Driving with A Broken Shock Absorber: Is It Foolish Decision?

The suspension is among the most repaired parts of any vehicle as it’s designed to sustain a lot of damage from uneven roads, potholes, and other flaws in the road. 

The shock absorber is a critical component of the suspension system and driving a car while it’s broken is extremely dangerous for both you and others on the road.

Read on to learn more about how driving with a broken shock absorber is extremely dangerous.

A Brief Overview of the Suspension System

Every single car in the world comes with a functional suspension system because it’s essential for your protection, comfort, and overall experience.

The suspension components are designed to work together and absorb all the incoming vibrations, impacts, and other forces from the road

That way, you remain comfortable inside the cabin and all the essential components like the engine and fuel injection system remain protected.

This way, the suspension is important for both comfort and functionality of your car. However, that also makes it susceptible to the most damage. 

Suspension systems consist of multiple parts that work collectively to absorb impacts and deliver a comfortable riding experience.

You’ll find the following components in almost all kinds of suspension systems:

  • Wheels
  • Tires
  • Springs
  • Shocks
  • Steering system

Depending on the kind of roads and your driving style, one or more of these components may get damaged with time and might need to be replaced

In such cases, it’s essential to ensure that everything is up to the mark. Otherwise, you’ll be opening yourself to further issues and expenses in the long run.

The Function of Shock Absorbers in the Suspension System

The shock absorber specifically has two separate roles. Firstly, it acts as a damper to reduce the overall effect of vibrations and other flaws on the road. 

The second function is to assist in controlling the vehicle. 

Shock absorbers keep the steering wheel in a single direction and prevent any potholes and disturbances on the road from affecting the steering system. 

What Happens If You Drive Your Car with Broken Shock Absorbers?

Naturally, the first thing you’ll experience is a significant decrease in the overall performance of your vehicle. 

You’ll feel every single bump on the road because there will be nothing to absorb the impact. Not only that. 

Controlling your vehicle would also become challenging as you’ll be unable to keep your steering straight.

Driving in such conditions is never recommended as it can become dangerous for both the occupants of the car and others outside. 

The absence of a shock absorber also has an effect on the engine and other components of the vehicle. 

The vibrations and impact forces translated into the engine can cause internal damage to the intricate assembly and create several problems down the line. 

To sum up, ignoring a damaged shock absorber only creates further problems for you and that’s why it’s never recommended to anyone. 

The Most Common Suspension Flaws or Problems and Their Effect on Your Vehicle’s Performance

Shock absorbers are not the only important component of your suspension system. 

The entire assembly works collectively to ensure perfect performance and maximum comfort for the occupants. This means that a flaw or issue in any would deteriorate your overall experience. 

Here are some of the most common suspension-related issues you’ll deal with:

Flat Tire

This is perhaps the most common suspension issue you deal with. A lot of people don’t consider the tire as part of the suspension. 

However, that’s wrong. Tires play an integral role in absorbing the incoming impact from the road and are thereby part of the suspension system. 

Driving with a flat tire is never recommended to anyone because it will destroy your tire. Not only that, but your car will also steer to one side and take a longer time to start moving or even stop

That’s why it’s always recommended to change the tire as quickly as possible. 

Damaged Wheels

It’s impossible to drive with a broken wheel even if you want to. Generally, you’ll get to know about a broken wheel when it breaks down in the middle of the road. It’s only avoidable with regular diagnostic trips to the mechanic. 

The wheel starts cracking internally when it’s about to break and your mechanic can recognize those signs to give you a warning and change it on time.  

Failed Shock Absorbers

The shock absorbers keep the car comfortable and in control. Without them, the ride would be bouncy, uncomfortable, and extremely dangerous. That’s why it’s very important to replace the shock absorbers of the car on time to avoid any accidents on the road. 

Broken Springs

The springs and struts are responsible for keeping your car in position. Any damage to these components would result in an uncontrollable car and an extremely uncomfortable ride

When damaged, the spring also allows the car’s frame to come in contact with the wheel. In such cases, it’s only a matter of time before your tire is damaged beyond repair. 

Steering Failure

Naturally, the steering wheel can be damaged with use and must always be repaired instantly. 

The steering wheel is responsible for keeping your car in control and any damage to it means that you won’t be able to turn your car when you want to. 

Sway Bar Issues

The sway bar is perhaps the only suspension component that might not need immediate attention when damaged

It’s responsible for preventing your car from rolling over during sharp cornering maneuvers. Since that’s not too common if you drive safely and on regular roads, you can ignore it for a short while. 

However, the role of sway bars is quite essential, and deliberately delaying repairs is never recommended. 


Suspension systems are quite intricate with a lot of moving parts. 

Smaller components like your control arms, bushings, joints, and others can regularly get damaged and might need repairs or replacement. 

Almost all of them are responsible for maintaining the safety and comfort of your car’s occupants and it’s never recommended to delay any of them to avoid any issues. 

Final Thoughts

Summing up, driving with broken shock absorbers is not a smart move at all because it opens you to a risk of accidents. 

The car would be extremely hard to control and the ride would be far from comfortable for the passengers. 

That’s why it’s recommended to get your shock absorbers and any other damaged suspension components repaired as soon as possible. 


Dean Alvarez, TireForge Head Author

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