Shock & Strut Warning Signs:
1. Excessive Bouncing
If your vehicle is bouncing excessively or when you go over a bump or uneven roads the car continues to bounce, this is a warning that you may need to replace your shocks or struts.
Shocks and struts are completely different things, but they perform similar functions. Shocks are coil springs that reside between the wheels and the frame of your vehicle. Struts are a coil spring and shock absorber in one. Your certified auto repair technician will know which product is appropriate for the make and model of your car.
2. Nose Dives/Rear End Squats Dipping
When you are driving and press the brakes, if the front or back end of your car seems to go up or down, that is another sign that you at least need to get your car evaluated to replace the shocks or struts. If your car “squats” or dips when you accelerate, same thing. Have a certified auto repair technician take a look.
3. Tire “Cupping”
If the struts or shocks on your vehicle are bad, the tires will literally bounce up and down as you drive. Each time the tires hit the ground, bits of rubber can get scraped off. This is commonly referred to as “cupping” or “scalloping.” So instead of having a consistent treadwear pattern across the tire, you might have some tread, a smooth patch, some tread, a smooth patch, and so on. This is because the holes left by the missing rubber tend to get smoothed over as you drive.
4. Leaking Fluid
Inside every shock and strut is a piston and hydraulic fluid. When you drive over a bump or a rough stretch of road, the shocks or struts compress, causing the piston to push against the hydraulic fluid, which absorbs the force of the piston. Sometimes that fluid that can leak out of the shock or strut. Believe it or not, a little leakage is perfectly normal and will look like a small wet spot on an otherwise dry shock or strut. Leakage that you need to worry about will make most of the shock or strut look wet and oily.