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Steering dampers, which are also known as steering stabilizers, are components that are designed to reduce movement and vibration when a motor vehicle is driven over bumps and potholes. The steering damper is located between the centre link of the car and the chassis. It operates in a similar fashion to the vehicle’s shock absorbers by “damping” down the vibrations that affect the car’s steering system, making the car more manoeuvrable and the driving experience more comfortable for the driver and passengers.
Steering dampers are particularly useful in larger vehicles with oversized tyres where, without a working set of dampers, there would be significant issues with handling and ride quality.
As with the majority of motor parts, steering dampers will wear out over time or where the vehicle has covered a large number of miles over challenging terrain. Signs that a steering damper is reaching the end of its useful life are if the vehicle becomes hard to steer or the steering wheel jerks when the vehicle is driven over bumps in the road. If this is the case it is likely to be necessary to replace the steering damper as, even on an clean road surface, it can be uncomfortable to drive without steering dampers.