Torque Shop: Shock absorbers affect ride comfort

On average, dampers should be replaced every 60,000km.
On average, dampers should be replaced every 60,000km.PHOTO: PIXABAY

Every time there is mention of suspension maintenance, the first thing I hear is "shock absorber". I understand this is a component that needs periodic replacement. But is that all? And in general, how long do shock absorbers usually last?

Shock absorbers directly affect ride comfort for both driver and passengers.

Worn shock absorbers - also called dampers - are the primary cause of deteriorating ride comfort and, in some cases, vehicle stability. They are parts of the suspension that experience the greatest wear and tear because they resist body movements and function to attenuate the compression and decompression of the springs all the time.

Typically, they are telescopic tubes which are filled with oil (and sometimes, pressurised gas), with a piston and valve assembly.

The life span of dampers varies, and depends on the surface quality of regularly driven roads, driving behaviour and, to a lesser extent, how laden the vehicle usually is.

On average, dampers should be replaced every 60,000km. It would be good to check the suspension arms at this time too.