Heels & Horsepower Magazine


Your shock absorbers are critical safety components on your car and can be classified into two basic types: 

  • Standalone shocks that attach to the vehicle suspension and frame
  • Shock-absorber cartridges that are integrated into a suspension strut

Some cars have struts in the front and individual shocks in the rear. If this is the case, it’s possible to replace the rear shocks with the help of a friend who knows what they’re doing, but it’s safer to have your shock absorbers replaced by a professional.

The purpose of Shock Absorbers

Shock absorbers limit overall vehicle body movement or sway. They support the springs in your car ensuring they don’t rebound on impact over rough surfaces. In this way they absorb and level out jolts to your car. They also do the job of keeping your tyres in contact with the road at all times.

Symptoms of worn Shocks Absorbers

Your tyres and shocks work together so if your shocks are worn your tyres do not grip the road firmly. As shocks gradually wear out you unconsciously adjust your driving to compensate. You may only notice the decreased efficiency when your car struggles to hold the road while cornering or braking quickly.

Your shock absorbers are worn and require replacement if you experience:

  • Vibrations while driving
  • A tapping sound while driving caused by cracked bushing at attachment points
  • Swerving or nose diving when braking
  • Longer braking time
  • Uneven tyre wear
  • Leaking fluid

What to do about worn Shock Absorbers

New cars are fitted with original equipment shock absorbers while on the auto-manufacturer’s production line and are sourced from the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM). Worn shocks will be replaced by the dealership as long as it is within the vehicle’s warranty period.

If you experience problems after your vehicle’s warranty has expired before the next service is due, visit a reputable auto fitment centre affiliated to the Retail Motor Industry (RMI) and who comply with its codes of conduct and Consumer Protection Act guidelines.  

The benefit of fitting shock absorbers at a reliable fitment centre with a national footprint is that should any problems arise, you can have it resolved at any of the branches, wherever you happen to be in the country.

Extract from an article published by SupaQuick South Africa

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