The suspension system is an essential component in every vehicle on the road. Many motorists believe that it’s there to hold up or support the vehicle.
In actual fact, your car’s suspension system is there to keep your tyres firmly in contact with the road while providing ride comfort and stability in terms of steering and handling. One of the main components within the suspension system that helps perform this task are shock absorbers.
Shock absorbers do exactly what their name describes, they absorb energy from movement resulting from accelerating, braking and driving on uneven surfaces. This movement creates vertical energy that travels through the vehicle’s frame and without shock absorbers this energy would cause the vehicle to jump, leaving the driver with minimal control. As the shocks absorb this energy the vehicle always has maximum contact and friction with the road.
When driving, a vehicle’s shock absorbers are always in use. Because of this they will lose their ability to function properly over time. If you don’t have them checked by a trained technician (every 20,000km) you can run into serious braking, steering and control problems.
View our Shock Absorber Auto Facts Video for more information.
Longer stopping distance
By having worn shock absorbers on your vehicle you could be increasing your stopping distance by up to 20%. This distance can be enough to cause a fatal incident and should be attended to as soon as possible.
Swerving and Nose-dives
If your car dips or swerves under braking you need to have your shock absorbers checked. These symptoms decrease overall car control which can be very dangerous in wet weather conditions.
A tell-tale sign of worn shock absorbers is vibrations through the steering wheel. When working properly they should keep your tyres in contact with the road with no vibrations. At high speeds the vibrations can become more intense making it hard to keep full control of the vehicle.
Having a shock absorber replacement performed will help to stop your car from veering across the road in side winds and from mild cross winds.
When driving over bumps, railway tracks and uneven surfaces, does your vehicle rattle and rock back and forth? This is often a sign of worn shock absorbers. Although this starts out as a minor issue with an unpleasant ride at times, it will eventually get worse and lead to much larger problems.
Uneven tyre wear
If your tyres seem to be wearing unevenly with bald patches in certain areas it is most likely that your shock absorbers aren’t keeping your tyres firmly in contact with the road. This is a big issue for grip and control.
REMEMBER: Your vehicle is only attached to the road by four postcard sized tyre prints. It is paramount that your shock absorbers are working properly to make sure you don’t have less grip than this.
Has it been some time since your last service or the last time your shock absorbers were checked? Don’t delay any longer, book your vehicle in with your nearest Repco Authorised Service center and get back to driving in safety and comfort.