BILSTEIN: Combine shock absorber check with a tyre change
The hidden danger – have yourshock absorbers checked every 20,000 kilometres
In most countries, the average car is getting older and older. Rainer Popiol, training manager at BILSTEIN in Ennepetal, Germany, knows that shock absorbers often suffer quite badly after nine, ten or even more years. But this very slow process often goes unnoticed by drivers. Most MOTs and routine check-ups only include a visual check of these items which only delivers a very superficial result. This can lead to a hidden danger "brewing" in the car over time: In corners or during evasive driving manoeuvres it increases the risk of the car breaking away because the tyres lose grip quickly. It also adds up to 20 per cent to the braking distance, increases the risk of aquaplaning and even negates the effect ofelectronic aids such as ABS and ESP.
To be on the safe side, shock absorbers should be checked by a professional at least every 20,000 kilometres (12,000 miles). Including this with a tyre change or a spring check-up means hardly any extra effort and usually quite manageable costs. Rainer Popiol recommends ensuring that the selected garage is equipped with a test device for shock absorbers: "The visual inspection reveals whether the shock absorber leaks oil and whether the attached parts are defective. The actual state of wear and the remaining damping force, however, can only be determined on the suspension tester." The service life of shock absorbers depends on many factors: road conditions, load, mileage and driving habits, cold, heat, dust, water and salt can contribute to accelerated ageing.
Photos: Copyright BILSTEIN, 2016. Reprinting free of charge with reference to the source "BILSTEIN". We look forward to receiving a specimen copy.