The primary function of a car’s suspension is to boost comfort while driving. On the other hand, a shock absorber is an important part of the suspension. In fact, many vehicles have one shock absorber on each tire. With this in mind, the million-dollar question is; what are the functions of shock absorbers?
I) Decrease Vehicle’s Body Movement – One of the primary functions of the shock absorber is to decrease the vehicle’s body sway. As you probably know, when the vehicle is moving, the body will not only move up and down, right and left, or side to side. In other words, the vehicle’s body will constantly move in all directions when it is moving. Without a shock absorber, the vehicle’s body will likely be destroyed within a few months.
II) Stabilize the Ride – A vehicle can quickly transition from a smooth ride to a bumpy ride. The change is constantly affected by your driving style and road conditions. However, a shock absorber stabilizes the overall vehicle ride, allowing the axles to roll, lean, and change directions easily. This is important when it comes to navigating around corners and cornering. For this reason, they play an important role by offering greater vehicle stability and control.
III) Vehicle Tire Stabilization – Many vehicles have one shock absorber on each tire. The goal is not only to offer a smooth ride but also to stabilize and distribute the weight of the vehicle equally on all four tires. The weight and power will be distributed equally, even on uneven terrain. In other words, it allows the vehicle tires to be planted firmly on the ground on all road surfaces.
IV) Decrease Tire Wear – Because shock absorbers help control and stabilize the tires, it helps decrease tire wear. It is important to note that tires that are firmly grounded last longer and go through less wear.
V) Decrease Overall Suspension Wear – Because shock absorbers are part of the vehicle’s suspension system, they play an important role. Vehicles use a combination of coil springs, several leaf springs, and struts. A shock absorber’s primary function is to deflect and absorb impacts, movements, and uneven road conditions while driving. If the shock absorber fails, the impact will be distributed to other parts of the body or vehicle suspension system.
VI) Design – Shock absorbers are available in different designs, based on the type of vehicle. The mono-tube and twin-tube designs are the most popular types of shock absorbers. The twin-tube design consists of an inner and an outer tube, which work together to achieve the required purpose. A mono-tube consists of a single tube that is fixed in an upside-down position to reduce weight. Some shock absorbers come with nitrogen gas at the end of the piston, which helps increase performance and reduce foaming.
For racing vehicles, shock absorbers are important to guarantee speed and performance. As such, unlike common vehicle suspension, racing shock absorbers are advanced and designed to achieve performance and speed. As such, they are available in different valve combinations and disk designs. Below are factors to consider when it comes to shock absorber positioning. It includes: –
• The shocks’ compression pressure
• Internal shock rebound resistance
• Travel arc from the locating arms
• Axle distance from the rear
• Rebound or compression travel
It is important to note that the effectiveness of a shock absorber is purely dependent on its location. For a car’s suspension to move up and down effectively, the shock absorbers must be installed near the ball joints. It should also accommodate easy adjustments to deal with different road conditions. Also, the location of the shock absorber will differ based on the car’s features and specifications.