Routine Shock Maintenance Recommended After Winter Season
Winter is slowly losing its grip on the country and spring is upon us. Despite the beauty the new season brings, snow and rain washouts have taken a toll on roads, leaving vehicles susceptible to dangerous driving conditions. Uneven road surfaces can place great demands on shock absorbers. “After several years of use they have often suffered and lost damping force,” explains Rainer Popiol, Head of Training at BILSTEIN. “High quality brand components from the original equipment or the range of spare parts last for significantly longer than cheap products, but even they reach the end of their useful life. Unfortunately, this gradual process can easily go unnoticed by the driver. Even during the main check-up, only a visual inspection is usually carried out, which delivers superficial results. In time, the undetected risk mounts and standard maneuvers like turning or braking become dangerous. Tires can lose traction, braking distance increases by up to 20 percent, and vehicles risk hydroplaning on wet roads. In these situations, even electronic tools like ABS and ESP cannot correct the loss of control.
Those who want to be on the safe side should have their shock absorbers checked by a professional at least every 12,000 miles. If this is done during seasonal tire changes, the costs for repairs are usually minimal. Rainer Popiol recommends selecting a mechanic who has the proper tools and knowledge to fully test shock absorbers. “The visual check identifies whether the dampers have lost oil and the mounted parts are defective. However, the actual state of wear and tear and damping ability can only be determined upon further inspection.” The useful life of shock absorbers depends on many factors, including; road conditions, mileage, cold, heat, dust, water, salt, load weight, and driving style.
If you’re looking to replace the original shocks, an ideal selection is the tried-and-tested BILSTEIN B4 OE Replacement gas-pressure shock absorber, which matches the quality of original equipment parts. However, if you’re interested in a higher performance shock absorber, BILSTEIN offers a wide variety of aftermarket suspension solutions for most cars, trucks and SUVs that are designed to withstand road irregularities and provide greater control. Overall, the BILSTEIN shock absorbers offer optimal performance, greater damping force, and high levels of comfort.