Shock absorbers are components in your vehicle’s suspension system that help your tires remain in contact with the surface of the road. They dampen the impact of road force and absorb the rebound of springs and other suspension components. Front and rear shocks are designed to adjust to driving conditions, like bumps, potholes, and sudden maneuvers. They also reduce bounce rate, sway, and brake dive or acceleration squat. Modern day shocks are velocity-sensitive, which means that the faster the springs and other suspension components are moving, the more resistance provided by the shocks. Hydraulic shocks convert kinetic energy from the springs into thermal energy that the hydraulic fluid inside each shock absorbs and dissipates. When the suspension system bounces, hydraulic fluid is forced through holes inside the piston. This slows the compression of the piston, thereby slowing down spring and suspension movement. While hydraulic and gas shocks are the most common types of shocks used on vehicles today, some vehicles also use electronic and air shocks.
Replacing shocks can maximize the performance of your entire suspension system. The components in your suspension system interact and depend on each other. Shock absorbers and brakes work together to help your vehicle stop as soon as possible upon engaging the brake pedal. Worn shocks mean your vehicle is less likely to stop exactly when and where you want. In fact, bad shocks can increase your stopping distance by up to 10 feet. Worn shock absorbers will cause your vehicle to dive when braking. With a set of bad shocks, you may experience problems like bounce, body roll, sway, and other unexpected movements in your suspension system. Healthy shocks improve braking and handling, making your vehicle easier to control. Replacing front and rear shocks as necessary will help promote a safe road for everyone.