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What Is A Shock Absorber and What Does It Do?



Shock absorbers damp or reduce spring oscillations. Without a shock absorber, the springs on a car will cause it to bounce around excessively every time it hits a bump or takes a turn. A well dampened suspension system with a functional shock absorber will allow the springs to react to driving conditions but will return to the normal ride height quickly.

Inside a gas and oil shock absorber (except for air shocks, almost all shock absorbers use gas and oil construction) a valve slows the movement of the piston through the shock oil so that whether the shock is compressing or extending, the movement will be slowed down.

A shock absorber:

  • Stops springs from oscillating

  • Keeps tires in contact with the road

  • Improves ride quality

  • Improves handling

  • Improves gas mileage

A shock absorber doesn't:

  • Prevent bottoming out

  • Hold a car up

  • Change ride height

  • Increase load or towing capacity



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Frequently Asked Questions
When Should You Replace Shocks?
What Is A Shock and What Does It Do?
What Is The Difference Between Shocks And Struts?
What Are Strut Mounts And When Should I Replace Them?
What Are the Parts Of A Strut Assembly?
What Shocks Should I Use On A Lowered Car?
Can I Use an Air Gun To Install Shocks?
Can I Use Two Different Shocks On My Car?
My Shocks Are Easy To Push In, Are They Defective?
What Is A Strut Insert?
What Is Shock Aeration?
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