DANGERS OF WORN SHOCK ABSORBERS
In South Africa it is estimated that approximately 50% of cars older than five years on the road have worn shock absorbers.
“A worn shock will reduce the driver’s ability to control the vehicle which could result in an accident. In an emergency, there could be an accident that otherwise could have been avoided,” says Graeme Futter, Head of Marketing & Sales, Gabriel South Africa.
“A worn shock absorber will reduce tyre life, causing the tyre to bounce, making the vehicle unstable on the road. This could also create worn or bald spots on the tyre resulting in increased tyre wear, reducing tyre life,” he said.
“In an emergency braking situation, applying brakes will cause the tyre to loose contact with the road, also causing increased tyre wear. But even worse, there is the risk of a potential accident because of the driver losing control of the vehicle.”
Braking on wet roads with worn shocks, even with good tyres, can cause the tyres to bounce and loose grip. Worn shocks will cause the vehicle to skid easily in the wet. In strong cross winds, there less control when cornering.
Worn shocks can also damage other vehicle parts such as premature suspension wear. Excessive spring movement on the vehicle makes the vehicle difficult to handle.
A tired driver is a dangerous driver. When a car's shocks are worn, the driver needs to concentrate more on keeping the car on the road.
Worn shocks will also need a longer stopping distance and will reduce the efficiency of the anti-lock braking systems (ABS) and electronic stability control (ESP). In extensive road tests, a light passenger vehicle travelling at 80km/hr will stop 2.6m further than the same vehicle with good shocks!