Welcome to Premier Tyre and Autocare, your vehicle specialists in Skelmersdale. On this page, we will have a closer look at the suspension system in the car. Shock absorbers, also called vibration dampers, are used to prevent or control the vibrations occurring in the vehicle.
They ensure optimum positioning of the tyres, which is relevant for example during braking maneuvres. Thus, they are one of the most important components of a vehicle and ensure safety on the road. If they are defective, this can cause a great deal of damage. With us, you will learn how a shock absorber works, what the causes of wear can be and how to detect a defect.
The shock absorbers - types, structure and function
In principle, the structure of the shock absorbers are based on a cylinder and a piston, which interlock. Inside the cylinder is hydraulic oil, which is pressed by the piston through narrow openings during vibrations. As a result, the vibrations in the shock absorber lose intensity, the mechanical energy is converted into heat energy and dissipated via the outer walls. The damper can be heated up to 120 degrees during this process.
If the vibrations were not dissipated, vehicles would be much more difficult to control.
The tyres would promptly spring back in case of loss of grip, causing the car to ultimately lose its road grip. It has been proven that cars with defective shock absorbers have a significantly longer braking distance.
One can distinguish between two types of dampers. The oil shock absorbers are rarely used in the automotive industry. The separation of air and oil molecules can lead to a reduction of the steam power at a heavy load - thus a bad traction is caused.
With the gas pressure shock absorbers, the oil is under constant pressure and can withstand a load.
When is the replacement of the shock absorbers required?
The shock absorbers are exposed to many mechanical influences since they have to catch and convert any kind of vibration. The wear is therefore heavily dependent on the roads that are usually used. Cobblestones and land routes put more strain on the shock absorbers than smooth and paved roads. The wear of the shock absorber begins with oil coming out of the cylinder. If the oil level reaches its minimum, the shock absorber can no longer function properly. The result is insufficient driving characteristics.
Our advice: Get the shock absorbers, suspension, oil and callipers checked regularly.
Over a more extended period of time and a consumption of about 50,000 miles, you should think about having your shock absorbers checked. The danger is that many owners do not notice the wear on your vehicle.
These signs indicate a possible defect:
As so often, there are several signs that can speak for a defect.
Below is a selection of the most common symptoms:
Shock absorbers squeal
You have heard that the shock absorbers make a loud squeaking noise. Unevenly worn tyresThe tread of your tyres has worn off unevenly.
Increased tyre wear
You have noticed unusually high tyre wear in recent times. Spongy handlingThe driving style of the car is "spongy" and the steering seems to be inaccurate. Thumping noises
You have noticed bumps while driving. Vehicle is swinging
You have noticed an up and down swinging movement of the car while driving on a bumpy road. Vibrating steering wheel
The steering wheel wobbles and vibrates while driving. Oil on the shock absorberOil escapes from the shock absorbers of your vehicle. Interrupted skidmarkYou have noticed that the skid marks are interrupted during heavy braking instead of looking continuous
The function test for the shock absorbers
If you notice any of the above signs in your vehicle, then you should come to see us at our Premier Tyre And Autocare workshop in Lathom, Skelmersdale as soon as possible. We will test how the car reacts to crosswinds, how long the braking distance is, whether the vehicle breaks out in the curve and whether driving comfort is impaired.
How can the shock absorbers be changed?
It is strongly recommended to have defective shock absorbers repaired by specialists. After successful installation, the individual components must be matched to each other. Otherwise, malfunctions may occur. Shock absorbers can be installed both at the front and at the rear. In order to get to remove the defective components and fit the new ones, usually, both tyres and brakes must be dismantled. Another issue is the connection of the shock absorber with the springs. The spring forms with the shock absorbers and the wheel carrier the so-called strut. Many manufacturers use it in such a way that a separate change is either impossible or too costly. For this reason, shock absorbers and springs are often replaced together. We at Premier Tyre And Autocare, always do our best to keep the costs down for our customers without making any compromises on safety.
Repairing of shock absorbers usually takes about 40 to 60 minutes per wheel. The duration of the change, however, depends heavily on the vehicle. If for example, stiff screws or other parts hinder the replacement, the repair will take longer.
What you should keep in mind about the shock absorbers in your car:
Shock absorbers are exposed to heavy loads from road surfaces and can, therefore, wear out quickly.
Pay close attention to possible defects (vibration of the steering wheel while drivingIf necessary, carry out a shock absorber test
Always have the changes done in a specialist workshop. If you have any questions or want to get your vehicle's suspension checked, please contact us. We are here to help.