What are shock absorbers?
When a car is moving over rough or uneven surfaces, shock absorbers help to stop the car bouncing or vibrating too much and ensure that the tyres have full contact with the road surface all the time.
Why are shock absorbers important?
Enormous demands are placed on certain parts of cars when being driven. Shock absorbers are found on a car’s suspension, where they take the strain of all the constant bouncing up and down of the vehicle. Most cars’ wheels also have them. Worn shock absorbers will affect the car’s handling and braking, which can reduce your safety. That's why you must book a shock absorber repair promptly if anything feels wrong with your car's suspension.
How do shock absorbers work?
Shock absorbers have a piston inside them that moves up and down in line with the suspension and, depending on the vehicle, hydraulic fluid or air chambers absorb the energy from the road caused by vibration.
What causes shock absorber problems?
- If a car hits a pothole or curb, a shock absorber might get damaged.
- When a car is in an accident, there is a chance that its shock absorbers will be damaged.
- If the springs in the piston of a car’s shock absorber break or the hydraulic fluid or air leaks out.
What are the signs that a car needs a shock absorber repair?
- It’s hard to know if there is a problem with your shock absorbers as they usually fail over time.
- The pattern of tyre wear looks like cups or is “scalloping,” which is when the tread looks wavy all around, because the tyre isn’t able to stay firmly on the road.
- If a car feels different to drive on a familiar road, its shock absorbers might be worn or damaged
- When a car’s stopping distance is up to 20% further than usual.
- If a car bounces more than it normally would while driving over bumps.
- Whenever a car swings up and down like a boat.
- If a car swerves and dips when the brakes are used.
- On those occasions when tyres start squealing when a car goes around corners.
- If a car’s suspension squeaks.
How long does a shock absorber repair take?
- Replacing a shock absorber is a relatively simple job to perform.
- A standalone shock absorber is connected to a car’s suspension and frame and can be changed quickly.
- A strut shock absorber is harder to change because suspension coil springs and the strut unit have to be removed to get the work done.
How much do shock absorbers cost?
- The cost of an individual shock absorber can be up to £200, but labour needs to be factored in.
- Buying shock absorbers in pairs will lower the cost.
- When shock absorbers are replaced, the suspension mounts are removed and should be changed at the same time, which will add a little more to the cost.