We are pleased to inform that from October 2020, REINHOCH offer has been extended by 40 new references. Below please find the most interesting examples.
NEW to RANGE:
RH11-2166 Engine mount L NISSAN X-TRAIL; RENAULT KADJAR, MEGANE IV 1.2-1.6D 15-
RH11-0092 Engine mount R SEAT LEON, LEON SC, LEON ST 1.6D 12-
RH06-3016 Stabilizer link front L/R (335mm) BMW 5 (F10), 5 (F11), 5 GRAN TURISMO (F07) 08-
RH01-2028 / RH01-2029 Tie rod end CITROEN C-ELYSEE; PEUGEOT 208, 301 1.2-1.6D 06-
RH03-5012 Ball joint L/R (upper) (cone diameter 13,8mm) LAND ROVER DISCOVERY IV, RANGE ROVER SPORT 2.7D-5.0 04-
RH05-5004 / RH05-5005 Rear axle track control arm (lower) JAGUAR S-TYPE; LINCOLN LS 2.5-4.2 98-
RH10-2017 / RH10-2018 Stabilizer fastener rear CITROEN AX, SAXO; PEUGEOT 206, 206+, 206 CC 98-
RH05-6007 Rear axle track control arm L/R DODGE NITRO; JEEP CHEROKEE, GRAND CHEROKEE III 2.8
RH04-6033 / RH04-6034 Front axle track control arm FORD USA MUSTANG 3.9-5.4 04-
RH11-5055 Engine mount front CHEVROLET CRUZE, ORLANDO; OPEL ZAFIRA C 1.4-1.8LPG 09-
REINHOCH – steering and suspension parts
Following the rule that it is always better to prevent illness than to heal it, all the REINHOCH brand parts are a subject to multi-level Quality Control. Starting with design assumptions, through the realization phase on proven production lines, quality control and testing before launching sale of products, to monitoring their durability and wear and tear, we are collecting feedback and implementing corrections to increase customer satisfaction. It is really important to catch errors at a very early stage, in order to minimize the cost and effects of possible malfunctions and their repair.
We want to show the procedures and quality tools that we are using in our Laboratory, for possibly early and most effectively finding potential discrepancies in production phase and qualifying products for sale.
Material control - Spectrometry
A very useful tool which provides possibility of performing analysis of chemical composition of tested materials. Thanks to the use of high-frequency radiation technology the method provides a possibility of fast identification of elements (e.g. alloy additives in steel). And the XRF method, i.e. X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy is a non-destructive analytical technique used to determine the elemental composition of materials. What is more, thanks to a small weight of the device, it can be moved and transported to a selected place, e.g. to warehouse where the goods are being delivered, to be able to control the whole batch of delivered goods.
Thanks to a wide range of data from the spectrometer, software identifies the most probable type of material, with quantity definition of particular additives. It is especially important in case of spare parts, in which special alloy additives are used in the composition of materials, in order to improve durability and strength of material.
Quality control of randomly selected elements provide the possibility of confirming compliance of materials with declarations of spare parts suppliers. Unfortunately, sometimes it happens that dishonest suppliers, in order to limit the cost of production, use materials of worse quality.
Material control - Hardness
The test requires proper preparation of samples (inclusion), in order to stabilize material and enable a „sting” on the tested surface. So, one needs more time and properly equipped laboratory booth to perform such a test. Unfortunately, the method is destructive to samples, as an element has to be cut precisely (in order not to overheat the tester surface) from the whole part, and next a sampler is pressed into a working surface. On the basis of a size of the stamp, one determines how much the tested material is prone to deformation, and also the durability of the material. For steel, this is also the first stage of material durability testing.
Material control - Metallography
Technique that is really time consuming and requires precise surface machining of the tested materials, in order to „uncover” granularity of the structure. Whereas observation of the structure using a microscope, when the sample material had been prepared properly, is a “mine” of knowledge about the condition of materials used for production. Only this way one can determine effectively all the errors which appear during thermal and chemical treatment, e.g. presence of Widmanstätten patterns, also known as Thomson structures, or non-metallic precipitation, having negative impact on durability of material. Surely an experienced laboratory worker, who can remove layers of material with great skill and easily, to prepare proper surface for testing, is a must.
Sometimes it happens that manufacturing errors (decarburisation, contamination, excessive grain size) cause drastic changes in durability of products, and can even be the cause of accidents resulting from material fatigue. It also happens that it is not possible to detect these irregularities using any other testing method.
Testing material durability has a very wide range of applications, starting with tests on basic elements and their pull force testing, through tests of compressive strength, and ending with tearing strength tests (e.g. tie rod ends or ball joints) – a very important matter when talking about safety of driving. Thanks to special software there is a possibility of programming wear and tear tests and also fatigue tests. The method makes it possible to perform functional tests, connected with dislocation of elements and testing their scope and forces.
Testing resistance to corrosion in a salt chamber
In a nutshell, in a salt chamber we have the possibility of recreating weather conditions in which the spare parts are being used. What is more, thanks to the possibility of increasing the contents of damaging factors, we are able to speed up the process of wear and tear. Only here we can observe if anticorrosion measures and methods are really effective. By adjustment of, among other things, temperature, salinity, or time of exposure to a particular factor, we are able to compare samples from various suppliers and choose the most optimal one.
Testing resistance of rubber elements to ozone
We all know that the whole part is only as strong as its weakest element. In case of automotive spare parts, such elements are very often all types of rubber boots and seals. Even the smallest cut of a boot leads to dirt getting to the work surface of ball joints of ball bearings. Dust, mud and sand work like friction material on the surface of working elements, leading to immediate wear.
Therefore, in order to examine resistance of rubber elements to weather conditions, to a specially heated chamber, concentrated ozone is being injected (it is a more aggressive form of oxygen). At the same time, the sample is being stretched and compressed cyclically, in order to expose the surface of the material to the particles of oxygen. After several days of testing, the surface of rubber boot is being controlled in order to detect any possible micro-cracks.
Having done that, we are able to predict what will happen to e.g. rubber boot after a year or two of its use.
Almost every Laboratory which performs tests on automotive spare parts has a well-equipped booth for doing geometric tests. Attention to reliability of geometric test results require such devices and measurement tools to be appropriately calibrated and stored. Even small changes of temperature can cause changes in measurement results. Consequently, equally important are conditions in which such measurements are carried out. Measurement laboratory also means suitable condition of temperature, humidity or air flow. However, properly trained and experienced employees are the most important here, equally efficient and effective during the first measurement and also during the hundredth measurement of a similar element.
Measuring all the declared parameters from technical drawings makes it possible to check and confirm compliance of the products with declaration of the manufacturer and acceptable tolerance. Moreover, when performing regular controls of samples from the same reference, it is possible to check production capability of the suppliers, meaning precision of manufacturing of spare parts and keeping all the parameters within tolerance. As a result, we have the possibility of selecting only the most reliable manufacturer of our spare parts.
Steering system is the centre of controlling a vehicle, thanks to which the driver is able to keep the correct direction of driving. Modern steering systems support the driver in driving and parking a car. But at the same time, they can be a subject of a malfunction. Steering system malfunctions are really dangerous for the safety of driver and passengers, as well as for all other participants of traffic. That is why each and every driver should know how to detect such a malfunction.
Steering system has several tasks to do. Thanks to the system, a driver is able to control a vehicle and react quickly to any threats that may appear on the road. Speaking technically: steering system changes the angles of wheel rotation surface in relation to the body of a car. For several years now, also comfort of drivers has been much important, so that not too much of power is needed to turn the steering wheel. Steering system is built in line with the latest solutions in active and passive safety.
Modern steering system can be divided into several parts.
The first one is a steering column and steering shaft (often with multiple U-joints), composing a steering mechanism. Its main task is to transfer the movements of a steering wheel to the knuckle.
And the knuckle itself is yet another element of a steering system. Steering knuckle consists of: steering lever, steering arm, tie rods and tie rod ends. The task of a steering rack is reacting to the movements of a steering wheel and turning the wheels appropriately.
The third part of a steering system is a power steering system. Thanks to the system, the driver does not have to use much force to be able to steer the wheels and manoeuvre the car. First and the oldest solution was a hydraulic power steering system. Its heart was a hydraulic master cylinder, powered with a multi-V belt.
Hydraulic power steering has later been replaced with electro-hydraulic one. A master cylinder with electric drive is used in this solution, working only when the steering wheel is turning. Such a solution allowed for substantial reduction of the load on the engine and on the master cylinder. Both solutions were based on a working agent - power steering fluid (hydraulic oil). At the moment a very popular solution is electric power steering. In this case the power steering system is in one block, takes up not much space and does not require using fluid.
Over the years, also steering wheels have changed - the most important elements of a steering system, with which a driver has direct contact. For many years we have seen air bags assembled in them. And lately, multifunctional steering wheels have become more and more popular. Meaning such, with control buttons for various equipment of a car (e.g. audio system).
Why do we experience malfunctions of a steering system?
Steering system is prone to various forces when driving. Elements and components of the system are a subject of wear and tear. Material can age, especially in case of rubber. Individual elements have their material and mechanical endurance. A malfunction resulting from servicing errors are also possible.
Steering system requires regular servicing. Its scope depends on the construction of a particular system. Each and every car requires regular inspection of toe-in.
Typical symptoms of steering system malfunctions
Malfunctions of steering system are very dangerous for the safety of driving. They may be a reason of very serious accidents. Not with no reason, during annual technical inspections, diagnosticians pay special attention to the steering system.
What is one to pay special attention to? Extensive free-play one can feel on the steering wheel, difficulty turning steering wheel, problems with turning wheels to the sides, clogging or total loss of power steering, noises from the steering system, noises from wheels, in hydraulic systems noise of master cylinder, uneven tyre tread wear - these are the most common problems. They must be diagnosed as soon as possible and eliminated.
Typical malfunctions of a steering system - the most popular ones
Wear and tear of tie rod ends can be recognized by a series of noises, coming from under the engine bonnet. Even when car is not in a move. Used up tie rod ends are also the cause of vibrations that can be felt on the steering wheel.
The most often symptom is free play that can be felt, causing the car reacting really slowly to any small movements of the steering wheel. Tie rod ends can be used up as a result of standard use of a car. Their wear and tear can also result from other parts of suspension being damaged. They can also be affected by careless driving onto high curbs.
The second, most often diagnosed problem, is incorrect toe-in of wheels. Problem with proper wheel alignment and toe-in can appear even after first time one drives into a hole in the road. Symptoms of incorrectly adjusted wheel alignment are pulling a car to one side, the need of constant correction of driving direction, slow reaction to steering wheel movements and also uneven tyre tread wear.
In older cars there is also a possibility of having problems with used up wheel knuckles, which are victims of corrosion.
A much often malfunction is worn wheel bearings. Symptoms that are most often are noises with various intensity - buzzing, friction, rubbing, metallic noise, hum, rattling, etc. This is a very dangerous malfunction which has to be repaired as soon as possible. In case of some cars, new bearings are being pressed into the wheel hubs. There are also other technical solutions. E.g. in some more modern cars, there might be hubs with bearings which are not changeable. The whole element has to be replaced.
Malfunction of a steering gear, commonly called steering rack, is also quite common and unfortunately expensive problem. Symptoms of a steering rack malfunction are jamming of a steering wheel, unnaturally large free play when turning a steering wheel, and also various types of noises appearing at turning a steering wheel. There are multiple reasons of damaging a steering gear. This might be wear and tear caused by intense operation of a car, leak of grease, water getting into the rack and corrosion, wear and tear of sleeves, damage to ball joints, clogging oil ducts etc.
Malfunctions of a steering system are a problem, which does not stop the car from going, but many unexperienced drivers may be surprised with the force needed to be put on the steering wheel when driving. Lack of feeling the car and possible panic may lead to a road accident. Typical symptoms of power steering system malfunction are the need of putting a lot of force on the steering wheel of a car, vanishing power steering (jamming), noise (buzzing) of master cylinder in hydraulic systems and a warning light turned on, on the dashboard. There are multiple causes of the power steering system malfunctions. These might be lack of power steering fluid in the system, leaks from the system, failure of the master cylinder or drive belt.
In electric power steering systems, a blown fuse may be the cause of a malfunction, but also control wire harness, overheating of the system, resulting from intense manoeuvring when parking, or malfunction of one of the sensors.
Typical malfunctions of a steering system may happen in any car. One should repair them as soon as possible to avoid an accident.
Suspension malfunction – it can happen to almost every driver. Sooner or later. Typical problems with suspension appear in a few- and several- years old cars. They can be found in city cars, compact ones and luxury limousines. That is why each and every driver should know what are the typical malfunctions of suspension systems and what are their symptoms. All that to be able to react quickly. As driving a car with broken suspension is simply dangerous.
Vehicle suspension is a complicated construction. It is responsible for proper steering of the wheels, stability and comfort of driving. Multiple elements compose the suspension system, having to cooperate with one another perfectly. It is enough just for one element to stop working properly, as a result of wear and tear or mechanical damage, and the problems begin. As the suspension system is a closed system of combined vessels, malfunction of one element speeds up the wear of other ones.
Damage of the suspension may happen gradually, but may also appear suddenly. It is enough to drive into a large hole in the road with bigger speed.
Why do we experience malfunctions of vehicle suspension?
Elements of the suspension system are not eternal. Rubber is a subject of ageing process. Metal can be attacked by process of corrosion. All the parts have a particular level of robustness to mechanical damages. As we have already mentioned before, a malfunction of one element has negative influence on other elements. Problems (cumulation of damages) can be caused by service and maintenance negligence, e.g. not properly adjusted wheel alignment and toe-in. Improper assembly of suspension parts can also cause damages. A problem can also result from assembling only one new element (e.g. one track control arm) instead of two, on both sides.
Suspension damages can also be a result of a car crash. When we experience serious damages of car underbody, even the best garages may not be able to restore full functionality of the suspension - also after replacing all the old parts with new ones.
Durability of a suspension system also depends much on the quality of its elements. Parts used for the first assembly feature the greatest durability. Because of many reasons, e.g. because they are perfectly aligned with other brand new, top quality elements and parts.
Branded spare parts and aftermarket parts meeting the GVO directive also feature high durability, being manufactured in line with European standards and ensuring proper operation of the whole system. REINHOCH spare parts meet such standards, as they are manufactured in most modern, automated factories, in line with standards in force, and are a subject to multi-level quality control during production.
Consequences of suspension failure
Malfunction of a suspension results in a series of negative consequences. First and foremost, the level of safety is much decreased. The car needs more and more often correction of riding line. All this because the car is losing steerability, i.e. the possibility of taking a proper direction of driving and keeping the riding line, set by the driver with a steering wheel. A car with a broken suspension features less and less stability. After a sudden manoeuvre, a car has greater problem with getting back to the direction of driving. Malfunction of shock absorbers results in loosing traction. This in turn, extends the braking distance and more often launches the ABS system, even at gentle braking. Uneven (not typical) wear of tyres appears. Some of the malfunctions of the suspension system make it completely impossible to use a car. Leakage in hydropneumatics and air (pneumatic) suspension systems.
Suspension malfunctions also result in substantial decrease in comfort of driving - noise and worse absorption of road bumps.
Typical malfunctions of suspension - how to recognise them?
Failures of vehicle suspension should be noticed by the driver himself. A car with a broken suspension starts behaving differently when driving. Various noises begin to appear, coming from under the car. Wear and tear of individual elements and parts of the suspension system should be noticed also during the annual MOT check. Should one suspect any damage to the suspension, it is worth visiting a control station, to determine the cause of the problems.
What should one keep in mind? Suspension parts are to be replaced in pairs. Even when only one part has been damaged, on one side of the vehicle. This applies to e.g. shock absorbers, track control arms, stabilizer links, etc. Each and every repair of a suspension system requires control and adjustment of wheel alignment.
Stabilizer links are the cheapest and at the same time the most often breaking parts of suspension system. They connect the stabilizer with track control arm or with MacPherson column. They have great influence on the safety of driving when cornering. Ball joints are parts of stabilizer links, and they are the most often damaged in this part of the system. Symptoms of damage are knocks from the suspension appearing when driving on uneven surface.
Stabilizer bushes are a part of assembly clamps fitting the stabilizers to body of a car. Symptoms of malfunction of a stabilizer bush are noise and squeaks coming from the front axle when driving on uneven surfaces. They usually need to be replaced after having driven several thousand kilometres.
Track control arms are one of the most important parts of a suspension in modern cars. They are responsible for proper driving of individual wheels. The better and the more comfortable a suspension is, the more links it has (that is why we call it a multi-link suspension) They are composed of metal-rubber sleeves (control arm silent blocks) and ball joints. In case of a damage, in some types of track control arms it is possible to replace only the sleeves or ball joints. There are also track control arms which are to be replaced as the whole element. Even if in some model it is possible to replace only sleeves of joints, it is worth checking the price of the complete track control arm. It may turn out that changing only sleeves, because of high cost of work, is simply not cost effective. The control arms themselves may also be corroded. In case of a crash, they might be bent. Track control arm silent blocks (metal - rubber sleeves, or silent blocks) are joints, thanks to which a track control arm can move. Damage to that element can have various symptoms. These might be noises when driving on uneven surfaces, squeaks, rattling when starting to drive and worse driving.
Track control arm ball joint connects track control arm with wheel knuckle. Symptoms of a ball joint malfunction are noticeably worse driving and noise - most often knocks. Neglecting these symptoms may have tragic results. When driving, a broken rubber ball joint may crack and result in disconnecting one of the wheels.
Torsion beams are a really popular solution, used in rear axle suspension of city, compact and SUV cars. The element which is most often damaged in torsion beams are the metal-rubber bushings, by which the beam is attached to the body of a car. The most popular symptom of malfunction of bushings is noise and knocks when driving on uneven surfaces. There are also other problems, like worse driving.
Torsion beams, assembled in French cars experience other problems. Here the most popular malfunction is broken needle bearing. Symptoms of torsion beam malfunction in French cars are: noise when driving (knocks), unnatural tilt of rear wheels towards the body of a car, or tilting the whole car towards one side.
Hydropneumatics suspension malfunction symptoms (used in e.g. Citroen) are: hard work of the suspension, lowering front or rear part of a car.
Pneumatic suspension malfunction symptoms (use in the most luxurious premium class cars) are: continuous work of a compressor, increased fuel consumption, and also lowering vehicle and no possibility of increasing its ground clearance.
All the malfunctions of suspension must be repaired as soon as possible. Driving with broken suspension if playing with one’s own safety. And also, as we have already mentioned, a broken element causes damages to other elements of the system. And this results in much increased cost of repair.