The electric vehicle market has been growing in leaps and bounds over the last decade – however, even these technological marvels share some common components with other types of fossil fuel and hybrid vehicles. These components include the wheels and tires, steering mechanism, brakes – and the suspension system.
Today mechanical control of various common systems is no longer as common as it once was. Instead, these systems are under the control of sophisticated computer systems and software. These systems are continuously assessing road conditions allowing the vehicle to make minute adjustments each and every moment of the journey. One example is the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) System. This makes use of advanced technology in order to prevent skidding. Before moving further into the article I recommend seeing honda jazz lowered.
Why do Vehicles Skid?
Once a vehicle exceeds the limits of its traction capacity then it will start to skid. This is commonly the result of driving at unsafe speeds in adverse weather conditions. There are two types of skids, those caused by oversteer and those caused by understeer. Oversteer occurs when the rear wheels of the automobile lose traction and seemingly attempt to overtake the front of the car. The result is almost inevitably a spin. Unsteer is, in effect, the opposite. It occurs when the front wheels of the vehicle lose traction. The result is a vehicle that continues to move in a straight line, irrespective of the steering input of the driver. The lack of traction is responsible for some of the most life-threatening accidents that occur on our highways and byways.
What does the ECS do?
Your vehicle’s ECS is a highly sophisticated and advanced safety feature that can make driving much safer by eliminating around 80% of uncontrolled skids. The ECS is constantly monitoring all aspects of the vehicle’s performance, including its so-called ‘rolling’ angle (the ‘lean’ of the vehicle). When the ECS senses that a skid might be about to occur it adjusts the engine speed and applies brakeforce to each wheel. This allows the driver to regain control of the vehicle and prevent a spin from occurring.
However, the effective performance of the ECS will depend to a large extent on the condition of the vehicle’s tires and suspension system.
The algorithms that control the ECS operate on the assumption that both the vehicle’s tires and suspension system are in good (as new) condition. This assumption underlies any remedial action that is taken by the system to prevent a skid from happening. But, if the tires are worn and the signal from the ECS is to apply brakes to a specific wheel the effectiveness of that brake force may not be sufficient to stop a potentially life-threatening spin. The proper functioning of the ECS and your life depend on you monitoring the condition of your tires – and replacing them if they are worn.
About Shock Absorbers
Paying attention to the condition of your vehicle’s tires is absolutely essential. However, there is another system that plays an extremely important role in ensuring the safety of your vehicle and its passengers. This system is made up of the car’s shock absorbers and the system ensures that there is optimal contact between the tires and the road. Each component of the shock absorber system plays a role in allowing the vehicle’s coil springs to compress and extend, coping with uneven road surfaces.
A good set of shock absorbers needs to be able to return the vehicle to its proper ride height extremely efficiently, helping to keep the tires in contact with the road surface at all times and increasing levels of traction (and helping with effective steering). A set of well-maintained tires and a well-looked-after set of shock absorbers will each play their part in keeping as much of the tire’s surface area on the road as possible. This increases the vehicle’s performance and makes it far safer to drive.
If the ECS sends a signal to a particular shock absorber, the left back wheel for example, and the shock absorbers are worn this will adversely affect the ability of the vehicle to maintain adequate levels of traction – and the result will almost certainly be an uncontrolled skid.
Like most mechanical components in your vehicle, shock absorbers become less effective over time. A major cause of this loss of effectiveness is the hydraulic fluid (it’s also found in gas shocks) in the shock absorber passing through the metal valves inside the shock absorber and causing wear and tear during normal operation.