Symptoms of worn shock absorbers

3 December 2018

When it comes to car maintenance, it’s important to pay attention to your shocks. Worn out shocks will not only make your drive uncomfortable, they’re also dangerous.


Symptoms of worn shock absorbers

Shock absorbers are designed to assist the driver in maintaining control of a car by keeping the tyres on the ground on bumpy roads. Bad or worn out shocks will make your ride uncomfortable and to some extent unsafe, hence, it is recommended that you regularly service your car and ensure it is properly maintained.

To determine whether your shocks are bad or failing there are various symptoms to watch out for:

Unusual noises

When the shocks are worn out they tend to lose their ability to properly support the strut. This results in metal to metal contact which will cause a knocking sound from the rear or front wheels.

Uneven tyrewear

When your car has worn out shocks it means the tyres will not be kept firmly on the road surface which causes a slight bounce as the car moves around. The part of the tyre in contact with the road wears fast while the other part remains intact, causing uneven tyre wear.

Read more: 6 ways to help your tyres last longer

Delayed stopping when braking

Braking a car with worn shock absorbers tends to extend the stopping distance before coming to a complete stop. The braking distance could be increased by up to 20% which could mean the difference between a safe stop and an accident.

Read more: How to tell if my car’s brakes need replacing

Vibrations and excessive bouncing while driving

The valves or piston seals of worn out shocks are often not tight enough to prevent fluid from flowing uncontrolled past the valve or piston seal. This will result in vibration while you’re driving, especially from the steering wheel.

If when you drive over a bump the car bounces for longer than usual, it’s usually an indication that you need to replace your shock.

Leaking fluid

Broken seals that surround the shaft extending from the body of the shock will leak the brake fluid which runs down the side of the shock to the ground. This fluid loss will result into improper functioning of the shock.

Don’t wait to spot the symptoms of bad shocks, rather keep your car regularly serviced and maintained, to ensure that problems are identified early. Did you know that you can get a Service Plan, Maintenance Plan or Extended Warranty through MotorHappy.

Read more:

Car maintenance myths debunked


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