What Happens When Leaking Shocks Are Not Replaced?

by Carrie PerlesUpdated July 26, 2023
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Purpose of Shock Absorbers

The job of a shock absorber is just what it sounds like--to smooth out the normal shocks in daily driving. Shock absorbers dampen the effects of rough terrain, as well as the slight bouncing motion that occurs because of the springiness of the tire.

Hydraulics and Shock Absorbers

If your shock absorber is leaking, it is probably leaking hydraulic fluid. Your shock absorber is probably made of a fluid-filled cylinder with a sliding piston inside of it. The piston absorbs energy through viscous friction, which occurs when the hydraulic fluid presses against it and slows down its motion. A leaky shock absorber is faulty because it has less hydraulic fluid, so it will provide less and less viscous friction as time goes on. Leaky shock absorbers should be replaced immediately.

Consequences of Faulty Shock Absorbers

Because shock absorbers make the drive smooth, many people think that faulty shock absorbers do not necessarily need to be replaced; after all, they don't mind a few bumps as they drive. In actuality, driving with faulty absorbers can be extremely dangerous. Any bump can throw the car off balance, sending it out of control. Going over railroad trails, potholes or even speed bumps can easily cause a car accident. If a shock absorber is leaking, it is faulty and should be replaced immediately.

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