Do you know what a shock absorber is and where you can find it on your car? Don’t think it’s that important? While many feel that their shock absorbers aren’t the most exciting system in their vehicles, it plays a very important role in keeping you safe on the road.

What is a shock absorber?

A shock absorber is a mechanical part that sits beneath the wheel arches, and its role is to keep your tyres in permanent contact with the road so that you always have grip when you brake or turn a corner, and also ensures that you have a smooth, comfortable ride.

Why is it dangerous to drive with worn or damaged shock absorbers?

The average driver isn’t aware of the dangers of worn or broken shock absorbers, as they don’t see it or know about its function.Even worse, every time they drive themselves or others, they are at risk of an accident.

Here are the top ten dangers associated with worn/broken shock absorbers:

  • Reduced braking ability, which means longer stopping distances
  • ABS and ESP lose their efficiency
  • Increased risk of skidding on wet roads
  • Aquaplaning occurs at lower speeds
  • Less control in windy conditions or when caught in a crosswind
  • Increased driver tiredness
  • Increased wear and tear of tyres and other suspension parts
  • Uneven/oscillating headlight level dazzles on-coming drivers
  • Increased passenger discomfort
  • Increased risk of snaking when being towed

 

Always check your shock absorbers

Shock absorbers gradually deteriorate over time, so you might not notice when your car starts to skid a bit more or take longer to brake, seeing as you might just compensate for the gradual change. Always check your shock absorbers when you experience the following:

  • You notice your car is more difficult to get around corners.
  • Poor handling when the roads are wet or uneven.
  • Try a bounce test, which means that if your car oscillates more than once when downward force is applied to its bonnet, your shocks are worn.
  • You can visually check for oil leakage near the shocks and if your tyres have an uneven wear to them.
  • It’s recommended to go get your shocks checked every 20,000km by a qualified mechanic.

 

Next time your car is feeling difficult to handle when braking or cornering, be sure to find your nearest Midas service centre, or get in contact with us to ensure its fixed ASAP.