What is a Shock?

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A shock, or damper, is a non-structural component designed to manage body movement by absorbing motion. It’s a hydraulic piston, with gas or liquid inside, that permits dampened movement. In technical terms, shocks convert the mechanical energy of a car’s motion into energy that’s dissipated by hydraulic fluid. This up and down movement is controlled via hydraulic compression. The latest shocks are dynamic. They use valves to permit different amounts of rebound looking at vehicle speed or conditions.

Unlike a strut, a shock doesn’t support the bodyweight of a vehicle. A shock is employed for vehicle body control but is easier in design. Because they don’t must support weight, shocks are often utilized in heavier vehicles. Large body-on-frame SUVs and trucks typically use shocks, though many modern SUVs, pickups, and crossovers use struts within the front.

The tight space constraints ahead of a vehicle mean that the spring and shock are typically integrated. Upfront, a shock is placed with the spring, attached to the upper control arm. However, they don’t need to be mounted together within the rear. The engine, transmission, and steering don’t affect the layout. For instance, a rear spring setup can use a damper that’s cut loose the spring.


Pros and Cons of Shocks:

Even though some think about shocks as more “floaty,” they are doing an honest job controlling body motion for big or off-road vehicles. Plus, they’re often used with the rear wheels of many modern vehicles. They are doing take up extra space, however.


Pros of Shocks Cons of Shocks
Less expensive to replace Take up more space
Easier to swap More expensive to manufacture
Better for off-roading

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