How to know when your shock absorber is failing

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How to know when your shock absorber is failing

Have you noticed that when you’re driving on rough roads, you feel the effect of the rough roads in some cars more than others? Well, that's the work

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Have you noticed that when you’re driving on rough roads, you feel the effect of the rough roads in some cars more than others? Well, that’s the work of your shock absorber. Your shock absorber dampens the effect of rough roads, thereby giving you more control over your ride and ultimately, a better driving experience.

However, the shock absorber, just like most parts of the vehicle, can get damaged. And also like other parts when they get damaged, your car stops functioning the way it is meant to. When your shock absorbers begin to fail, there are some signs that you would start noticing. The earlier you observe these signs, the better it is for you.


1. Your tyres begin to wear unevenly

Failing shock absorbers often lead to uneven wearing of tyres. Normally, the shock absorber makes your tyre to stand evenly and balanced on the road. But when it begins to fail, the part of the tyre that sees more of the ground begins to wear while the other parts won’t. This could be dangerous as it could damage your tyre completely. And assume you don’t find out on time, the tyre could fail at the time you least need it to.

2. Your ride begins to get bumpy

You would feel every single bump, pothole or unevenness on the road when your shock absorber is failing.

3. Your car takes longer to stop

Before your shock absorber started failing, you could hit your brakes when you were almost at an obstacle and your car would respond immediately. But without properly working shock absorbers, you now have to sight obstacles from afar and start matching on your brakes the moment you sight the obstacles. Even then, the car is just lazily slowing down. That’s one of the symptoms of shock absorbers that are done for.

4. Nosediving when braking, Back-squatting when accelerating

You would also notice that the front end of your car tips to the ground when braking like it is about to do a nosedive. Also, the same thing happens when you are accelerating, only in the opposite direction so that your car feels like it is squatting on its rear tyres.

5. Instability at high speeds

When you are driving at high speeds, you begin to feel less in control of the car as it becomes less stable on the road. The handling gets wackier and the car seems to want to veer off the direction you’re going.

6. You hear distracting knocking noise

When you have bad shocks, you could find out that you are hearing some distracting knocking noise the moment you drive over a bump, pothole or any uneven road. This noise is often as a result of your car’s chassis being hit by the meal coil springs.

7. Vibrations

If the piston or the valve in your shock absorbers get worn out, the shock absorber fluid begins to flow through either or both the piston and the valve. As a result, when you drive over bumps or rough roads, you would feel the vibration very clearly on your steering wheel. Thereby, making your drive one to be forgotten.

8. Fluid Leak

The way the shocks are designed, they usually have seals that prevent fluid from leaking. When the seal begins to allow fluid to leak through it, your shocks could lose a lot of fluid that would effectively stop them from working effectively.
What to do when your shock absorbers fail
Apart from inviting your mechanic to check it out, there isn’t much more you can do about it. However, it is always good to be on the lookout for these symptoms so as to be able to discover faulty shocks in time.

Have a nice day.