Get Your Shock Absorbers Tested
Unfortunately, the ugly truth is your vehicle’s shock absorbers rarely, if ever, get inspected. It is highly unlikely they are even looked at when your car is in for a scheduled major service. To make matters worse, we become used to the way the car drives as it gets older so we don’t realise the shocks are losing their ability to function as they should. This loss of efficiency is gradual so it kind of creeps up on you.
In South Africa sixty per cent of the vehicles (yes three out of every five) on the road have worn shock absorbers. The reality is the shocks have probably never been tested particularly if your car is a couple of years old. Look at your odometer – does it have more than 50,000 kilometres on the clock? It is around this time when your shocks start to give in. Considering the state of the roads in South Africa, you have probably hit a pothole or two which adds to the wear and tear of the suspension system.
So here is the scenario – you are happily motoring along when suddenly you have to swerve to miss said pothole or dog and your car goes out of control and bang – an accident. The cause – your shock absorber failed to keep your tyres in contact with the road surface as it should have…
Have your shocks checked at GP Motor Works today!
In order to help you we have listed some of the warning signs you can look out for so that you can ensure the safety of you and your family on the road. As we said, often these tell tale signs are right under our noses but we don’t recognise them. Hopefully now you will be able to.
When Should You Replace Your Shock Absorbers
There are many reasons why you should replace your shocks. Here are several of the most important things to look out for. If in doubt, come in and we can very quickly tell you if there is a problem or not….
Your Tyres Show Uneven Wear
This is first, because it is something you can check right now. Ensure you are in a safe environment and get someone to help you if necessary. Roll your car forward a few inches at a time, put the handbrake on and get out and inspect the tread of each tyre. If there are uneven sections of wear on the tread it is a clear sign that the shocks are not consistently keeping the tyres in contact with the road surface. The tyre grip and control; can be severely compromised particularly in wet weather.
Your Car Swerves Or Nose Dives While Braking
A clear signal that the shocks are failing is when the front of your vehicle noticeably dips or swerves when you brake. It almost feels as if you are losing control. All the weight of the car transfers to the front tyres and as you can imagine, this is extremely dangerous in wet weather. Get your shock absorbers checked immediately.
Your Car Takes a Longer Distance To Stop
Another symptom of worn out shocks is the direct impact they have on increasing stopping distance when braking. The distance it takes for your car to come to a stop can be increased by as much as twenty per cent. What makes this more alarming is this stopping distance becomes greater in relation to the speed you are going. By way of illustration, if you normally take 100 metres to stop this suddenly becomes 120 metres. You get the picture – those pesky shocks must be replaced.
You Feel Excessive Steering Wheel Vibration
Normally the suspension system keeps the tyres in contact with the street surface and vibrations are kept minimal. However, damaged shock absorbers can cause extreme vibration to be transmitted to your steering wheel. High speed increases this effect and in so doing decreases the control you have on the vehicle.
You Experience a Generally Unpleasant Ride
The final warning sign is when your vehicle is just not pleasant to ride in anymore. You know – those bumps and uneven road surfaces and you notice your passengers’ heads are bobbing around. Yip you guessed it – your shocks are badly worn and are not providing any cushioning effect at all….
There are other signs but these are the obvious ones. You should note that there are other components or systems in your car that can cause similar symptoms when they are damaged which makes it critically important to get a professional mechanic to accurately diagnose the root cause.
At GP Motor Works we are extremely thorough with our diagnostic testing and will give you comprehensive advice as to the best course of action.
Do it Today…