As the first sightings of the blossoming spring flowers become a distant memory we realise that ‘Spring’ has well and truly ‘Sprung’. The sun has started to poke through the clouds more frequently and everything’s beginning to warm up. As the days get longer our thoughts turn to the appealing idea of taking the car for journeys of pleasure rather than simply as a chore.
But how well prepared is your vehicle to make the most of the nicer weather? Your tyres and brakes can be checked easily but what about your shock absorbers?
Make sure you’re not in for a shock!
They might not be the most exciting part of any car, but shock absorbers are very important safety elements that need to be checked and maintained.
Located underneath a car’s wheel arches, they’re not that easy to monitor for visible signs of wear and tear on a regular basis. But they are what keep your car’s tyres gripping the road. Plus they help your car when braking and cornering.
Putting a dampener on things!
Shock absorbers are basically oil pumps that sit between the frame of your car and the wheels. They act as a dampener mechanism to control the motion of your car’s springs. Without them your car would bounce uncontrollably when driving over the smallest of bumps or potholes.
Your shock absorbers are part of the suspension, and if they are worn then they can seriously compromise your vehicle’s safety, ride and comfort. A recent survey estimated that more than six million of the 25 million cars on the UK’s road are being driven with at least one worn shock absorber.
Sticking to the road ahead
The following are just some of the hazards that worn shock absorbers can cause:
- Longer stopping distances due to a reduction in braking efficiency
- Underperformance of any Electronic Stability Control (ESP) and Anti-Lock Braking Systems (ABS) technology
- Increased skidding and aquaplaning risks in wet weather
- Impaired control during cornering or in cross winds
- More wear of tyres and other suspension -related components
- Passenger discomfort
- Increased difficulty when towing
Worn shock absorbers are dangerous
Shock absorber performance tends to deteriorate imperceptibly over time, with drivers unwittingly adapting their driving techniques to compensate for the change in handling and other characteristics. Among the common, tell-tale signs of shock absorber wear and tear can be more prevalent load shift when cornering and poorer handling, especially on uneven road surfaces.
The bounce test
One method of testing whether a car’s shock absorbers are worn is the ‘bounce test’. When you push down on the bonnet if it bounces more than once it may be a sign that the shocks are ‘shot’. In addition, when inspecting under the car, any signs of oil residue and/or uneven tyre wear may indicate a problem.
If you suspect that your car isn’t handling quite as it should be then don’t take any chances book it in for a suspension check with DCS Bristol.
Call DCS Bristol Ltd today for an appointment on 0117 972 4343 or email email@example.com.