Shock Absorbers

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Shock absorbers, also called vibration dampers, are used to avoid or control the vibrations occurring in the vehicle.

This ensures optimum positioning of the tyres, which is relevant, for example, for braking operations. Thus, they are one of the most important components of a vehicle and ensure safety on the road.

If they are defective, it can cause a lot of damage. With us, your Mill Tyres team in Boston, you will learn how a shock absorber works, what could be the cause of wear and how to recognise a defect.

The shock absorber types, design and function

In principle, the structure of the shock absorbers is based on a cylinder and a piston which engage one another. Inside the cylinder, there is hydraulic oil, which is pressed through small openings by the piston. As a result, vibrations in the shock absorber are lost in intensity, and the mechanical energy is converted into heat energy and dissipated via the outer walls. The damper can be heated up to 120 degrees.

If the vibrations were not removed, vehicles would be much more difficult to steer.

The tyres would promptly spring back in the event of loss of liability, so the car ultimately loses its road. It is proven that cars with defective shock absorbers have a much longer braking distance.

One can distinguish between two types of dampers. The oil shock absorbers are only very rarely used in the automobile sector. Due to the separation of air and oil molecules, a strong load can lead to a reduction of the steam force - thus a poor soil adhesion is caused. At gas pressure shock absorbers the oil is under constant pressure and can withstand a load.

When is it necessary to change the shock absorbers?

The shock absorbers are exposed to many mechanical influences as they have to absorb and convert any vibration. The wear and tear are therefore heavily dependent on the roads that are usually used. On cobblestone pavements and dirt roads, the shock absorbers are more challenged than on smooth and asphalted roads.

The wear of the shock absorber begins with oil escaping from the cylinder. If the oil level reaches its minimum, the shock absorber can no longer function properly. The result is a very limited driving performance. 

Check the level at regular intervals.

Over an extended period and a consumption of approximately 50,000 miles, you should think about having your shock absorbers checked. The danger is that many vehicle owners do not notice the wear on your vehicle.

These signs indicate a possible defect

The following is a selection of the most common symptoms:

Shock absorber squeal

▶ You have heard the shock absorbers squeal.

Uneven tyres

▶ The profile of your tyres is uneven.

Increased tyre wear

▶ You have noticed an unusually high tyre wear recently.

Spongy driving behaviour

▶ The driving style of the car looks spongy, and the steering seems inaccurate.

Thumping noises

▶ You have noticed a loud noise during driving.

Vehicle swings

▶ You have experienced a noticeable resonance of the vehicle on poor quality roads.

Wobbly/vibrating steering wheel

▶ The steering wheel wobbles and vibrates when driving.

Oil on the shock absorber

▶ Oil from the shock absorber of your vehicle.

Broken brake track

▶ You have determined that the brake track is interrupted during intense braking manoeuvres and is not continuous.

The functional test for the shock absorbers

In case you have come across any of the above signs on your vehicle, you should come to see us at our Mill Tyres workshop in Boston to have your car's shock absorbers tested.

We will test how the car reacts to side wind, how long the braking distance is, whether the car breaks out in the curve and whether driving comfort is impaired. If you want to be safe, come to our workshop and have the test carried out.

How can the shock absorbers be changed?

It is strongly recommended to have defective shock absorbers repaired in a specialist workshop. After successful installation, the individual components must be matched to one another, as otherwise, malfunctions may occur. Shock absorbers can be installed both front and rear.

The repair of the shock absorbers is very complex. To get to the defective components, tyres and brakes must usually be dismantled. Another problem is the connection of the shock absorber to the spring. This spring forms with the shock absorbers and the wheel carrier the so-called spring leg.

Many manufacturers block it so that a separate change is either impossible or too costly. For this reason, shock absorbers and springs are frequently replaced together. At Mill Tyres, we always do our best to keep the costs down to a minimum.

For the repair of the shock absorbers usually, 40 to 60 minutes per wheel are usual. However, the duration of the change depends strongly on the vehicle in question. If for example, hard-to-reach screws and parts interfere with the replacement, the repair also takes longer.

What you should consider for the shock absorbers in your car:

Shock absorbers are exposed to heavy loads due to road surfaces and can, therefore, wear quickly Pay close attention to potential defects (vibration of the steering wheel while driving) If possible, get a shock absorber test done

The repair is very complex - let the change take place in a specialist workshop. We hope this info was useful to you. Need additional information? Please get in touch with our Mill Tyres team.