How Students at Auto Mechanic College Spot Faulty Shock Absorbers

auto mechanic training
Bumps, cracks, and potholes are an unfortunate reality on most roads, and they can have an awful impact on the comfort of drivers. That’s why manufacturers put a lot of focus on suspension systems to deal with these problems. Suspensions are springs, however, and another component is needed to make sure they don’t keep on bouncing up and down after an impact. That’s why shock absorbers are fitted to maintain a smooth ride for the driver.

Malfunctioning shock absorbers can spark a domino effect by damaging the tire surface, as well as hindering the cornering or stopping ability of the vehicle. There are many simple ways of spotting whether replacement parts need to be fitted, so here’s a useful guide for budding auto mechanics.

The Science Behind the Shock Absorber

Shock absorbers have become a common feature on modern cars, with one usually attached to each of the four wheels. These parts are also known as struts when they are placed within the suspension spring for the front wheels. Shocks attach the suspension to the car body and they contain a mixture of pistons and gas/liquid which absorbs the energy caused by bumps on the road.

Vehicle safety is the primary concern for graduates of car mechanic courses, and shocks make sure that tires stay in contact with the road surface. If this part is missing, then the car bounces up and down after hitting a pot hole, giving it less grip on the tarmac.

The shock absorber is inside the spring at the front of a vehicle
The shock absorber is inside the spring at the front of a vehicle

The Driving Problems Which Could Signal Shock Absorber Damage

Even well-maintained shock absorbers only have a limited shelf life of around 80,400 kilometres. They could wear out a lot quicker, however, if they are subjected to the stresses and strains of daily driving on difficult terrain. Problems occur with the shocks when they develop a leak and can’t carry out their function. Look out for uneven tire wear too if you think one shock absorber is being problematic.

When shock absorbers fail, drivers also experience a much more uncomfortable ride, and the front end of the vehicle could also dip towards the road surface during braking. The stopping ability of the car is hindered completely, so drivers should get mechanical problems fixed immediately.

How to Spot Damage at Auto Mechanic College when the Vehicle Is Jacked Up

Once drivers spot these symptoms and decide to bring their car to a garage for repairs, the mechanic usually takes a look at a few things to confirm the diagnosis. After lifting the car off the ground and taking off the wheel, the shock absorber becomes clearly visible. If you can feel or see leaking oil around the shock absorber, that means it’s unable to do its job effectively.

Take a good look at the structure of the shock during auto mechanic training. These parts can easily become bent after a collision, which again makes them ineffective. Replacements should be fitted to give the driver a much more pleasant journey.

Replace Shock Absorbers in Pairs to Prevent Further Discomfort

Repair options are usually quite limited, so most mechanics see a full replacement as the best course of action. Shocks are easily accessible on the back wheels, and the replacement process is very straightforward. The struts on the front of the car are contained within the suspension spring, so this requires a bit more mechanical knowhow and time. Always remember that shocks should be replaced in pairs. Even if only one of the front shocks is causing problems, the other one must also be removed so they both behave in the same way while driving.

Become an expert in car repair while studying at an auto mechanic college.

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