Signs of worn shock absorbers
The risks of worn shocks
Drivers have a tendency not to notice when their shocks fail. This change happens gradually over a period of time and drivers gradually adjust their driving to compensate for the extra roll or bounce.
A worn shock will reduce the driver’s ability to control the vehicle.
Gabriel recommends that you replace your shocks every 60 000 kilometres / three years. When last did you check yours?
Loss of road handling
Worn shocks can cause excessive spring movement of the vehicle, making the vehicle difficult to handle.Worn shocks also affect brake control, reduce the efficiency of Anti-Lock Braking Systems (ABS) and Electronic Stability Control (ESP) and can cause the car to sway dangerously.
Shock absorbers that are in good condition are not only a necessity for proper car handling but become especially important in emergency manoeuvres. Worn shocks won't keep your wheels glued to the road, no matter how new your tyres are. On wet roads, even with good tyres, worn shocks can cause the tyres to bounce and loose grip. At best, road handling is poor in wet weather.
Worn shocks require a longer stopping distance and also mean less control when cornering or caught in a cross wind.
Wear and tear on other parts
A worn or damaged shock absorber can cause tyre wear and damage to the suspension. Worn shocks cause the tyre to bounce, creating worn or bald spots, which accelerate tyre wear and reduce tyre life.
Excessive spring movement on the vehicle will not only make the vehicle more difficult to handle but can also cause suspension and steering components to wear-out more quickly because of the extra movement to the suspension.
Poor ride comfort
Good shocks not only enhance safety and performance but also comfort by providing a smoother ride. A road surface isn’t smooth and the wheels of a vehicle are inclined to bounce over the bumps. Shock absorbers dampen the road shock and prevent the wheels bouncing by keeping the tyre in contact with the road surface under all conditions.
With worn shocks you will experience a vibrating steering wheel, sharp stops, banking on corners, excessive veering in side winds and a bouncy suspension. When a car's shocks are worn, the driver needs to concentrate more on keeping the car on the road. A tired driver is a dangerous driver.
Insurance claim repudiation
If you are involved in a collision and have worn shocks you may face the risk of your insurance being revoked since your insurer requires that your vehicle be properly maintained.