Shock absorbers are an essential part to the performance of your vehicle. Their purpose is to ensure that your tires stay on the ground when encountering rough or bumpy roads. This keeps you in control and prevents you from running off of the road every time you hit a pothole.
Because of this, shock absorbers are an important aspect of maintaining your safety on the road. Much like the other parts of a car, shock absorbers can eventually wear out or become damaged overtime. Symptoms of a bad shock absorber may overlap with signs of other common vehicular ailments, which is why it’s important to understand the distinct symptoms associated with a bad shock absorber.
Symptoms of a Bad Shock Absorber
One of the first symptoms to look for is vibrations while driving, especially on rough roads. When the shock begins to wear out, it loses its positioning within the vehicle. Fluid begins to flow freely throughout the seal, which makes every ditch, bump, or rock felt inside the vehicle. This friction results in subtle to severe shaking of the steering wheel.
When this extra fluid is present, it may take a while for the brakes to communicate efficiently with the car. Therefore, breaking may take longer which could result in a longer stopping distance — a dangerous situation for any driver to be in.
How your tires look can also be a primary sign of shock absorption health. If you notice bald spots, extensive damage, or withered coating, worn shocks may be the culprit. This, in addition to the internal mechanics of the car, can result in a bumpy ride. It is important to monitor how your tires look so as to make sure they aren’t working overtime trying to keep balance on the road.
When you press on the breaks, your car should come to a smooth stop. However, bad shock absorbers can create a “nose-dive” effect while breaking. For example, you’ll press on the break and your car will immediately lean forward or swerve slightly. This loss of control is especially dangerous during wet or icy weather conditions.
Effects of a Bad Shock Absorber
As mentioned, a faulty shock absorber can result in your steering wheel not effectively communicating with your tires. Thus, this could create an uncomfortable and hazardous driving experience. Since shock absorbers help your car to “hug” the road, broken ones can make your car more susceptible to swerving. For example, a slight wind could easily sway your car while driving. If this occurs during limited wind, this is an obvious sign of bad shock absorbers. The accuracy and safety of your vehicle is contingent on how healthy your shock absorbers are.
Useful Maintenance Tips
Like most parts of any car, staying up-to-date with your routine maintenance will help to alleviate problems that could occur. Experts recommend having your shock absorbers inspected every 12,000 miles or so. Total replacement is suggested at 50,000 miles.
Although do-it-yourself mechanical operations are cost effective, you may be taking a risk trying to replace your own shock absorbers. Configuring your own vehicles suspension can be disastrous, as it could ruin your vehicle’s ability to perform accurately. Therefore, taking your car to a specialist is the preferred solution as they have the necessary tools and experience to fix the problem.
How Auto Europa Can Help
If you suspect that your car has faulty shock absorbers, don’t hesitate to seek help. The effects of driving on bad shock absorbers over an extended period of time can compromise the quality of your car and your overall safety. Imagine not being able to stop in time or possibly running off of the road.
Since this part directly impacts your safety, it’s important to allow the experts to handle the problem. Auto Europa is San Francisco, California’s leader in European auto repair. Since 1992, we’ve performed maintenance repairs, meeting and exceeding every standard. Working with top brands like Audi, Porsche, and Mercedes Benz, we know how important excellent maintenance is. It extends the longevity of your vehicle while maintaining your safety. If you are interested in having your car examined, give us a call today! We are dedicated to delivering optimal service at a fraction of the cost.