2.5 million motorists suffer backache behind the wheel

Faulty suspension blamed for one-in-three cases of poor ride comfort

Over 2.5 million motorists have suffered from backache behind the wheel during the past 12 months, a Kwik-Fit report1 finds. And while most drivers might think that their car seat is to blame, the report indicates that worn shock absorbers could be a major contributory factor.

Indeed, 57% of motorists suffering backache behind the wheel approached a professional to check over their car, and one-in-three of them found that the root cause of their in-car discomfort lay in a worn out suspension system.

Worn out suspension might be causing more than just backache. In total 3.8 million British motorists complained that the ride comfort of their car had plummeted in the past year. And while backache was the most common complaint (accounting for 64% of all complaints) – headaches (22%), neck aches (17%) and bouts of sickness (7%) were also reported. 2

David White, customer services director at Kwik-Fit commented: “It seems that driving a car on poor shocks can give you backache and numerous other health problems. More importantly it can also put yours and other road users’ lives at risk.”

Indeed Kwik-Fit warns that shock absorbers do more than just protect the driver’s health.  As well as absorbing impacts and making the journey more comfortable, a suspension system helps to keep tyres firmly in contact with the road – assisting both braking and road handling. At 30mph a worn shock absorber can add up to two metres on to a car’s braking distance.3

David White, continued: “Gradual wear of suspension components does make it difficult to spot problems. So drivers witnessing any decline in ride comfort or handling should get the car checked by a professional – rather than suffer in silence. Failure to do so will not only exacerbate any health problems, but also put yours and other road users’ lives at risk.”

Kwik-Fit offers a free, drive in suspension check up at any one of its 570 centres nationwide.  Kwik-Fit are so certain that worn shocks might be the cause of the problems that they offer a money-back satisfaction guarantee. If you have new shock absorbers fitted and you don’t notice the difference, or are not satisfied, your money will be refunded.

Detecting shock absorber problems
  1. Your car, when parked, continues to bounce if pushed down suddenly at each corner
  2. Your car tends to pitch forward or ‘wallow’ when you are driving e.g. stopping at a zebra crossing
  3. Difficult to control when cornering
  4. Uneven tyre wear
  5. Backseat passengers complain of feeling sick
  6. Your car has done more than 50,000 miles since your shock absorbers were last replaced
  1. Research conducted amongst 1000+ UK motorists by ICM
  2. ‘Other’ symptoms accounted for 7%
  3. According to Monroe data
10 April 2008 Staff

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