Those who lived through the 80s and 90s might remember lowrider culture, where cool cats in their cars would bounce the chassis of their vehicles up and down and at different angles with the help of a panel by the gearshift. For many who weren’t familiar with the total ins and outs of car mechanics, this was the first time they heard the term “hydraulics.”
Scientifically speaking, hydraulics refers to the system of using machinery and pressure to move liquid through a series of pipes or tubes. As most cars operate with the help of up to seven different types of fluid, hydraulics play an integral role in how the car slows down and stops, how it stays cool and clean, and how it keeps lubricated. The mechanics at our South Ogden car repair center check how each hydraulic system is working when performing a tune-up, all so that the fluids are used to their full potential.
How it Works
Hydraulic pressure, once we know how it works, can be found all over nature and our mechanical world. If someone was to have the chance to see under the car the way our Master Muffler technicians do, and see the weaving system of lines and pipes that run from part to part, they would reasonably think that hydraulic power is a complicated principle that will fly right over their head.
In truth, the system is not so complicated.
Essentially, water is subjected to extreme pressure on one end, forcing the liquid to move to the other end of the tube quickly. As the water pushes against the stop on the other side of the line (usually a piston or brake pad), the unrelenting pressure moves the stop forward, where it will stay until the pressure is turned off and the water moves back down the tube. Think of how you can use a lungful of air to blow water through a straw.
The Parts of the Hydraulic System
Each section that makes up the hydraulic system is important to the operation of the vehicle, and as such, is of extreme importance to us at the South Ogden car repair center. In addition to the fluid itself, hydraulics are made up of four distinct components:
- Reservoir: This is the chamber where the liquid is held. Whenever you top off or replace your car’s fluids, you are pouring them directly into the reservoir.
- The Pump: The pump is the part that actually supplies the pressure into the reservoir, which then pushes the fluid through the lines. There are many different types of pumps, located in different parts of the car, which Master Muffler can maintain easily.
- Valves: Valves, like those found in our heart, are little doorways that direct where the fluid is supposed to go. These can be controlled in any number of ways, from mechanical, to electrical, to pneumatic, and more.
- Actuators: In the final step of this system, the actuator converts the hydraulic pressure into actual mechanical operation.
Ultimately, hydraulics are able to turn pressure into energy by way of liquid, which makes picking the right fluids for your car an essential part of vehicle maintenance. If you have any questions about the performance of your hydraulic system, or the car is behaving sluggish or with a good deal of jerking, it is probably time to drop in at our South Ogden car repair shop.