It’s common knowledge that tyres play a major role in vehicle safety, but few people consider the role of shocks or struts and how they affect the safe operation of a vehicle. These have a direct effect on your vehicle’s components and performance, which in turn affects the safety of your car on the road.
Although shocks and struts perform a similar function, they are different from each other and are not interchangeable. They are designed to keep your car driving smoothly over humps, bumps, and potholes without bouncing excessively every time, providing a smooth and comfortable ride.
Worn shocks affect components and safety
Beyond comfort, worn shocks or struts will have implications on the other of your car’s components as well as influence your ability to control the vehicle. This puts you and other road users in an extremely dangerous situation particularly in emergency situations.
Shock absorbers and tyres work in partnership to keep you safe while driving. Your shocks do the work of keeping all four tyres in contact with the road under all conditions. Driving on bad shocks or struts will affect the way they interact with the road, so regardless of the condition of your tyre, if your shocks aren’t working properly, those tyres won’t be able to stay in constant contact with the road at all times.
If you notice uneven or excessive wear and tear on your tyres, it’s possible the reason is due to worn or damaged shocks or struts. Leaving them to deteriorate any further is highly dangerous, so have them checked as soon as possible
The relationship between tyres and shocks provides constant contact with the road surface and also gives us control over our vehicle.
As mentioned, shocks and struts help your car grab the road providing stability as you drive and this is particularly noticeable when cornering. Failing shocks or struts will be less responsive when turning and you may feel as if your car is swaying or out of control. The ability for a car to hug the bends well depends fully on your shocks or struts.
Slowing down or applying your brakes hard with worn shocks will cause tyres to lose contact with the road and your car to ‘nosedive’ – where the front of your car dips downward and you feel yourself lurching forward.
When braking, shocks and struts absorb your car’s weight. If shocks are allowed to wear down the brakes have to work harder for your car to come to a stop. In turn, your brakes will start wearing out faster, and with the increased stopping distance, puts you and other road users at risk in emergency situations.
According to Monroe® – supplier of quality shocks and struts, at 50kmh, just one worn shock absorber can increase your stopping distance by up to 2 metres, adding as much as 20% to your stopping distance.
Driving in wet conditions is relatively trickier than in the dry at the best of times. If your shocks or struts are bad, braking when the road is wet will cause your car to lose grip and skid more easily – regardless of the depth of tread on your tyres.
Worn shocks cause more movement of the suspension, making your car more difficult to handle. This excessive spring movement also causes suspension and steering components to wear out faster.
Driving a car shouldn’t feel like a roller coaster ride. You need to feel confident and in control behind the wheel at all times. Bad shocks or struts will certainly prevent this because without them your brakes and tyres can't do their job.
There are two main reasons that could be the cause of failing shocks – leaking, or overheating. Your shocks may be old, been subjected to rough conditions, or to frequent overloading. If you suspect it’s time to say goodbye to your old shocks, bring your car in for a free safety check. If your shocks need replacing, Supa Quick are your experts in shock absorber fitment.
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