Shock Absorbers

SHOCK ABSORBERS

Purpose

The suspension components known as “shock absorbers” should be more aptly named “dampers” because they dampen the force of bumps and potholes. By virtue of compressing, dampers control the amount of bouncing that occurs as the springs rebound.

Signs of wear

As they wear, drivers will increasingly notice that their vehicles continue to bounce well after they have encountered depressions in the road. Cars with badly worn “shocks” will even bottom out when crossing over railroad tracks, speed bumps, and other pronounced dips in the road.

Other signs of worn dampers include excessive lean when cornering and driving under hard braking. When any of these symptoms appear, damper/shock absorber replacement is necessary for a more controlled, safer ride.

TIP: Drivers should be attuned to looking for signs of shock absorber wear as their vehicles approach the 40,000- to 50,000-mile mark.

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Written by Maryann Croce

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