Informational Guide

What Is Gas Charged Shock Absorber?

In this guide, we answer what is gas charged shock absorber and what are the benefits for your car.

Automotive shock absorbers are needed to improve the ride quality in your vehicle. However, there are different kinds available. What is gas charged shock absorber and how can it benefit your ride?  

We explain the benefits and show you the difference between oil and gas shock absorbers so you can make the best choice for your vehicle. 

The gas shock absorber uses pressurized gas on top of hydraulic oil to offer better performance. Gas pressurized shock absorbers create a damping effect when the vehicle travels over imperfections on the road. The shock absorbs the bouncing effect, so the ride remains smooth.  

Shock absorbers also keep the tires planted on the ground for optimal handling and control. Shocks are mounted between the frame of the vehicle and the wheels but are not weight-bearing components. In comparison, some vehicles use struts in place of the shock absorbers, which are considered part of the structure and will bear weight.  

gas shock absorber

What Are The Advantages Of Gas Charged Shock Absorbers? 

What is the advantage of gas charged shock absorbers? Here are a few of the benefits you can experience from the gas charged shock absorber over regular oil shocks.

  • Improved Handling  
    Twin gas charged shock absorbers can help reduce body roll for better handling, especially when going through a curve or corner.  
  • Reduced Excessive Vibration  
    When the tires bounce, the vibration is felt throughout the cabin of the vehicle. With gas charged shocks, the tire motion is better controlled, leading to less vibration.  
  • Wider Range Of Control  
    Gas shocks reduce dumping and aeration, leading to heightened performance across a variety of terrain conditions.  
  • Reduced Aeration  
    What is the advantage of gas charged shock absorbers? The biggest benefit is reduced aeration, meaning greater valving range for better control.  
  • Reduced Fade  
    Shocks heat up while in use, thereby reducing the damping ability in a process known as fade. However, gas charged shocks are less susceptible to fading.  

Different Types Of Gas Shock Absorbers 

Twin Tube Shocks 

The twin tube gas charged shock absorber uses two separate compartments to separate the gas from the oil. The smaller tube contains the piston shaft assembly, oil and base valve, while the other tube has the nitrogen gas. Twin-tube shocks are the most popular found on automobiles today and often include the OEM design.  

Monotube Shocks 

Monotube shocks come with a single tube instead of two. However, the gas and oil remain separated by a free-floating piston, pushing the oil to the top while the gas remains on the bottom. Because the monotube shocks have a larger piston surface area, there is better damping force and more consistent performance.  

Reservoir Shocks 

Reservoir shocks can be remote or piggyback but are known for better heat dissipation and improved travel. There is more space for the gas and oil to operate, leading to a dramatic impact on operating pressure internally. Because there is less pressure buildup, the shocks often last longer, creating a good value for the money.  

Adjustable Shocks 

Both twin tube and monotube shocks can be adjustable with the use of knobs and twisting functions. By allowing for customization of the compression, drivers have more control over the ride quality. That’s why adjustable shocks are commonly found on off-roading and racing vehicles but rarely used as an OEM configuration.  

Emulsion Shocks 

These shocks combine the nitrogen gas and oil into one mixture, not separating the two with a chamber or internal piston. However, the oil can foam, leading to a reduction in dampening capability. The higher the pressure goes, the more wear the shocks exhibit, causing these to be some of the least reliable shocks.  

internal components of a gas shock absorber

What Is The Difference Between Gas And Oil Shock Absorbers? 

Which is the best shock absorber, gas or oil? The differences of the shock absorbers (oil vs gas) are minimal but profound. All shocks use hydraulic fluid or oil to control the damping motion. However, the gas charged shock adds pressurized nitrogen gas to the mix. 

When choosing a gas or fluid type shock absorber, vehicle control is an important factor. The gas charged shocks reduce the foaming of the oil, allowing for better high-speed damping and better performance.  

Popular Gas Shock Absorber Brands 

  • KYB Gas Shock Absorber  
    As one of the most popular brands, you can choose from the KYB Gas a Just shock absorber or opt for the KYB gas shock absorber Excel G models. High-performance vehicles operate well with the KYB gas shock absorber Gas a Just for improved handling and control.  
  • Ironman Nitro Gas Shock Absorbers  
    When looking at the Ironman Nitro gas shock absorbers review, it’s easy to see how these outperform the competition. In fact, these are regularly rated better than the TVS Jupiter gas filled shock absorber. 
  • Monroe Gas Shock Absorber  
    Most people don’t place the Monroe gas charged shock absorber up high on the list, but it shouldn’t be overlooked. However, if you read a Monroe Gas Matic shock absorber review, you see that these can be a good investment. In fact, the Monroe Gas Matic truck shock absorber is low-priced while offering some of the benefits of the more expensive brands.  
  • Bilstein Gas Shock Absorbers  
    The Bilstein gas pressure shock absorbers are used when the driver is looking for more performance. That’s why many luxury brands include Bilstein shocks as part of the standard equipment.  

People Also Ask (FAQs)

How much do the gas shock absorbers cost? 

Each shock absorber will cost between $50 and $150, depending on your vehicle type and the brand. If you can install or repair them yourself, you won’t have to worry about any labor charges.  

Can I check my vehicle’s gas shocks for wear?  

You can perform a vehicle bounce test to see if the shocks are working. You should also visually inspect the shocks to ensure there is no oil leaking from the seals.  

What are some tips to best maintain gas shock absorbers? 

You can clean contaminants off of the shocks with a damp cloth. It’s also wise to keep the tires properly inflated to ensure the shocks don’t have to work harder to maintain the handling of the vehicle. Inspect your car shocks regularly to ensure they are not leaking. 

Do gas shocks lift your truck? 

You may notice half of an inch lift after installing aftermarket gas shocks. However, this additional height isn’t the reason to install shocks. Rather, it’s just an after-effect of the installation.  

How long do gas shock absorbers last?  

Most shocks will last between 50,000 and 100,000 miles under normal conditions. It is possible to rebuild and refill gas shock absorbers with new seals and pressurized gas, but it’s often the same price to buy new shocks.  


What is a gas charged shock absorber? These automotive shocks provide better performance with the help of pressurized nitrogen gas. You can install gas charged shocks on your vehicle to improve the handling and ride quality.