The cars we drive are made of multiple systems that have been perfected over the decades, and we often take for granted the passion and workmanship people have poured into them. Shock absorbers are one such system. They play an incredibly important role in the comfort and safety of our vehicles, and they do it all silently and out of sight. We no longer have to worry about bruised tailbones from rough roads or being bounced right out of our vehicles by spring oscillations because people have perfected shock absorbers. In today’s blog, we’re going to share our appreciation for shock absorbers by going over the basics.

Shock Absorbers 101

What is a shock absorber? 

Many people think of springs when they think “shock absorber.” After all, you need springs to absorb the motion of a car going over a bump, right? Yes, but shock absorber pioneers quickly realized that using just a spring wasn’t a good idea. Sure, the spring would compress over a bump, but then it loosened up, shoving the car up with enough force to knock people out of their seats. Something was needed to absorb the shock of the spring returning to its normal shape while still allowing it to compress and do its job. That is what a shock absorber does! Without a shock absorber, your car would bounce around a lot every time it hit a small bump or took a turn.

What are the parts of a shock absorber? 

Most shock absorbers use gas or oil and a valve to slow the movement of a piston through oil. The piston is attached to one end of the spring. When you go over a bump and the spring compresses, the piston slows any motion so that your car doesn’t move with the spring.

What are all the benefits of shock absorbers?

While a comfortable ride is the first benefit drivers experience due to shock absorbers, there is more to it than that. Shock absorbers do a lot for us every time we drive:

  • Improving gas mileage.
  • Improving handling.
  • Stopping springs from oscillating.
  • Keeping the tires in contact with the road.

As you can see, shock absorbers keep vehicles running at their peak. Without them, cars would be far more dangerous, uncomfortable, and inefficient. That being said, there are some things that shock absorbers don’t do. These things include the following:

  • Holding the car up
  • Increasing the vehicle’s towing capacity or load
  • Preventing the car from bottoming out
  • Changing the height of the car

Get the Shock Absorber Care Your Vehicle Needs

At Urban Auto Care, we have a lot of experience with this essential part of any vehicle’s suspension. We know when shock absorbers are too old and need to be replaced. We also understand how to perform world-class shock absorber maintenance and repair. Car suspensions play important roles in the safety of drivers on the road, and the team at Urban Auto Care is proud to do our part to keep Denver drivers safe. Contact us today to learn more about what we can do for you!