Tasked with a vital role in your vehicle, your shocks are designed to absorb or dull the impact of road bumps and jolts in order to not only provide you with a smooth driving experience, but also assist you with handling and keeping safe on the roads. Every bump in the road can turn into a hazard if you go over it too fast.
As such, failing shocks are a real driving hazard. If not maintained or replaced when necessary, failing shocks can start a chain of events that may lead to a major accident. If the shocks on your vehicle are failing, every bump you hit will be redistributed throughout the body of your car, leading to advanced wear and tear on systems that were never designed to do what your shocks do. Playing an important part in maintaining traction on the road and handling efficiently, shocks are greatly responsible for keeping your vehicle grounded; flying through the air is for the movies – in reality, the end result is often much more tragic.
Knowing how important your shocks are and how to keep an eye (or ear) out for failing shocks can be life-saving knowledge to have. Here are some easy tips to keep in mind:
- Obviously, if your car shows a great amount of “up down” movement (or bouncing hard) when going over bumps, there is a great chance that you need new shocks
- If your tyres are wearing out quicker or unevenly, check your shocks; uneven road gripping results in wear and tear on the tyres that is accelerated
- Oil leaks on the exterior surface of the shock or struck is a dead giveaway of an ailing shock absorber. Don’t wait before seeking replacement
- A vibrating steering wheel is also a clear indication of a problem on your shock absorbers – although this may also be attributed to tyres that need alignment or balancing, this may in fact be a compound problem linking all wear and tear together
- Unusual squeakiness and noises when driving are also a good sign to watch. Vehicle with squeaks – especially when going over a bump or jostle in the road – should be ample warning that something is wrong with your suspension system
- Bouncing when coming to a stop may look cool in the movies, but your car should in actual fact not be bouncing at all. A smooth ride with the body of the car maintaining on level is what your shocks are supposed to do
Driving with worn shocks is a sure way of putting yourself and other vehicles on the road in danger. Many Companies now offer free screening of your shocks, and only takes a few minutes to establish their level of wear and tear. Most especially if you are heading out on a long trip, it is in your best interest to check your shocks before you go.
By Desh Bechan