are a critical part of your vehicle’s suspension system. They absorb shock from road defects like potholes and speed bumps to keep your tyres on the ground.
Shocks are designed for different vehicles to meet the unique demands of their driving environment. For instance, the hefty axle-wheel combination in a heavy-duty truck and some vans requires a different type of shock absorber than that used in a lighter sports car.
When a bump or pothole strikes the axle, the shocks are responsible for controlling its movement to ensure firm tire-to-road contact, which is essential for safe steering, handling and load control. A failure in a shock absorber may lead to loss of control, damage to the springs and other steering components and a decrease in driver comfort and safety.
A simple test is done at a service shop to detect shock absorber failure. The technician shakes the wheel to a certain degree and watches how long it takes for the shock to dampen the motion.
If it takes longer than expected or falls outside the limits of the testing equipment, the shocks need replacement.
Typically, shocks lose effectiveness slowly over time, so they should last 50,000 to 100,000 miles before needing replacement. But if your shocks are starting to wear out, it’s best to have them checked as soon as possible to prevent costly repairs and reduce risk of damage.
Shocks can also be a source of trouble for commercial vehicle operators, so it’s important to schedule regular shock inspection and maintenance with a qualified service provider. The result is reduced cost-per-mile and a safer, more comfortable drive.