ZF Aftermarket is urging garages to check all safety-relevant suspension and steering components during routine winter inspections.
The aftermarket brand offers an expanded Lemförder spare parts portfolio in the area of suspension and steering for a wide range of popular vehicle models.
A ZF Aftermarket spokesperson said: “The winter car checks usually offered by garages as part of the seasonal tyre change are not only popular but also extremely important for safe driving on winter roads.
“While the battery is tested and the antifreeze and all fluid levels checked, special attention should also be paid to the installed chassis and steering parts.
“For this reason, ZF Aftermarket workshops are recommended to additionally drive every car onto the lifting platform during the winter check – if this is not associated with a tyre change anyway – and to take a close look at the chassis and steering.”
Damage can occur within days if the sealing protection on a component is inadequate.
Salt, moisture and dirt accelerate the process once again, which is why everything in the chassis should be in perfect condition, especially before the cold season starts.
Once dirt or water has penetrated the suspension and steering parts, this is often only manifested by a rattling noise in the chassis, for example in the case of wheel-guiding ball joints.
Very quickly, however, the driving behavior becomes unstable and the car rapidly becomes uncontrollable, especially on wet, snow-covered or icy roads.
Depending on how far the joint damage has progressed, the affected connection point in the wheel suspension can even break.
Leaky steering boots have a similarly critical effect: As a result, the gear rack can corrode, irreparably damaging the hydraulic sealing components in the steering gear.
This is a great potential danger, because the steering support can then fail completely while driving.
In addition, this results in high costs: replacement of the complete steering system can no longer be avoided from this point on.
Even when replacing defective steering collars in good time, ZF Aftermarket say a few basic principles should be carefully observed.
Cable ties or universal hose clamps which do not comply with OE specifications should not be used to fix steering collars; as these do not provide sufficient or permanent sealing the risk of steering damage as described above is significantly increased.
Under its Lemförder brand, ZF Aftermarket sells a broad product portfolio that must regularly prove its high quality standards in various practical and laboratory tests.
For example, in a so-called salt spray test, it was proven that the ball pivot of a Lemförder ball joint shows no corrosion whatsoever even more than 30 days after direct contact with the salt solution, thanks to the special surface protection.
If it is necessary to replace a component in the chassis and steering system, experts recommend the installation of parts in OEM quality.
All Lemförder products in this category are manufactured in original equipment manufacturer quality – for greater road safety.