The shock absorbers on your car play a very vital role in your safety as a driver, so it is important to get them replaced as soon as they are worn out. But what do shock absorbers do, and how much will it cost you to have them replaced?
- How Much Does A Shock Absorber Replacement Cost?
- How Long Will A Shock Absorber Replacement Take?
- What Is A Shock Absorber?
- What Does A Shock Absorber Do?
- How Does A Shock Absorber Work?
- How Do You Tell Your Shock Absorbers Are Worn?
- Is It Safe To Drive With A Broken Shock Absorber?
- How Long Should Shock Absorbers Last?
- Should I Replace All My Shock Absorbers At Once?
- How Can I Test My Shock Absorbers?
Shock absorbers are safety components that are critical in ensuring your car drives safely and smoothly. They absorb shock from potholes and similar bumps to stop your car from bouncing excessively, as well as ensure that the tyres are safely on the ground at all times. The cost of replacing your shock absorbers will be anywhere from £150 to £500, depending on the make and model of your car.
How Much Does A Shock Absorber Replacement Cost?
A shock absorber replacement will cost you anywhere between £150 and £500. It differs greatly depending on the make and model of your car – and how long it will take the mechanic to replace your shock absorbers.
How Long Will A Shock Absorber Replacement Take?
It will take your mechanic between one and a half and four hours to replace your shock absorbers. It’ll depend on the make and model of your car, and where everything is located within your vehicle.
What Is A Shock Absorber?
The shock absorbers are critical safety components. Your car is fitted with front and rear shock absorbers, and they play an essential role in ensuring your car drives smoothly and comfortably. They are responsible for levelling out your car over bumps in the road, and absorbing blows from outside sources.
It works on a system of springs and hydraulic pistons.
What Does A Shock Absorber Do?
The absorbers control the bounciness of your suspension springs by absorbing the movement of the suspension. The shock provides resistance, so your car won’t bounce too many times.
Their key role is to ensure that your vehicle’s tyres remain on the road at all times so if you need to brake or turn the wheel, you have the safest control to do so. If your tyres leave the road, you lose all control of the vehicle, which could result in a very dangerous situation.
How Does A Shock Absorber Work?
Shock absorbers work by converting kinetic energy (movement) into thermal energy (heat). The heat is then dissipated into the atmosphere through heat exchange, softening the shock.
That may sound complicated – in simpler terms, shock absorbers are like hydraulic oil pumps. A piston is attached to the end of a rod and works against hydraulic fluid in the pressure tube. The faster the suspension moves, the more resistance they provide.
How Do You Tell Your Shock Absorbers Are Worn?
Noticing that your shocks are leaking oil is one of the most common signs that your absorbers need replacing. Leaking will come from a damaged piston seal.
If your shock absorbers aren’t working correctly, your tyres will begin to wear unevenly. If you notice any bald spots or worn areas on unusual parts of your tyres, your shock absorbers could be to blame.
Unusual Vibrations and Bumps
If you notice vibrations or that your car is bumping and bouncing more than usual, it is time to have your shock absorbers replaced. You should hardly notice bumps when your shock absorbers are working correctly – so any changes may indicate that something needs to be done.
Longer Stopping Times And Swerving
If your shock absorbers need a replacement, you will notice it in the way your car handles. A worn seal could lead to fluid overflow, which may mean that your car will have a longer stopping time. This is dangerous as if you need to brake in an emergency, your car may not respond quickly enough.
A leaking seal could also cause your car to swerve or veer in one direction – which is also dangerous, especially in extreme weather conditions.
Is It Safe To Drive With A Broken Shock Absorber?
No – driving without working shock absorbers is dangerous and could result in an accident. Shock absorbers are important safety features on your car and if you notice that something isn’t right, you should get booked in with a garage to have them looked at and replaced.
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How Long Should Shock Absorbers Last?
The lifespan of your shock absorbers really comes down to how often and the way in which you use your car. The general rule of thumb is around 50,000 miles.
If you drive many miles daily or do a lot of off-road driving, you can expect your shocks to last around five years. The average driver may get as many as ten years.
Should I Replace All My Shock Absorbers At Once?
Since you have four shock absorbers (one by each tyre), you should consider changing them all at the same time, even if only one is damaged and needs replacing. This is because having shock absorbers of varying qualities may lead to uneven handling – it is also helpful as you can then be sure that everything is working as it should be, safely and securely.
How Can I Test My Shock Absorbers?
If you believe you may have an issue with your shock absorbers, there is a simple ‘bounce’ test you can carry out to check. Simply locate the corner of the car you believe to have the faulty shock absorber (you should be able to tell by the way your car drives) and press down on the car above the wheel. Continue to bounce the vehicle until it is bouncing in time with you.
Let go, and study how it bounces without you. A functioning shock absorber will cause the car to bounce a couple of times, then steady. If the car continues to bounce excessively, or in fact, not at all, something is wrong, and you should take your car to a garage to be inspected.