Oil shocks are components on a vehicle's suspension, which stop the springs from continually moving, while the vehicle is operating. The springs bounce for quite some time, while stored energy is being released. The shock's purpose is to absorb the spring’s energy, before the energy enters the vehicle's chassis. The shock has two ends, these ends, are connected to the chassis on the top, and the axle on the bottom.
Oil shocks are made up of five components, which are the upper mount, piston rod, pressure tube, base valve, and lower mount. When the vehicle is being operated, the shock's spring expands and compresses, which creates energy that is sent into the vehicle's chassis. As the vehicles suspension settles down, the energy is transferred into the shock, where it is sent down through the piston rod and into the piston. As the piston moves up and down inside the cylinder, the pressure of the compressed oil slows, and the piston then slows the spring, causing the suspension to return to level. In order to withstand the tremendous pressure shocks encounter, oil shocks must be made out of aluminum, carbon, steel, or stainless steel.
Oil shocks are velocity sensitive, meaning, that the faster the suspension moves, the more the shock will resist. This allows the shocks to adjust to road conditions, suspension sway, brake dive, and acceleration squat, while retaining control of the suspension.
Oil shocks are the most popular and prevalent shocks found on vehicles today, however, they are not perfect. One negative aspect of using oil shocks is that when the oil heats up, it becomes thinner, which reduces the amount of energy the shock can dampen. To prevent this, the oil is stored in a separate container in order for it to cool down, when it’s not being used, which prevents thinning. One of the benefits of oil shocks is, is that they do not need to be machined as accurately as some other shock designs, making them cost effective for the consumer. Shocks typically need replacing after 60,000 to 100,000 miles, depending on, the type of road conditions the vehicle travels daily.
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