Press Release


Drive safely in winter

  • ZF Aftermarket gives tips for a proper winter checkup
  • Professional screening of brakes, steering and suspension systems

As research shows, it takes a massive ten times longer to stop a car on slippery roads in winter. ZF Aftermarket emphasizes why a yearly winter checkup is highly recommended and very important for road safety. The right time for a winter checkup is by the end of October – combined with changing to winter tires.

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Drive safely in winter

The braking, steering and suspension systems of a vehicle are among the most safety critical. In order to be perfectly prepared for the upcoming winter season, it is essential that those systems work completely faultlessly. It is vital that the brakes are operating efficiently and evenly across an axle. If a front or rear wheel were to lock up, it could cause the vehicle to spin. In combination with the tire change the workshop should check brake fluid, brake calipers, and bake dics. After cleaning with a high quality cleaning fluid, brake calipers should be checked for signs of corrosion or seized pistons which could result in overheated pads leading to brake fade.

Brake fluid is integral to the braking process

Brake fluid is integral to the braking process and must therefore be checked on a regular basis. Low or contaminated brake fluid can lead to brake failure. ZF Aftermarket highly recommends that brake fluid is tested every year using a high specification brake fluid tester. This works by measuring the true boiling point of the brake fluid itself in just a few seconds – instead of measuring the water content as humidity testers do. Furthermore, the brake fluid should be changed at least every two years.

Brake discs should be monitored for excess signs of rust or blistering. If there are grinding and rattling noises while braking, the brake pads should be renewed. In addition, brake pads should be well above the minimum thickness requirement. Handbrake cables are sometimes overlooked. The outer sheath can be damaged allowing water ingress. In temperatures below zero degrees Celsius, this water freezes and restricts the handbrake cable movement. In extreme cases, the handbrake will not work.

Defective shock absorbers as safety risk

Also, fully functioning shock absorbers are more important than ever on slippery and icy roads in cold weather conditions. That is why the experts of ZF Aftermarket also recommend checking the shock absorbers for their roadworthiness. If they do not work properly, the brake path can become longer. Also, the vehicle will become unstable in bends and electronic safety devices like ESP or ABS will work less efficiently.

Should it be necessary to replace the shock absorbers, both shock absorbers on an axle should be changed at the same time. This is a task for the workshop expert. The professional also knows that in case of a shock absorber exchange, all additional components such as suspension strut mounts, impact stops, or protection tubes for example must be checked as well. Faulty components can cause the same alterations while driving as damaged shock absorbers can.

For safety reasons parts in OE quality

Using high quality original equipment quality (OE) parts, developed and manufactured by experts, is a further reasonable decision regarding safety. ZF Aftermarket contributes to road traffic safety with a wide range of OE quality products: brakes from TRW, shock absorbers from Sachs and chassis and steering components from Lemförder, perfectly equip garages to meet all service and repair needs.


Fabiola Wagner

Head of Aftermarket Communications

+49 9721 4756-110