When your Ford’s shocks go bad, replacing them should be on top of your to-do list. If you’re not sure what shocks are and how they work, this guide is for you. When you’re done with this guide, you’ll know enough about shocks to:
- Explain how they work
- Recognize the signs that your shocks have gone bad
What Are Shocks?
Shocks are long hydraulic parts that absorb impacts from the road. There's a shock (or a strut) behind each wheel on your car. Your car may have two shocks and two struts, or shocks at all 4 wheels. Having shocks on your Ford:
- Creates a better and smoother ride
- Ensures that your tires stay firmly planted on the road at all times
- Ensures optimal grip while cornering or braking
The upper mount of the shock connects to the body/frame. The lower mount of the shock connects to the axle or suspension arm.
The Main Parts Of A Shock
A shock may look like a simple part. But it's actually a complex part with a lot of components that work together inside. The main components are:
- Piston rod
- Hydraulic oil
- Pressure tube
- Upper mount
- Lower mount
- Base valve
- Reserve cylinder
How Shocks Work
Imagine yourself playing with Play-Doh. When you squeeze the Play-Doh into a bunch of tiny holes, the Play-Doh comes out like spaghetti. That is the general idea of what happens within a shock.
When you drive over a bump, the piston rod inside the shock tube pushes the hydraulic oil through a bunch of tiny holes. This creates a damper effect that absorbs the impact from the road.
Shocks work in two cycles:
- Compression cycle: When you drive over a bump, the shock compresses. It's when the piston pushes down and the hydraulic oil squeezes through the tiny holes.
- Extension cycle: After the bump, the shock decompresses, or rebounds, to its normal height. In this cycle, the piston compresses the fluid in the chamber above it.
The faster you hit the bump, the more resistance the shocks will have. This allows the shocks to adapt to road conditions and provide the smoothest ride possible.
Telltale Signs That Your Shocks Have Gone Bad
On average, shocks last about 50,000 miles. However, they can fail any time. Here are some of the most common signs of bad shocks:
- Harsh ride
- Poor handling
- Increased stopping distance
- Faster tire wear
- Uneven tire wear
- Nose diving while braking
- More body roll when turning
Once your shocks start to go bad, you should replace them as soon as possible. If you're looking for replacement shocks, look no further than our catalog of genuine OEM Ford shocks! You'll enjoy a huge discount on these shocks, as we offer wholesale pricing on all the parts we carry.