Shock absorbers are one of the major important parts of your car. Shock absorbers in top running condition keep the wheels of your vehicle in contact with the road, ensuring a smooth and safe ride. Shock absorbers are also known as dampers and need to be maintained, repaired or replaced regularly to ensure optimum performance of your car. Bump stops are an integral part of your struts performance so ensure these are in good working order as well. The bump stops helps absorb the impact of uneven road surfaces and if this fails or breaks will lead to premature failure of the strut or shock. Some brands of struts today are supplied with new bump stops for this reason and it’s worth looking for these brands when shopping for a new set of struts for your car.
There are several types of shock absorbers. Below are the most popular types:-
McPherson Sealed Strut – Strut Type: Now common in most passenger vehicles built from the late 90s on along with most 4x4s built from 2000 on. Many 4x4s from the early 2000s had strut type shocks in the front and conventional shock absorbers in the rear. The trend today is for struts both front and rear. These are a complete sealed gas charged unit and are assembled with coil spring and top mount.
Gas Charged Shock Absorbers: These shock absorbers use a low-pressure charge of nitrogen gas in the reserve tip. Usually come in a couple of options being standard or heavy duty. Standard will be the same thickness of the original shocks. Heavy duty will have a thicker shock body and give a firmer ride. Also depending on brand they may have other options in regards to height.
Strut Cartridge: The fast and economical solution to replacing worn McPherson struts. The worn cartridge can be removed from the strut assembly and replaced. Used in most Commodores until the release of the VR model that was a sealed strut; and also, early Japanese model such as the SV21 Camry, Pintara, etc. Not found in vehicles built after 1995.
Steering Dampers: Found on most 4×4 vehicles, steering dampers aid the steering of the car. Used to assist the steering alignment and return to the center of the steering wheel after cornering. Dampers absorb shock and vibration caused by road irregularities and prevents anti-shimmy and kickback through the steering wheel.
If you are unsure which shock absorbers are the best for your vehicle, you need to just browse online to find out more. You can also enquire through the website to ask an expert in the trade any question.
Modern struts often require a spring compressor to release the spring having loosened the top mount, and it is recommended this be done by a qualified fitter.
As with all car parts, if you are unsure of the car parts you require and how to maintain, repair or replace them, always play it safe by seeking expert advice from a professional mechanic.