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Such a shock! Why shock absorbers make a difference

Look out for signs warning of worn shock absorbers before it’s too late.

Stopping, speed, and stability – these are the areas where shocks have the most impact on a car. Unfortunately, though, any changes to these functions that have occurred because of wear and tear happen so gradually that drivers barely notice them.

That’s a hazard, not just for the driver, but for anyone else on the road. Here’s an example of just how dangerous it is to drive with worn shocks: If you’re travelling alone in the car at a speed of 80km/h on a straight road, it can take 2.6m longer than it should for the car to come to a halt. Add more passengers and an uneven road surface, and it will take 11.3m longer, even if you’re only driving at 70km/h. Obviously, the risk increases with factors such as poor visibility or wet conditions. 

Telltale signs that it’s time to replace shocks include a vibrating steering wheel, oil leakage, irregular or increased tyre wear, and steering that does not centre by itself. 

It is important to choose quality shock absorbers when replacing this car part. Shock absorbers that seem very cheap may not be correctly assembled, aren’t sufficiently robust and may lack flexibility, all of which means they will not perform properly.