Tech Know-how: What are Shock Absorbers and how do They Work?

Shock absorbers are the parts on your car that help you keep movement control and hold the vehicle in contact with the road at all times. They act like hydraulic pumps that together with the springs ensure optimal suspension for the car. These car parts are responsible for you not experiencing all the bumps and vibrations that occur when traveling, regardless of speed.


Shock absorbers are essential to the well-functioning of your car. They control the flexibility and motion of springs and suspension to ensure optimal maneuverability for your car. Additionally, they also hold the tires on the ground all the time giving you full control of the direction of the wheels when hitting bumps.

Shock absorbers enhance the safety factor of your vehicle. They ensure quick and safe breaking when encountering an obstacle without you resenting the shock of your car coming to a sudden halt.

Steering is also easy and comfortable when sturdy absorbers are installed on the car. Contrary to general misconception, these car parts do not sustain the weight of the vehicle.


Shock absorbers function like basic oil pumps. They make great use of kinetic energy to transform the movement of the car’s suspension into thermal energy and ensure the functioning of the tire mechanism.

These car parts employ a high-performance piston to work in a pressure tube against hydraulic fluid. The up and down movement pushes the liquid into the piston and prevents the suspension and the springs from bouncing or fidgeting. The resistance of shock absorbers increases proportionally with speed acceleration.


Shock absorbers play the same role in the movement of a vehicle regardless of the brand or type of car. However, there are several versions of shock absorbers that vary depending on the car’s weight and technical specifications.

Here are the main types of shock absorbers:

Basic twin-tube shock absorbers

This type of shock absorbers is the most common one and available on most passenger cars. It uses two tubes to facilitate the movement of the piston and ensure steady motion on bumpy roads.

Monotube absorbers

These absorbers use a single tube for the piston movement. They are generally more expensive than twin-tube shock absorbers and may overheat faster than them.

Position sensitive damping (PSD) absorbers

You will find these spare parts simply abbreviated as PSD. They use two tubes to give a better response to steering, shifting, and acceleration. Most of these shock absorbers are customized depending on the car’s weight and purpose.

Gas-filled absorbers

These shock absorbers have a compartment of high-pressure nitrogen on top of the oil compartment that prevents bubbles and foam from appearing in the oil. Similar car parts have a chamber for air instead of nitrogen, and they are called “air shocks.”

Shocks with reservoirs

These spare parts are the most expensive shock absorbers on the market. They use state of the art technology to reduce the weight of the wheel and ensure maximum maneuverability of the car. They are lightweight and small, which makes them ideal for racing vehicles and sports cars.


The durability of your car’s shock absorbers depends on the conditions in which you use the vehicle. They will tend to deteriorate at a fast rate if you drive your vehicle under extreme temperatures. Generally, oil stains should be a clear sign that you need to replace the absorbers on your car.

The most common shock absorber problems that you could experience include:
• Leakage
• Strong vibrations
• Noises
• Unsteadiness
Besides these issues, damage to your car’s shock absorbers may result in a loose movement of its rear or its front side that you could experience while driving. If you use them for an extended period without replacing them with spare parts, you may notice dents, scratches and tiny holes on their exterior.


Experienced drivers quickly realize when the shock absorbers on their car have suffered damage. The most common symptoms of deteriorated absorbers include:

• Longer stopping distance
• Difficult swerving
• Unnatural sliding and veering
• Vehicle rattling
• Uneven tire wear

Unfortunately, one or all of these issues should signal the necessity of replacing the shock absorbers on your car. Failing to do so may increase the risk of dangerous accidents and severe damage to the rest of your vehicle. These car parts ensure the stability and balance of your car, so you should seriously consider keeping them in top form.


If you need to replace the shock absorbers on your car, you should invest in top-quality spare parts. Online car parts sellers like Boodmo have a large offer of top-of-the-line shock absorbers and guarantee premium products from top brands. Their automotive specialists provide prime guidance and the guarantee of working with professional experts.

Also Read: Tech Know-how: How much can a linear actuator lift?

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