Worn or defective shock absorbers can have negative effects on your vehicle’s ride quality and safety. This article expands on five common signs that indicate poor shock absorbers.
5 signs that your shock absorbers need replacing.
While many perceive shock absorbers as comfort features, they do tend to form part of the greater safety element of your vehicle. Poor shock absorbers can lead to somewhat devastating effects. Shocks and struts are an essential part of your vehicle’s suspension system. Here are five signs to lookout for which indicate that they need replacing.
What do they do?
Shocks and Struts keep the springing movement of your car to a minimum; they stop oscillation and bounce that can otherwise be damaging to the underside of your vehicle. When they are working correctly, it will be easy to steer and handle your vehicle, the ride will be comfortable, and your wheels will feel properly aligned.
Poor or defective shocks or struts will make it hard to maintain proper control of your vehicle as you drive. The car will not feel stable on the road which could lead to a loss of control in evasive manoeuvres such as swerving for a road user that has suddenly stopped or a pedestrian. For this reason, it is crucial to always keep your shocks or struts in proper working order.
What is the difference between a shock absorber and a strut?
Shocks act strictly as shock absorbers, and that is all they do. Their only goal is to give your car better handling.
Struts have multiple roles. They are a structural part of the car’s suspension system, and they also affect your car’s alignment. When a strut is replaced, you will also need a wheel alignment at the same time.
5 signs that your shocks need replacing:
1. Uncomfortable ride: South African roads are not the best when it comes to smoothness and as such put extra forces onto your suspension system. Bad shock absorbers will be noticeable through poor ride quality that is generally uncomfortable. Going over speed humps will also generally feel more pronounced.
2. Steering issues: Another sign that you should be on the lookout for is poor steering. Your steering wheel may feel stiff or hard to turn. And you may feel like your car is swaying or leaning when you take a turn or switch lanes. It will also require more effort to keep your vehicle in a straight line.
3. It affects the braking: Poor shocks and struts can have a negative effect on your vehicle’s stopping ability. You may notice that your car feels unstable and takes a nosedive or lurches forward when you brake. This is not ideal and could result in negative braking performance. Worn shocks can also affect other safety items such as EBD and TCS systems on many modern cars.
4. Unusual tyre wear: One easy check to tell if your shocks need replacing is uneven tyre wear. Suspension damage can cause wear around the edges or scalloped dips to form. This can reduce the performance of the tyre and may result in tyre failure. Be sure to inspect your tyres on a regular basis.
5. The age of your car: It is equally as important to do your homework when purchasing an older vehicle as it is to stick to the prescribed maintenance plan offered by new vehicles. Many shock absorbers tend to last relatively long so ensure that they have been replaced when recommended by the manufacturer. If you are unsure then consult an expert.
How can Goldwagen help save you time and money?
Goldwagen offers an array of quality replacement parts which include replacement shock absorbers and struts from some of the automotive segments leading manufacturers. These include the likes of:
BILSTEIN: Founded in 1873 and thanks to the technical inspirations gained in America, BILSTEIN managed to gain a foothold in the automobile industry in 1927. It is for this reason that the World’s leading automobile brands trust BILSTEIN for a reason – their technologies and quality set the highest standards. Their successful 50-year stint in motorsport has also helped them bring race car technology to the road.
MONROE: Monroe products have been designed, engineered, fit and ride checked, and built with each vehicles specific ride and handling profile in-mind. The strict performance standards at Monroe, along with their OE expertise ensures OE-quality fit and function from each individual component. The company makes use of high-carbon steel and premium components that go into premium Monroe shocks, struts and strut assemblies which make each one of their products a top-quality product.
MEYLE: MEYLE supplies a comprehensive range of MEYLE-ORIGINAL shock absorbers engineered to resist early part wear: an electro-mechanical coating process ensures reliable protection against abrasives. Salt spray tests have shown that the MEYLE piston rod is by far the least vulnerable to corrosion among all seven competitor products tested.
If you see any of these signs of shock or strut damage, or if it’s just time for you to have your vehicle routinely checked for preventive maintenance then visit your nearest Goldwagen store and enquire about these brands and others.