There’s nothing shocking about shocks

5 July 2016

Have you ever wondered why your car doesn’t become airborne after mounting a particularly nasty pothole? It’s all thanks to shock absorbers. Here’s the low-down on these critical car components:


What is a shock absorber?

While they resemble a spiral light bulb, a shock absorber forms part of your car’s suspension system and basically ensures a smooth, bump-free ride. Their role is to make sure your car doesn’t bounce, jolt or shake when it’s in motion. They also keep your tyres on the road.

Where are they found?

Shock absorbers can be found between the chassis of your car and its tyres.

How do they work?

Think of your shock absorber as an oil pump. Inside your shock absorbers is a piston that moves inside a tube filled with oil. As this piston moves, the oil is forced through tiny holes and valves, controlling the amount of resistance to movement.

The main function of shock absorbers is to help your car’s tyres stay in contact with the road at all times – making sure that they are in control for accurate braking response if necessary - like to avoid a collision.

How often should they be replaced?

According to Monroe Shock Absorbers, at 50km/h, a worn shock absorber can increase your stopping distance by up to 2 metres. so, if you notice that your car is not braking like it used to, skidding on wet road surfaces or if your steering wheel feels like its vibrating, it’s time to have them checked. Shock absorbers are often included in Maintenance Plans so if you have one, you don’t have to worry about the cost of replacing them*.

MotorHappy (PTY) LTD is an Authorised Financial Services Provider FSP 46123.

If you have any unanswered servicing or maintenance questions - let us know and we’ll answer them for you.


This article is intended to be used and must be used for informational purposes only. We do not make any warranties about the completeness, reliability and accuracy of this information. Any action you take upon the information in this article is strictly at your own risk. We will not be liable for any losses and/or damages in connection with the use of the information contained in this article.

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