As families prepare for travel over the holiday season, service advisors should be sure to communicate the importance of a detailed vehicle inspection.
For many drivers, a pre-trip vehicle inspection may be the first time in a year or more for professional shops to have the opportunity to look for wear and damage that could result in an unhappy travel experience.
Undercar parts supplier ZF Aftermarket offers examples that service advisors could point out to customers.
- If a stone damages a steering cuff, water and salt can enter the joints of the steering rod and the steering gear. As a result, the rack corrodes and rubs with the rough surface the seal through to the steering cylinder. Oil loss and a failure of the power steering are imminent. Even electric steering systems are not spared damage, as corroded parts can cause noise, stiffness and other problems.
- The piston rod of the vibration damper and the suspension spring also suffer from small stones or splinters that get thrown up. Small craters in the chrome of the piston rod can damage the seals, which leads to oil leakage in the damper, following a loss of damping effect. In the case of the suspension spring, local rust spots cause a notch effect. In the long term, the spring can break.
- Regarding brakes, the service consultant should not only pay attention to the wear condition, but also to scoring in the disc. Stones caught up between the brake disc and the brake block can leave damage on this assembly and lay the groundwork for further failure.