, stability, and safety;
  • To decrease tyre wear.



How do shock absorbers work?

Shock absorbers in automobiles are a kind of oil pump in which a piston is attached to the end of a piston rod and works against hydraulic fluid in the pressure tube

As the suspension rises and falls, hydraulic fluid passes through small holes inside the piston, slowing the movement of the spring and suspension.

The faster the vehicle suspension moves, the greater the resistance the steering damper provides, therefore reducing vehicle bouncing and bobbing.


When should you replace your vehicle shock absorber?

As with tyre pressureoil and coolant levels, the condition of your car’s shock absorbers should be checked regularly.

This is the only way to know if your shock absorber has been damaged or not. After all, shock absorbers that are in poor condition produce serious safety problems.

The longevity of shock absorbers depends on several variables, such as driving style, the load carried, and road and environmental conditions.

As such, you are advised to drive safely and comply with road regulations.



How do you know if your shock absorbers are worn out?

Shock absorbers gradually wear out with use. As it is a gradual process, the adverse effects may not be easily noticeable under normal driving conditions because drivers get used to how their car responds under the available conditions.

However, there are certain symptoms you can look out for that indicate that your shock absorbers are worn out:


1. Increased braking distance

Shock absorbers play an essential role in vehicle braking.

As such, if you notice that your car needs more space than usual to come to a full stop, it could be a tell-tale sign that the shock absorbers are not working properly.

A damaged or worn suspension can increase your braking distance by up to 20%. This is something you should be particularly aware of, as this type of failure can have serious consequences.


2. Poor car lighting

When your car shock absorbers are not in the best condition, your car headlights do not cast an even light out onto the road ahead of your vehicle, endangering your safety and that of others.

Poor lighting can dazzle oncoming drivers, resulting in a considerably high risk of causing a road accident.


3. Unstable steering when driving

Steering becomes harder if a driver has to align the wheels of their car and the steering wheel is unable to easily return to its starting position.

Consequently, it becomes more difficult to perform manoeuvres, making driving more tiring and dangerous.


4. Lack of grip on the road surface

Skidding is one of the problems faced due to shock absorber wear.

When tyres do not come into optimal contact with the road surface, controlling a vehicle becomes considerably more challenging, which can lead to a complete lack of grip.


5. Tyre wear

Faulty suspension causes uneven, faster tyre surface wear.


6. Excessive steering wheel vibration

Shock absorbers in poor condition cause constant, strong steering vibrations, regardless of the road surface conditions.


7. Noisy shock absorber

Shock absorbers that are in poor condition cause noises and movements that make trips very uncomfortable, especially when driving on an uneven road surface.

If you feel that your shock absorbers are not responding to an uneven road surface or make a noise every time your car suspension is engaged, it’s time to replace them.


8. Oil leaks

If your shock absorber is leaking oil, this can be an indicator that the piston torsion is in poor condition.

In other words, shock absorber with oil leaks cause unsafe, unstable driving that may result in road accidents.

Now you know the main signs to look out for damage to your shock absorber.

Shock absorber are a key element of vehicle safety. As such, it is extremely important that you carry out periodic car maintenance to ensure it performs at its best when on the road.

If you need to replace your vehicle’s shock absorbers, take your car to a garage specialising in shock absorbers.


Which tools should you use to replace your shock absorbers?

To replace your shock absorbers, you’ll need:


Which coil compressors are available in the KROFtools catalogue?

The following coil compressors are available in the KROFtools catalogue to help you change your car’s shock absorbers:


  • Hydraulic Coil Spring Compressor



The Hydraulic Coil Spring Compressor is pedal-operated and has a maximum air pressure of 116psi (8 Bar).

Click on the image to find out more information about the Hydraulic Coil Spring Compressor (Ref.1950).


  • Spring Shock Compressor



For wishbone, freestanding, or multi-link suspension systems, count on the Spring Shock Absorber, which is suitable for springs for which the lower suspension access hole desired is 30mm or larger.

This shock absorber spring compressor is compatible with most brands available on the market.

Click on the image to find out more about the Spring Shock Absorber (Ref.2637).


Macpherson spring compressor



The Macpherson spring compressor kit includes 8 joints and 1 compressor and is compatible with most of the brands available on the market, including BMW, Toyota, Ford, Mitsubishi, Audi, Nissan, Volvo, Opel, and Porsche, among others.

Click on the image to find out more about the Macpherson spring compressor (Ref.1941).


How much does it cost to replace a car shock absorber?

The price of replacing shock absorber ranges from 100 to 200 euros per shock absorber.

As you’re now aware of the tell-tale signs that shock absorber are in poor condition, do not forget to check them often.

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