Risks of Worn Shocks

Drivers have a tendency not to notice when their shocks wear out

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. 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 a condition are not only a necessity for proper car handling, but become especially important in emergency manoeuvres. Worn shocks won’t keep your wheels in contact with 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.

Longer stopping distance and also mean less control when cornering or caught in a cross wind.

Longer breaking distance is a serious safety concern and control of the vehicle during cornering is paramount.

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, 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.