Most vehicles today come with at least one shock absorber for each of its wheels. Some call these shocks as struts. It is easy to distinguish between a shock and a strut since the latter is a type of a shock absorber that can be found within the coil spring. The name of the two may be different but they are still the same thing. Like other parts of a car, Volvo shock absorbers may come with problems too. Among them is leakage. What causes this?
How Shock Absorbers Work
Before digging deeply into what causes leakage in shock absorbers, it pays to know what its function is. A shock absorber has one or more pistons. It flows through a thick oil once the wheel where it is connected to moves up and down. The piston's motion will then convert mechanical into heat energy. In the process, the motion is dampened thus helping bring the vehicle to a stop. This will prevent the wheel from bouncing after going through a bump. Both the piston and oil are sealed inside a closed container.
It is sometimes mistaken that the shock absorber absorbs the shock of a bump. This assumption comes from the meaning given to the words making up the component. Actually, it is the springs that work for suspension purposes. The shocks are made to absorb energy. Without it, a vehicle can bounce up and down.
What Causes Leakage in Shock Absorbers?
There are different reasons behind why shock absorbers leak. Topping the list is when seals become torn, worn-out or brittle. This allows fluid to leak out become once about ten percent of the fluid is lost, the shocks become incapable of absorbing energy. Another is when the entire shock bends as a result of an impact. This same thing applies when the piston inside it becomes bent after an accident. A bent shock or piston will cause malfunctioning of the part thus causing leak around the component. Some smaller parts in the shock may also wear out over time.
Shock Age and Accidents
The above-mentioned causes of shock absorber leakage can be connected to the age of the shocks, as well as impacts from accidents. Take note that modern shocks and struts are said to last up to over 50,000 miles or at least several years. During the entire span of time, seals do wear out thus causing the leakage. It will be wise to check the vehicle's manual and see if there is any specified mileage or time required for shock replacement.
Accidents, on the other hand, especially those involving the car's suspension, will also potentially damage shock absorbers. Even a dented shock will require immediate replacement when this happens. Basically, the auto mechanic will examine the shocks when you send your vehicle out for repair after an accident. This applies to whatever type of crashes that involve the suspension, like hitting large rocks, curbs, and deep potholes.
Want to know whether it is time to replace the shocks after these accidents? It will be best to have an auto mechanic examine the car further. Repair is not always a feasible option for shock absorbers. Most often than not, when it leaks, it requires replacement.