Motoring – What Causes the Vehicle to Bounce?

Often, when a vehicle develops sudden problems, it could be due to some mechanical parts having worn out, mainly because of working beyond their expiry period.

Should this be the case, the best option is to replace whatever is worn out, although sometimes a simple repair could give it a new lease of life, even when it isn’t for long. Sometimes, however, the cause of a fault may be zeroed down to bad driving. Drivers often forget the fact that as long they drive badly, they will have to incur the costs for repairs.

One of the issues that keep coming up is the question of why a vehicle seems to travel with a bounce. Other than those mentioned above, reasons that would make a vehicle suddenly start to bounce include:

Worn-outbroken shock absorbers. This is the commonest reason a vehicle would bounce every time it hits a pothole or drives over a rough stretch of road. Remember the shock absorber, as the name suggests, is supposed to absorb any kind of shock that is projected towards the vehicle. But whenever that function fails, the shock travels through the wheels, up the suspension system and impacts on the vehicle framebody. This will then result in the vehicle being thrown about and translating into a bounce.

Broken coilleaf springs. These are part of the suspension system that attaches the wheel assembly to the framebody. If the springs are broken or get misaligned, it would lead to the vehicle bouncing.

Damaged or broken stabiliser and suspension bushes. Like the name suggests, the stabiliser is there to stabilise the vehicle in a scenario whereby it drives over any big or small hump. Whereas the suspension bushes help to suspend the body of the vehicle. If these are faulty or broken, it will lead to a vehicle bounce.

Weakworn-out or broken ball joints. These too have tendencies of making the vehicle bounce, although this is at times quite minor, but is a cause, nevertheless.

Broken shock absorber springs. These are supposed to hold the shock absorbers in place as well as maintain the vehicle in a stable position when stationed or in movement.

Should one drive a vehicle for long distances under the above conditions, it will continue bouncing and increase the chances of an accident, especially while taking sharp bends.

Robert Kato is a mechanic who can be reached on:

Source : The Observer


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