KEEPING A GRIP ON THE ROAD
Maintaining shock absorbers is essential for safe vehicle operation and also improves driving comfort
The vibrations occurring in a vehicle’s wheels and body are eliminated or significantly reduced by shock absorbing elements, thanks to the damping of vibrations generated in the vehicle’s suspension system.
The correct functioning of the suspension system is essential, increasing the adhesion of the vehicle to the road surface because it increases the duration of vehicle contact with the ground when travelling across an uneven surface.
The service life of the vehicle as well as the functioning reliability of other subsystems, passengers’ comfort and the condition of transported goods is also significantly affected. Therefore, the determination of a shock absorber’s condition is crucial for correct vehicle operation.
AutoTest says it is ironic that often when a vehicle’s braking system is inspected, it is not done in line with the testing of the wheel’s traction. It says that no matter how effective a vehicle’s brakes are, they are useless if the wheels cannot effectively grip the road.
An ineffective wheel will lead to extended stopping distances and inefficient driver assistance systems, such as ABS and ESP. In turn, a wheel can become counter-productive, bouncing will persist and its shock absorber will be damaged.
Unfortunately, most inspections are only conducted visually and therefore 50 percent of wheels are not properly assessed. AutoTest says this will continue to be a common problem, unless shock absorber testing becomes an integral part of the inspection process.
Shock absorbers have a limited life span and AutoTest says that on average, 10 percent will fail within five years and therefore states it is critical to conduct shock absorber tests in line with all visual inspections.
AutoTest explains that to maintain the suspension system in a safe condition, you need to know the shock absorber performance during the life of the vehicle. It says the brake system has an objective check method and validation criteria, regulated by most authorities that must be met for approval of the vehicle in order to determine the system effectiveness, and states this is also reinforced in some domains by a regular periodic inspection.
AutoTest says its AutoTest Suspension Meter is an effective and compact device that is suitable on all light vehicles and determines the performance of individual shock absorbers.
It is a handheld, battery powered shock absorber tester that displays results in seconds and is compatible with the compact AutoTest Bluetooth Printer.
For more information, visit www.autotest.net.au