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What are shock absorbers?

Shocks - 19 April 2018

Shocks, or shock absorbers are the part of your vehicle responsible for maintaining a comfortable ride. They perform one of two functions. Firstly, they are designed to absorb any vibrations, jolts or bounces you experience while driving your vehicle. Secondly they assist in keeping all of your tyres in contact with the road at all times. This aids in maintaining good braking and handling ability. 

Shock absorber types

There are three common types of shocks available and they all serve different purposes for different vehicles. Here is the breakdown of these types and their uses:

Conventional telescopic shock absorbers
This is your most basic shock absorber type and it is often replaced rather than repaired when it has been damaged or reached the end of its lifespan. It can be fitted to both the rear and front suspensions and largely inexpensive.

Strut type shock absorbers
While this type of shock absorber performs the same job as the others, the struts actually replace part of the suspension system which means they are built stronger in order to handle larger loads and forces. The strut type shock absorbers come in both sealed and repairable units. Sealed units are designed to be fully replaced, whilst with repairable (McPherson) struts you can fit with replacement strut cartridges.

Spring seat shocks
The spring seat type of shock absorbers shares qualities from both telescopic and strut type shock absorbers. Much like struts, a spring seat shock is both a suspension unit and damping device all in one. However, they are not built to sustain large loads as the strut type is and once damaged, you will have to replace the whole unit. 

There you have it, all the technical details on shock absorbers. If you want to know how to test your shocks and their lifespan, simply check out our How-To videos for all of that information and a guaranteed laugh or two.

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