Hydraulic Repair Iowa - Social Proof
410 Freel Dr Ste 102, Ames, IA 50010 515-292-2599

Predicting the future uses of technology is always challenging.

Initially, hydraulics were a simple yet vital part of engineering, used in aircraft, cranes, bulldozers, and other heavy-duty machinery.

The intrigue around hydraulics heightened in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Post-WWII economic conditions spurred the popularity of lowrider culture, especially in Southern California. Affordable and widely available cars became the foundation of a culture emphasizing a “low and slow” aesthetic.

Ron Aguirre’s 1955 Corvette XSonic, an early American bubble car with an all-electric, remote-controlled system, marked a milestone. He installed advanced auto hydraulics to navigate obstacles, inadvertently discovering that the car could bounce and sway, much to the delight of drivers and spectators.

However, law enforcement wasn’t as enthusiastic. Vehicle Code 24008 soon outlawed cars modified to sit lower than their wheel rims, though this didn’t curb the trend.

Lowrider culture evolved into an international phenomenon, remaining especially vibrant in Southern California.

Installing Hydraulic Repair Near Me hydraulics is straightforward but expensive. It involves two or more cylinders connected to an oil-filled pipe, powered by a pump. The cylinders exert pressure on the oil, raising the car. The number and placement of pumps dictate the vehicle’s lift.

At “jumping contests,” modified cars leap over six feet in the air, sometimes even flipping. There’s also a category for trucks performing elaborate hydraulic feats, leading to varied legal implications across states.

Automobile Hydraulic Repair Near Me hydraulics are systems fitted in vehicles to dynamically alter their height. Typically installed in lowriders, vehicles modified to have lower ground clearance than originally designed, these systems enable remote-controlled elevation of the car’s body. The impact of these hydraulic systems on the vehicle’s height and angle depends on the type and quantity of hydraulic pumps used and the specific features of the car. With enough pumps, cars can leap over six feet in the air. Nationwide, enthusiasts participate in car jumping contests, where cars are judged based on their bouncing height.


Lowrider cars emerged in Mexican American communities in Southern California. Initially, car hydraulics were a luxury, primarily showcased at car exhibitions. Post-WWII, as more Mexican Americans could afford older, cheaper cars, they started customizing them, often lowering them close to the ground. However, this practice was not well-received by local police, leading to frequent ticketing. Hydraulic Repair Near Me Hydraulics were introduced to adjust the cars back to standard height when necessary. The trend spread to African American and White American communities across Southern California and other Western states. Today, lowriders are a global phenomenon, predominantly found in the Western U.S.

Global Influence

In 1979, Japan was introduced to lowriders through a shipment of “Orlie’s Lowriding Magazine,” featuring a lowered Chevy on the cover near Mount Fuji. This magazine, along with mail-order forms for hydraulic kits, spurred the popularity of lowriders and hydraulics in Japan, making it a top market for these products by the 1980s.

Technical Aspects

Originally, the pumps, valves, and cylinders used in these modifications were sourced from aircraft equipment, requiring substantial engineering skill to retrofit into cars. In the early 1960s, car owners often had to install hydraulics themselves, as kits weren’t commercially available until later that decade. These kits, known as “trays,” often required additional batteries due to the high power demands initially intended for aircraft. Later, liftgate materials from trucks were found to be more suitable for cars and easier to maintain.

The Hydraulic Repair Near Me hydraulic system typically comprises two or more cylinders connected to an oil-filled pipe. This oil, the primary fluid in the system, is pressurized by the cylinders, supplied by a pump, to lift the car. The car’s motion is determined by the number and placement of these pumps. A hydraulic dump valve, or “dump,” controls the car’s descent.

Throughout automotive history, hydraulics have been essential in the design of brakes, steering, gears, and suspension. They are also crucial in specialized functions for both road and off-road vehicles, such as tractors, agricultural machinery, and military vehicles, powering everything from harvesting tools to artillery. Hydraulic engineering is valued for its quick response, reliability, efficiency, and ease of repair compared to equivalent electrical systems.

However, electric systems are gaining traction in road vehicles, especially with the rise of electric and hybrid cars. Electric actuators are beginning to replace hydraulic ones, particularly in vehicles designed by manufacturers focused on self-driving and fully electric technologies. Electrical components are appealing due to their easy integration into existing electrical systems, cost-effectiveness, ease of control, and durability.

One significant application of Hydraulic Repair Near Me hydraulics in vehicles is advanced braking systems. Hydraulically operated brakes respond faster and are more efficient than electric brakes. While electric motors are used for regenerative braking in electric and hybrid cars, these systems still rely on hydraulics for immediate action upon pressing the brake pedal. ABS systems depend on the speed of hydraulic brakes, which electric actuators currently cannot match.

Hydraulically operated gearboxes have been standard since the 1940s, with little change except for the introduction of solenoid valves in the early 2000s. Even with electric systems controlling some aspects, the core mechanics of gearboxes remain hydraulic. The replacement of hydraulics in this area would require a significant technological breakthrough.

Hydraulic Repair Near Me Suspension systems in motor vehicles have evolved from leaf springs to hydraulic dampers. Although some modern systems use electrics for adjustment, the actual suspension action is hydraulic. This remains true even in electric vehicles, as hydraulic suspension is considered superior despite attempts to develop energy-recovering electrical systems.

Power steering, once a hydraulic domain, has shifted to electric systems. Early power steering used hydraulic pumps, but these have been largely replaced by electric motors, essential in self-parking cars. This is one area where electric systems have overtaken hydraulics.

Hydraulic Repair Near Me miniature and micro hydraulic power packs are still well-suited for automotive applications in suspension, braking, and power steering. While electrics have made inroads in certain areas, hydraulics remain predominant in key functions. The automotive industry sees a blend of electric and hydraulic systems, using the strengths of each. As automotive design evolves, electrics might challenge hydraulics, especially in design and testing phases.