Keeping steady on the road

SO, just why should you care about the shock absorbers on your car?
Gabriel representative  Cos Darlington outlined why it was important to check your shocks at La Femme’s Women with Drive seminars held last week at Hi-Q in Port Elizabeth.
She said shock absorbers had three main functions:
1. To keep the wheels in contact with the road;
2. To ensure more accurate control and steering, and
3. To correct bouncing.
Your shock absorbers can and do wear out and there are several warning signs that you can look out for:
* The car veers excessively in side winds;
* The actual housing of the absorber is dented or damaged;
* Excessive bounce on rough surfaces;
* Steering wheel vibrates;
* The car nose dives when you break
* Oil seeps from your shock absorbers (the oil leak will then be next to one or more of your wheels, not under the engine);
* You car does not hug the road on bends, and
* Bald patches on tyres (but it’s a different pattern of smoothness to old, worn-out tyres).

These problems will lead to excessive and uneven tyre wear, poor suspension control, uneven braking and poor ride control – not a happy driving experience.
More importantly, though, said Darlington, worn shocks could mean that your braking distance was extended by up to 2.6m – and this “safe zone” discrepancy could be the difference between hitting something – or someone – in an accident or safely stopping in time.

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