Although electric vehicles are becoming increasingly popular, there are numerous areas of the vehicle that are shared amongst conventionally powered, electric, and hybrid vehicles, which will continue to be the case for the foreseeable future. These areas include the wheels, tyres, brakes and steering components, as well as the suspension.
Nowadays, much of a vehicle relies on advanced onboard computers, constantly evaluating the current driving situation and interacting with components at a millisecond’s notice to respond appropriately. For instance, electronic stability control (ESC) is an electronic system that aids in preventing a vehicle from skidding.
Why Does A Vehicle Skid?
A skid generally occurs when a vehicle has been driving too fast for the conditions, surpassing its traction limits, which may trigger oversteer (when the rear attempts to move beyond the front, causing the car to spin around) or understeer (when the front wheels struggle to turn and instead continue onwards).
What Does The ESC System Do?
Electronic Stability Control (ESC) is one of the most widely-used active safety systems in modern automobiles. It is capable of reducing skidding incidents by an impressive 80%, which can prove to be a lifesaver for motorists. The sophisticated electronic mechanism senses the vehicle’s stability and detects any rolling motion or deceleration, allowing it to instantly apply the brake and decrease the engine speed of the required wheel to prevent a probable collision.
In the United Kingdom, nearly all cars come equipped with an ESC system as it is an essential feature for ensuring driver and passenger safety on the road. However, the effectiveness of this dynamic technology largely depends on the state of a vehicle’s tyres and suspension.
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The ESC is a reactive mechanism that analyses and calculates precise corrective measures to avoid an impending skid. The program expects the tyres and suspension to be in their optimal conditions, as when the car was manufactured new. However, if there is a deficiency in grip or traction, it sends a signal to apply corrective force, but the car’s body might not maintain the trajectory due to faulty tyres or a damaged suspension. This is why regular and thorough maintenance of the tyres and suspension is a vital part of ensuring safe driving practices.
The ESC system is, without a doubt, a remarkable invention in today’s advancing automobile industry. As cars become faster, there are more cars on the road, and unpredictable driving behaviour is becoming more common, having a mechanism like ESC is an ever-increasing necessity. Yet, the effectiveness of the ESC is contingent on the vehicle’s tyres and suspension, and as such, upkeep and care of a car’s most crucial components are mandatory. A driver who keeps the tyres and suspension healthy is a driver who values road safety for themselves and others.
What Does Shock Absorbers Do?
Shock absorbers are equally significant in enabling tyres to remain in constant contact with the road. Shock absorbers are responsible for extending the vehicle’s coil springs smoothly to restore their level ride height, thereby ensuring maximum traction between the tyre and the road surface. Consequently, if the ESC signals to apply the brake on the rear left wheel & the shocks are worn, the vehicle may still lack the necessary traction to avoid skidding.
Similar to numerous parts on your automobile, the functionality of your shock absorbers will inevitably decline as time progresses. This stems from the fact that hydraulic oil, which is also employed in gas shock absorbers, courses through metallic valves within the shock absorber while it undergoes compression and extension, gradually causing corrosion. Generally, the oil can pass through these valves roughly 400 times per mile, thus with the passage of time, each manoeuvre provokes increased exhaustion, further amplifying the leakage of oil with each motion, causing a decline in the fluid resistance and weakening their capacity to assuage the impact of the coil springs. This indicates that the firmness and handling characteristics of your automobile will no longer be on par with its original state.