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Shock absorbers are attached to the vehicle body and suspension components. They are used to absorb road shock, providing a smooth ride. Most cars made after 1995 have shock absorbers in the back wheels and strut assembly in the front. Older cars and trucks may have shock absorbers at all four wheels.
Shock absorbers are basically cylindrical containers filled with gas or liquid. They are mounted from the suspension to the frame of the car. When you drive over a bump, the pistons inside the shocks move up and down against the liquid or gas.
Shock absorbers take a beating day after day, especially on bumpy roads. The gas or liquid will eventually leak, resulting in an unstable or rugged ride. With worn shock absorbers, it is possible that the tires could lose contact with the road and/or wear out prematurely.
Shock absorbers are always replaced in pairs (either both front or both rear).
It is a good practice to replace the shock absorbers every 35,000 miles. You can easily find out if you need new shocks by doing a bounce test. Go to the rear corner of your car and push down on the rear of the car. If your car bounces up and down a few times, it is time to change the shock absorbers.
Shock absorbers exist at both rear wheels, and sometimes the front wheels as well. The shock absorbers attach the suspension to the body of your car, and feature pistons that are filled with gas or liquid. As your vehicle rides over the bumps and rough conditions of the road, the suspension is subject to a lot of shock. This shock moves the pistons, but the gas or liquid in the pistons helps absorb the impact, and lessen the shock that is then transferred to the body of the vehicle. As a result, the shock absorbers keep your ride relatively smooth and comfortable.
When the shock absorbers malfunction or leak, they will be unable to absorb any of the shock from the road, and all of the impact on the suspension will be transferred to the body of the car. This not only makes for an uncomfortable ride, but can also cause damage to numerous different components in your vehicle.