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Worn shock absorbers - European roads

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Quite an odd topic for a ski forum.

I spend a lot of time on European roads - particularly motorways.
Off the motorways, surfaces can be awful in many areas, but as we all know, Europeans have 'different' driving style on the motorways.
In recent months, I've had to brake very hard and swerve hard to avoid someone pulling out in front of me on European motorways.
On both occasions, I've nearly lost the car, but for computers kicking in and saving the back end.
I got it back to the UK and my usual garage said it was ok. I took it to a specialist who said the rear shocks had gone and it was dangerous at speed. He also said they showed no visible signs of wear and you had to drive it and throw it about to know. Apparently shocks are not easy to test.

My point is that I'd never encountered situations on British roads where I needed my car to handle in this way. On European roads, it is more common. I've had quite a few incidents where I've had to take very evasive action.

If your car is loaded (It often is on ski journeys) and you're going at high speed (It often is on ski journeys) then worn shocks will seriously affect your ability to avoid trouble.
If your tyres are worn, it is easy to tell, but with shocks it is a lot harder, the old bounce test simply isn't good enough.

I hope this is useful to somebody. I'm getting my rear shocks changed next week (£500) eek, but well worth it. Had I not had to deal with Autoroute nutters (Quite sane in their native culture) I'd never have known.

Safe driving folks
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
cameronphillips2000 wrote:


My point is that I'd never encountered situations on British roads where I needed my car to handle in this way. On European roads, it is more common. I've had quite a few incidents where I've had to take very evasive action.


Like the time in driving rain I encountered someone driving the wrong way up a autoroute with poor lighting in the fast lane and I had someone on my rear left. Shocked
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cameronphillips2000 wrote:
I'm getting my rear shocks changed next week (£500) eek, but well worth it.

Bargain! My motorcycle ones cost me £1,300 (and you only get 2! Razz) at 15,000 miles. Originals £2,000. Shocked Shocked

What car do you have and how many miles has it done?
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Since the vast majority of people don’t actually ‘drive’ their cars, they treat them as a mobile domestic appliance, so they wouldn’t know a good handling car from a bad one.

Current non-sports cars have largely been designed to remove the driver from the experience as much as possible.

A few months back there was an Audi Q5 television advert highlighting with pop-ups all the things the car was doing for the driver to keep them ‘safe’, all of which should have been being done by the driver as part of normal driving in my opinion.


Last edited by You need to Login to know who's really who. on Fri 11-10-19 21:01; edited 1 time in total
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king key wrote:
cameronphillips2000 wrote:
I'm getting my rear shocks changed next week (£500) eek, but well worth it.

Bargain! My motorcycle ones cost me £1,300 (and you only get 2! Razz) at 15,000 miles. Originals £2,000. Shocked Shocked

What car do you have and how many miles has it done?


Pah, I take your £1300 and raise you, it's £1k per corner (plus labour) for the shocks on my car.
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But for those of us not so gifted, @PowderAdict, those gizmos might be helpful! In the olden days we sometimes had to double de-clutch but progress is progress. wink
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I "enjoy" driving when I'm not in a hurry to go some place, the road is dry, bright daylight visibility. (just signed up for 2 hours on the driving range, in a month!)

But more often than not, I'm driving just to get somewhere, regardless of condition. I really like the additional "gizmos" that help keep my stress level in a reasonable range.

Add fading eyesight and slowing reaction time of the baby boomers, life-savers (for them, and for the rest of the younger crowd).
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PowderAdict wrote:
Since the vast majority of people don’t actually ‘drive’ their cars, they treat them as a mobile domestic appliance, so they wouldn’t know a good handling car from a bad one.

Current non-sports cars have largely been designed to remove the driver from the experience as much as possible.


if everybody were drivers - none of new toyotas, except bmw z4 coupe, would be sold.
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@pam w, I don't have any issue with mechanical advances, as you say we have synchromesh gearboxs, automatic chokes, ABS brakes etc Happy

I'm more concerned with the driving 'aids'. The use of 'black boxes' for young drivers is well established, it would be interesting to have the same for general drivers which recorded the number of times these aids were activated, so Lane Departure warning, Automatic Braking, Blind Spot Collision Warning, Traction Control, Stability Control etc. So for your Insurance Company it would be a case of "Well you didn't have any crashes this year, but your car prevented your from having one on XX occasions".


Last edited by You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net. on Fri 11-10-19 21:51; edited 1 time in total
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ansta1 wrote:
king key wrote:
cameronphillips2000 wrote:
I'm getting my rear shocks changed next week (£500) eek, but well worth it.

Bargain! My motorcycle ones cost me £1,300 (and you only get 2! Razz) at 15,000 miles. Originals £2,000. Shocked Shocked

What car do you have and how many miles has it done?


Pah, I take your £1300 and raise you, it's £1k per corner (plus labour) for the shocks on my car.

What jamjar have you got?
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PowderAdict wrote:
Blind Sport Collision Warning,
Not sure what to say about that, sounds jolly dangerous though. Laughing
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
king key wrote:
PowderAdict wrote:
Blind Sport Collision Warning,
Not sure what to say about that, sounds jolly dangerous though. Laughing

Now corrected.
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
king key wrote:
ansta1 wrote:
king key wrote:
cameronphillips2000 wrote:
I'm getting my rear shocks changed next week (£500) eek, but well worth it.

Bargain! My motorcycle ones cost me £1,300 (and you only get 2! Razz) at 15,000 miles. Originals £2,000. Shocked Shocked

What car do you have and how many miles has it done?


Pah, I take your £1300 and raise you, it's £1k per corner (plus labour) for the shocks on my car.

What jamjar have you got?


S-class merc with airmatic suspension.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
The driver aids actually saved me.last week.
Swerved to .is someone who pulled put. Car went over like a barge, then bit, back and gone, I over correct. Before I know.it, heading for the central reservation with the tail out. Dynamic stability kicks in. Applys hard brakes to the right wheels at the right times and I'm heading where I wanted and lost a pound of sweat.
The computer saved me but the worn shocks gote.im to trouble.

Mine also has air suspension so could be part of the problem..

My point is, you and your car are far more likely to be tested by out European cousin's driving skills, attitudes.....
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Quote:
...
tested by out European cousin's driving skills, attitudes....


North or south circular before noon is like an outtake from MadMax!
New shocks? Sharp blades on your rims are essential Laughing
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Slow down a bit perhaps ?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
ansta1 wrote:
king key wrote:
ansta1 wrote:
king key wrote:
cameronphillips2000 wrote:
I'm getting my rear shocks changed next week (£500) eek, but well worth it.

Bargain! My motorcycle ones cost me £1,300 (and you only get 2! Razz) at 15,000 miles. Originals £2,000. Shocked Shocked

What car do you have and how many miles has it done?


Pah, I take your £1300 and raise you, it's £1k per corner (plus labour) for the shocks on my car.

What jamjar have you got?


S-class merc with airmatic suspension.


does it have 120k+ miles on the clock already, or you just wanted everybody to know how much theoretically it would cost?
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Peter S wrote:
Slow down a bit perhaps ?


What to 30 mph?

A car is a far more environmentally friendly way to travel than a plane...
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There are far more idiots on UK roads than I encounter on European ones, and at present we drive most of our annual mileage on French motorways as our work journeys are so short.
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As I live up a mountain and have to drive down it to get anywhere my brake pads take a pounding. Changed (almost on the metal) at last service to more robust ones. Cars take a real hammering in the mountains tbh.
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I don't think you need the anti-EU stuff: if your car is unsafe, that's on you and you alone. Get it fixed.

The idea of "no driver aids" sounds silly to me, a concept which doesn't really line up with reality. I bet the same people lust after skinny old school skis.
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Claude B wrote:
As I live up a mountain and have to drive down it to get anywhere my brake pads take a pounding. Changed (almost on the metal) at last service to more robust ones. Cars take a real hammering in the mountains tbh.

engine braking saves pads, rotors and fuel.
What do you mean more robust ones? Last longer? That means less effective braking.
Anyway, brake pads are like 100 eur + labor on all 4 corners.
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Statistically, UK is probably the 3rd safest country in the world, behind Sweden and Switzerland.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_traffic-related_death_rate

Death rates in France, Germany, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands were significantly higher in 2016, whichever way you crunch the numbers. Unfortunately in the last few years, the UK government has done nothing to improve things further.
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kosmoz wrote:
ansta1 wrote:
king key wrote:
ansta1 wrote:
king key wrote:
cameronphillips2000 wrote:
I'm getting my rear shocks changed next week (£500) eek, but well worth it.

Bargain! My motorcycle ones cost me £1,300 (and you only get 2! Razz) at 15,000 miles. Originals £2,000. Shocked Shocked

What car do you have and how many miles has it done?


Pah, I take your £1300 and raise you, it's £1k per corner (plus labour) for the shocks on my car.

What jamjar have you got?


S-class merc with airmatic suspension.


does it have 120k+ miles on the clock already, or you just wanted everybody to know how much theoretically it would cost?


No, it currently got 148k on the clock.
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Quote:
engine braking saves pads, rotors and fuel.

How does it save fuel?
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To be fair with 148k on the clock, a little TLC to the shocks isn't unreasonable I guess.

My Volvo has air suspension as standard, way more comfortable than my previous car.

I've had air suspension fitted to my works van, makes a huge difference. If you let the air out of the system you can tell how much harsher it is within 100 yards. Plus it always gives you the correct ride height loaded or unloaded.
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what...snow wrote:
Statistically, UK is probably the 3rd safest country in the world, behind Sweden and Switzerland.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_traffic-related_death_rate

Death rates in France, Germany, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands were significantly higher in 2016, whichever way you crunch the numbers. Unfortunately in the last few years, the UK government has done nothing to improve things further.


Statistically. Road deaths were around 1700 in 2018. So that's a drop of over 10% in 2 years. 300 lives saved. So clearly things are improving.
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@kosmoz, your driving lesson is much appreciated Puzzled
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
brake pads are like 100 eur + labor on all 4 corners.[/quote]

amazes me that people don't still change their own pads and discs/rotors..
Personally I have a real problem paying people stupid amounts of money for simple jobs that are really unskilled and can be done in an hour myself.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@davidof, yes, roads are safer than they were but there is room for further improvement. There has been total government complacency in the UK. I don’t think there has been any improvement here in the last three years. Other countries have caught up and may be better now. Sort of thing that might have earned a headline if we didn’t have bigger problems Mad
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Poster: A snowHead
Bob wrote:
brake pads are like 100 eur + labor on all 4 corners.


amazes me that people don't still change their own pads and discs/rotors..
Personally I have a real problem paying people stupid amounts of money for simple jobs that are really unskilled and can be done in an hour myself.[/quote]

Same. Changing oil (tranny/diffs included), brake pads, rotors, filters, spark plugs and pretty much everything, except suspension bushings, where special tools to take out/put in new bushings needed.
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People love to talk about the technicalities of cars.
The bottom line is that people do actually change lanes on European motorways, unlike the UK.
The downside is some do it without checking or caring whether someone is in their intended part of the universe for the next few seconds. So make sure your car is in good order, and you may not realise your shocks are worn until you have to fling your car sideways at 130 Kmhr. Or even 130 mph on the Autobahn....
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abc wrote:
Quote:
engine braking saves pads, rotors and fuel.

How does it save fuel?


Car in gear, wheels spinning the engine, not fuel. Fuel consumption equals to zero when engine braking, engine temperature drops.
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what...snow wrote:
I don’t think there has been any improvement here in the last three years. Other countries have caught up and may be better now. Sort of thing that might have earned a headline if we didn’t have bigger problems Mad


and yet I just posted the figures showing a 10% improvement over the last couple of years where there were figures so your feelz are not born out by the facts.

what...snow wrote:
Other countries have caught up and may be better now. Sort of thing that might have earned a headline if we didn’t have bigger problems Mad


can you post any alternative facts to show that? The poster above said that only Switzerland and Sweden have (slightly) better figures than the UK. Sweden has had its famous "project 0" running for the last couple of decades and is only just ahead of the UK which has a much denser road network with a lot more traffic.

But let's take France (excluding external territories), a similar sized country in terms of population, here are the figures for road deaths for the last few years:

2018: 3 259
2017: 3 448
2016: 3 477
2015: 3 461
2014: 3 416
2013: 3 250

So 2018 was still worse than 2013, hardly catching up but more struggling. 2019 looks like it will be higher than 2018 - for example 44 extra deaths in August compared to 2018

2018 saw a rise of 2.7% in road fatalities in Germany, although after a number of years of decline, particularly on Autobahns where speed limits have been introduced.
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kosmoz wrote:
Car in gear, wheels spinning the engine, , engine temperature drops.
So where does all that energy go ??
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Into slowing the car down.
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BergenBergen wrote:
kosmoz wrote:
Car in gear, wheels spinning the engine, , engine temperature drops.
So where does all that energy go ??


As above, it slows the vehicle by using friction of bearings surfaces etc within the drive train. That makes heat which dissipates either straight to air or via the cooling system through the radiator.

Effective because those components run in lubricant, so little wear and cooling system easily has the capacity as it's not being used to dissipate combustion heat.

It's one of those things that really is a win win if used intelligently.
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Better still if it was a hybrid and the energy returned to a battery rather than the atmosphere. Smile
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king key wrote:
Better still if it was a hybrid and the energy returned to a battery rather than the atmosphere. Smile


Driving down from Val to Bourg the engine hardly ever turned on in my Hybrid. Just enough to warm us up.
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Even that is changing, our hybrid has electric heating + conventional, the benefit is instant heating on a cold day without requiring an engine to heat up. You can turn it on remotely from an app before getting into the car to defrost and make toasty. The boffins are adding more toys by the minute.
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