Proper performance of these systems largely determines your car’s ride and handling. Some tips: Check shock absorbers and struts using one or more of the following techniques:
- Bounce test: Lean heavily on the fender or place your weight on a bumper. Release it suddenly and watch what happens. If the vehicle rebounds continually, you need to replace the shock absorbers. If the shock absorbers are performing well, the car will rebound once only, and then slowly return to its original position. While driving, the same test can be performed by stopping the vehicle suddenly from a very low speed. If the car “bounces” up and down a couple of times when coming to rest, you need to replace the shock absorbers.
- Visually inspect shock absorbers
- Visually inspect the shock absorber mounting points for security and corrosion and note any wet looking patches on the sides of the shock absorbers. This is a common indicator that the strut or shock absorber needs replacing because of a fluid leak.
- Check strut upper mounting: Pay particular attention to the top strut mounting during the bounce test. Any noise or movement in the mounting could indicate the need to replace the component. If you do feel movement, hear noise or see signs of leakage, report it to your CarZ technician.
- Exercise safety during these tests. Some shock absorbers contain pressurized gas. To avoid personal injury, do not puncture or incinerate these shock absorbers. Better still, have a professional inspect your suspension.
- Always replace shock absorbers in pairs.