Smooth Ride Guaranteed With an Efficient Shock Absorber

By: Anthony Fontanelle

Smoothness and comfort are given emphasis when it comes to choosing the right ride. The suspension components are usually responsible for such features. Often, the shock absorber carries this main task. Assigned to improve ride quality, the shock absorber is designed to reduce the bouncy feeling each time the vehicle passes a bumpy road. It does this by spreading the shock energy to avoid shaking the entire vehicle when hitting sudden bumps.

A shock absorber also contributes to car handling as it keeps the vehicle easy to maneuver. Aside from making vehicle occupants comfortable, it also affects the braking system. With a defective shock absorber, the brakes do not immediately respond, possibly endangering the passengers. A driver may have to stop the vehicle a few feet away just to prevent the likeliness of collisions. To avoid this, proper maintenance of the shock absorber is needed.

There are three types of today: fluid, gas, and coil covers. Fluid is designed to give a smooth ride, while gas is considered to be one of the strongest types of shocks. Coil covers, on the other hand, are stiff, but effectively dampen unexpected bumps. The type of shock absorbers varies, depending on the performance a motorist wants.

The most common problem of shock absorbers is wearing out. The symptoms include steering wheel vibrations, car veers in side winds, excessive bounces on rough surfaces, oil leaks from shocks, nose-diving when braking, excessive leans or sways on turns, uneven tire wear, and dented or damaged housing. If any of these signs are detected, it is recommended to immediately inspect the shock absorbers to avoid problems. Otherwise, the inability to steer clear of danger or affected vehicle stability in cases of emergency maneuvers may be present. A motorist can also determine if the shock absorbers are defective through a self-inspection called "bounce test." The front bumper should be pushed to the pavement as low as possible and then let go. If the vehicle rebounds into place quickly, then there should be no worries. But once the front of the car "bounces" up and down more than twice before it gets back into place, the shocks are considered problematic.

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