The shock absorber is the key element in a car’s suspension, intended to compensate for the load on the chassis when driving on uneven roads. Find out what a shock absorber is, how it works, what types it is, and how to replace it.
A modern shock absorber is a complex mechanism that dampens vibrations, absorbs shocks and ensures constant contact between the wheels and the road surface while driving. It is installed next to the wheel. Using the lever, mechanical loads (pressures and oscillations) are transferred from a rotating wheel to the mechanism.
When they created the vehicles, the early developers faced a serious problem. While driving on the road, the driver felt a terrible discomfort due to constant shaking. Also due to the loads, the chassis parts broke quickly. To eliminate the problem on the wheels began to loosen along the rubber hoses. Then there were springs that smoothed out the bumps, but the transport also lacked stability on a hill – the car swayed sharply. The first shock absorbers appeared in 1903 and were in the form of springs attached to handles near each wheel. They were mainly installed on sports cars as cars did not need such a system due to their low speed. Over the years, this development has improved and friction dampers have been replaced by hydraulic equivalents.
When driving on uneven wheels, the car must be in constant contact with the ground. The controllability of the vehicle also depends on the quality of the shock absorber. Without shock absorbers, a comfortable ride would be impossible as they are designed to minimize shocks and compensate for the car’s sleekness when cornering. Not only driving comfort but also the steerability of the vehicle as a whole depends on the damping devices. In general, this part must be replaced after 100-150 thousand km. All car shock absorbers are part of the suspension and are arranged roughly according to the same principle. They consist of a cylindrical body with a piston which houses the oil-permeable valves. The piston is attached to a rod which moves up and down the cylinder. The cylinder cavity is filled with oil.
For the driver, there are the first signs that indicate wear on the shock absorbers:
● increased braking distance due to increased absorption capacity;
● comfortable speed reduction when driving in corners;
● decrease in aquaplaning rate;
Worn shock absorbers begin to make noise when driving into a bend or over a bump.
Dust and dirt entering the shock absorbers can also degrade them. Small particles in the working chamber leave scratches on the rod. As a result, the stuffing box is no longer tight and oil leaks as a result. An even better mono tube shock is one equipped with an offset compensation chamber. This improved design allows for a greater amount of compressed gas and oil. In an even more advanced improvement, a valve system is installed in the path of the oil flowing from the master cylinder to the far chamber to regulate the stiffness of the shock absorber. There are modifications of shock absorbers where the oil overflow pipes pass over the outer surface.
However, if the shock absorbers are not replaced, the risk of an accident is multiplied. Previously, it was estimated that if the shock absorbers were worn by 50%, the braking distance increased at 50 km / h by 2 meters. The driver hardly notices this 50% wear.
Many drivers decide, when special shock absorbers fail, to replace them with regular shock absorbers. It certainly makes it necessary to replace the spring set, but many models do not allow replacing the original shock absorbers with standard shock absorbers.
Shock absorbers should always only be replaced in pairs, and it is important that the damping elements mounted on a shaft have the closest possible properties. It is very dangerous to experiment with gas and oil shock absorbers on one axle and oil shock absorbers on the other. With this configuration, it is difficult to predict the behavior of the car in non-standard situations.
In general, the technology for replacing shock absorbers does not present problems for car repair specialists. However, it is necessary to remember that since shock absorbers so fundamentally affect road safety, you should not make a mistake when replacing them.
Source of information: