In their simplest form, shock absorbers are hydraulic (oil) pump-like devices that help to control the impact and rebound movement of your vehicle's springs and suspension. Along with smoothening out bumps and vibrations, the key role of the shock absorber is to ensure that the vehicle’s tires remain in contact with the road surface at all times, which ensures the safest control and braking response from your car.
Essentially, shock absorbers do two things. Apart from controlling the movement of springs and suspension, shock absorbers also keep your tires in contact with the ground at all times. At rest or in motion, the bottom surface of your tires is the only part of your vehicle in contact with the road. Any time that a tire’s contact with the ground is broken or reduced, your ability to drive, steer, and brake is severely compromised.
Despite popular belief, shock absorbers do not support the weight of a vehicle.
Cars incorporate springs that compress to absorb the shocks encountered when traversing the typical bumps and ruts on the road surface.
Springs seek to return to their initial length.
In cars, the upper end of the spring is connected to the body, while the lower end supports a heavy suspension, including the tire and brake unit. This means the spring overshoots past its initial length before being compressed once again. This cycle is repeated over and over.
It's like releasing an object hung from a spring scale, which lengthens and contracts repeatedly.
The role of a shock absorber is to smooth this bouncing as fast as possible, thereby stabilizing the body.
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