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New leisure trends put greater stress on vehicle components

Very few cars reach their load limits in everyday traffic situations; they are often occupied by only one person and travel short distances. But a new trend is putting more stress on the chassis components of the rear axle: more and more people own e-bikes and transport them on a wheel carrier attached to the trailer coupling.

ZF Aftermarket is advising automotive workshops to inform their customers that such use will cause added strain and can trigger damage, and in turn help them ensure their vehicles are well prepared.

Selling accessory products, such as bike racks and other transport accessories, is good business for garages. However, they should not just sell them, they should also talk to the customer about the desired use of these means of transport and check whether the car is well equipped.

ZF Aftermarket states that this gives technicians the opportunity to offer a more in-depth examination of the car and highlight appropriate products which can be used to rectify any problems caused.

Chassis
Suspension, springs and dampers suffer under particularly high loads. As an example, a bicycle carrier can have a mass of 100kg when loaded with three e-bikes. This amount of extra weight puts strain on the chassis system, which can have serious consequences.

For example, rusty suspension springs can break when they are compressed; worn dampers negatively affect handling and can significantly increase braking distances on uneven or wet roads. Add to this the additional mass mounted far back on the vehicle which can affect the front wheels and lead to loss of traction. In critical driving situations, this makes the car difficult to control, comfort is compromised and the tyres wear unevenly.

With its extensive product range, under its market leading brands: TRW, Sachs and Lemförder, ZF Aftermarket covers all the product groups needed for the safe and reliable functioning of the chassis; even under extreme conditions.

Sachs-brand shock absorbers, for example, ensure optimum driving behaviour, high driving comfort and short braking distances even when the vehicle is loaded. However, even the highest quality shock absorber is only as good as its functional components allow it to be.

This is why ZF Aftermarket says automotive workshops should also check the complementary products, such as the shock absorber bearings, service kits and chassis springs, every time they replace a shock absorber. And for a safe and even drive, ZF Aftermarket always recommends that shock absorbers be changed as a pair.

ZF Aftermarket says that all of its spare parts meet the stringent requirements of the vehicle manufacturers. In addition, the company supports its partners with technical information and marketing materials via the ZF [pro]Tech workshop concept.