OUT OF THE WHEEL HOUSE – INTO THE SPOT LIGHT!

Master mechanic Bernhard Roth addresses the important topic of shock absorbers

38 years of experience in the workshop business flow into Bernard Roth’s medium-sized operation in the Bavarian Weibersbrunn with four halls, three lifting platforms and one working pit. Exchanging defective shock absorbers is one of the routine jobs today just as it was back in the day. However, Roth knows that defective shock absorbers often remain undiscovered. The dark figure is high, which is why he feels strongly about sensitising regarding this topic: “The suspension must fit, only then will you stay on the road”, the 53-year-old BILSTEIN fan explains. He counts the shock absorbers and tyres among the foremost important wear parts. This is why he encourages his customers to regularly run a professional check.

The current TÜV (MOT) Report 2018 proves how important this is, having recorded a significant increase of suspension defects in older vehicles. But then how should workshops proceed during diagnosis? A special tester like the BILSTEIN shock absorber test bench delivers the most reliable results, and Roth has welcomed one as a guest for two days on his workshop yard two years ago. Here, it became apparent that even externally unblemished shock absorbers may exhibit serious technical deficiencies. Even though Bernhard Roth has long since returned the test bench, the campaign is making impact to date: Participants regularly address the condition of their shock absorbers at workshop appointments.

A true professional, Roth naturally takes communicative steps: For example, he always encloses our flyers about exchanging shock absorbers when reminding his customers on their next TÜV (MOT) appointment in writing. Furthermore, he keeps an eye out on the mileage with vehicles rendered to him: If he reads 80,000 or 100,000 kilometres on the odometer and the original shock absorbers haven’t been exchanged, Roth will take a closer look: Are the shock absorbers wet and therefore leaky? Are the protectors and dust boots in good condition? Are there any unusual wear down patterns on the tyre? All of these cause the alarm bells to ring. With air suspensions, easily discernible fault sources such as supply lines, boots and control units are added.

As customers tend to complain that replacement parts seemingly never last as long as the original parts did, Bernhard Roth swears by his favourite brand BILSTEIN. With our BILSTEIN B4, customers receive a series shock absorber with gas-pressure technology which is manufactured in identical OE quality. Particularly discerning customers that want extra damping force and higher loadability and service life can be provided with the BILSTEIN B6, which stands for improved OE replacement. With the B4 air suspension module we’ve got the perfect OE replacement for air suspensions in our program, too: In doing so, we exclusively use components directly from the factory and no refurbished parts, giving us a special position on the market.

From his operation’s towing service, Bernhard Roth learned first-hand that one should never compromise on components relevant to safety. Here, he is time and again confronted with serious accidents which could likely have been prevented if just the vehicle had been in impeccable condition. Because even if an accident starts with a driving error, sound shock absorbers often make swerving or breaking in the nick of time possible. Faulty components on the other hand are rarely up to the task.