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The good condition of the shock absorbers is essential to ensure safety in the vehicle. The damping system serves to absorb the impacts suffered by the car, so that they are less noticeable to passengers. Although thanks to this mechanism passengers have a better driving experience, the shock absorbers suffer due to the continuous shocks.
The damping system is made up of a gas shock absorber and a spring shock absorber, and both parts must be in perfect condition for proper operation.
The first of the pieces is essentially a cylinder surrounded by a spring that serves as an oil receptacle. This oil is compressed in the cylinder with a piston that is constantly moving up and down with each trip the vehicle makes. This movement is the one that has the function of absorbing shocks.
The so-called safety triangle of a vehicle is made up of:
In the event of shock absorber wear, the life of the brakes and shock absorbers is reduced . In the same way, the shock absorbers can wear out due to the poor condition of the tires.
In addition, we must bear in mind that there are several types of shock absorbers and that the only difference between them is the competitive advantages between them.
Although all the shock absorbers serve the same function, that is, to adhere to the ground and reduce shocks, in addition to improving the handling and ensuring the comfort of the vehicle occupants, some are more flexible and mainly improve comfort. Others are stiffer and therefore more efficient at absorbing unevenness in the road. This flexibility depends on what is called calibration, that is, adjusting the position of the various elements of the dampers.
WHEN TO CHANGE THE SHOCK ABSORBERS OF THE CAR?
Like all parts of the vehicle, shock absorbers wear out and should be checked regularly. In general, it is recommended to change the shock absorbers on the same chassis, both front and rear, every 80,000 km . However, it is strongly recommended to have them checked every 20-30,000 km. This service life may vary depending on the trips made and the driving style. In fact, the wear of the suspension is not the same if you drive in urban areas, in the mountains or if you drive in a sporty way.
The problem is that it is difficult to see or feel when the shocks are worn . In fact, visually, a worn shock absorber hardly sees; worse still, one can get used to driving with faulty shock absorbers and feel nothing.
But worn shock absorbers are not undetectable as they can rust and cause leaks. In addition, collateral effects can be caused, such as reducing wind resistance.
Aside from these dangerous driving problems, worn shock absorbers cause other significant hazards that are not easy to detect. Some of them are the need to increase the braking distance or to reduce the grip of the vehicle on wet or humid ground, commonly called hydroplaning .
In summary, these are the main symptoms of worn shock absorbers:
In a curve the car can suffer from “slip”, or what is the same, that due to the wear of the shock absorbers this affects the steering of the vehicle.
Adherence to the road is reduced.
The stopping distance is extended.
You feel the unevenness of the ground.
HOW TO CHANGE THE SHOCK ABSORBERS?
First of all, you have to know that the shock absorbers are always changed in pairs, either from the front or the rear of the vehicle, to maintain balance. So if you decide to check the rear suspension you will have to change both rear shocks . Failure to do so may lead to failures or problems such as loss of control on the ground.
Removing the shocks and installing new ones requires a certain level of mechanical experience. If you decide that you are skilled enough to carry out the work, it is best to reserve the entire Saturday afternoon, because it is a job that can last several hours.
As an important note, it is essential to check the tightness of the shock absorbers during emptying, since a leak would not pass any technical control, in addition to generating later problems.