If you’re preparing to hit the road during the holiday season, it’s important to do some safety checks on your car before setting off in order to protect yourself and your passengers from unnecessary problems. The last thing you need is for your car to develop an issue that needs sorting out while you’re away or, even worse, to be involved in an accident that could have been prevented.
You’re probably already aware of some of the areas you should be doing checks on in order to ensure your car is in safe operating condition, such as tyres, lights and brakes. These are all important but they’re not the only areas you should be testing.
A lot of car owners aren’t aware that one of the main roles a shock absorber plays is protecting them by ensuring steering is precise and that stopping and stability are optimal in all types of driving scenarios. Shock absorbers play an important role in determining how your car reacts to the road in various driving situations, affecting your tyre performance, brakes, steering and suspension, and are therefore critical for keeping you safe.
It is recommended that you have your shock absorbers carefully inspected and tested for wear and tear at least once a year. You should also replace worn units by the time your car has done eighty thousand kilometres at most, in order to avoid them gradually losing their effectiveness over time. By failing to replace worn shocks you are risking diminishing your car’s steering, stopping and stability capabilities, making accidents much more difficult to avoid.
Vehicle safety relies on a system of interconnected undercar components which include brakes, tyres, shock absorbers and further steering and suspension parts (also known as the ‘Safety Triangle’). Each element of this system contributes to safe steering, stopping and stability and so any one worn part can affect how well the other parts work.
To give you some examples:
- Steering can be affected by worn components if tyre grip is lessened and more body sway is allowed.
- Stopping can also be affected when strong spring oscillation is allowed and excessive weight is transferred to the front wheels.
- Stability can be affected when too much weight is transferred from side to side around bends.
In addition, other costly car components can be wear out sooner than they should if worn shocks are not replaced. For instance brake pads can wear down more quickly when worn shock absorbers allow too much weight transfer from back to front when stopping the car. Tyres and suspension components can also experience excessive wear and tear due to worn out shocks, all of which are expensive to replace.
Most importantly though, worn shocks need to be replaced in order to keep car drivers and passengers safe, particularly on long drives and in busy traffic conditions such as during the holidays, when accidents are more likely to occur. Make sure your time away from home is the fun-filled and relaxing holiday you’re dreaming of by taking care of all the necessary safety checks well before you set off.
For more advice about looking after your car, please get in touch with our friendly and knowledgeable team today.