A. Gabriel South Africa does not sell directly to the public and the Gabriel range can be purchased at most wholesalers, spares shops and fitment centres nationally.
A. Yes, all vehicles have some sort of shock absorbing system.
Q. Do shocks wear out?
A. Shocks do wear out, but this is normally a gradual process and they rarely fail completely. There are between 30 and 40 precision engineered parts inside a shock. They include valves, valve seats and springs, pistons, a piston rod and a number of high precision rubbers and seals.
Q. When should I check my shocks?
A. As a rule of thumb, a vehicle with 60 000 km or more will have worn shocks and should be checked.
Q. How can I check my shocks?
A. It is advisable to take your vehicle to a fitment centre or workshop and let them do an inspection. Most important thing to look for is physical leaks. It is important to check for any stone damage to the shocks, especially on the rear units that tend to have stones kicked up by the front wheels. If you want to do a quick check yourself, do the bounce test. Take each corner of the vehicle and push down hard. The corner should drop, rise and settle again. If the body continues to move up and down, there is a good chance your shocks need replacing.
Q. What if I only drive short distances on tar roads?
A. On average a vehicle traveling 1 km on a road will cause the shock absorber to move about 500 times.
Q. When I go over speed bumps I hear a banging noise coming from my suspension. What can cause this?
A. The most common cause of this is missing bump or rebound rubbers. The shock is collapsing completely causing the piston to smash into the foot valve. These should be checked by a fitment centre and replaced immediately.
Q. I have just fitted new shocks and my car feels very hard on the road.
A. This is a common complaint and is a result of how quickly drivers forget how a good shock absorber should work. As the old shocks have worn the driver adjusts their driving style to suit. When new shocks are fitted the car is now back to riding the way it is supposed to. Another reason is that the old shocks could have been the softer oil units which have now been replaced by the newer, more advanced gas units. Most vehicles today come standard with gas shock absorbers.
Q. I have gas shocks fitted to my vehicle but they are leaking oil. How is this possible?
A. Gas shocks are still 95% filled with oil. Oil is what controls the movement of the piston. The gas is used to give a faster reaction time, thus forcing the wheel back down when there is movement. Gas shocks are filled with nitrogen gas. This is an inert gas which means it is not flammable.
Q. What is the warranty on Gabriel shocks?
A. The warranty is 3 years, irrespective of mileage, on all passenger vehicles and commercial vehicles with a load capacity of 1000 kg and under (L.C.V) that have become faulty as a result of manufacture and/or materials. Gabriel was the first shock absorber manufacturer to offer this in South Africa.
Q. Why should I replace my shocks?
A. Good shocks cut costs because worn ones cause tyre wear and damage the suspension. Worn shocks also affect brake control and can cause the car to sway dangerously, which undermines road safety. Good shocks improve safety, performance and enhance comfort by providing a smoother ride.
Q. Are shocks expensive to replace?
A. Shocks are not as expensive as you think. A new set of shocks for most vehicles is generally cheaper than a set of tyres. Another consequence of not changing your shocks could lead to other damage to your vehicles suspension resulting in additional costs.