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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.

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.

About MG

MG is an archetypally British car marque, still manufactured at the historic Longbridge car plant in Birmingham. The history of MG stretches back to its registration in 1924, and the company went on to produce a range of iconic two seater sports cars. The MG Owners Club claims to be the World's largest single marque car club, an indication of the passion MG owners have for their vehicles.

In terms of models, some of the best loved vintage cars still seen on British roads are from the MG stable. These include the distinctive MG Midget with its ‘frog eye’ headlights, clean lines and nimble handling, perfect for the UK’s twisty single carriageway country lanes. The Midget was manufactured between 1961 - 1979, and MG continues to evolve and produce good looking cars. The current range includes the MG3, a practical and fun supermini, and the MG6, a contemporary fastback.

How to be a better driver

Whether you’re driving in Whitstable or further afield, think about road user etiquette. Showing respect for other road users makes driving more pleasant for you and safer for everyone. For example, if you have to make a last minute change of lane, make your request to change clear to the driver who will need to let you in - and signal your thanks if they do. Be ready to abandon the change of lane if they won’t play ball - your safety (and that of other drivers and pedestrians) is more important than getting to your destination in the shortest time possible. When the position is reversed and a driver asks your permission to change lanes, allow them to as long as it is safe. If you get frustrated, avoid using your horn - it won’t improve matters and might make them considerably worse.

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