How to Diagnose a Bad Strut or Shock on Your Car

hey how's it going do-it-yourselfers

today we're going to talk about what are

the symptoms and also how you can

diagnose a bad strut or a shock absorber

on your car now driving around with a

bad strut or shock absorber on your car

can be quite dangerous these can cause

poor handling excessive body roll poor

steering when you know when you have a

wobbly steering wheel also poor traction

and therefore longer than normal

stopping distance so make sure you watch

this video all the way to the end so you

know how you can exactly diagnose a bad

strut or a shock absorber now before we

go any further there is something that I

need to mention as you may remember in

my previous video I stated that I was

running for president and that I was

working on my ego now most of you were

very supportive and I thank you for that

but a couple of you objected to that and

said that was wrong so today we're gonna

practice and work on something else

hello ma'am

so yeah tune in next week folks when we

practiced reason all right so just a

quick explanation and a demonstration on

this Pontiac so when people talk about

shocks they're talking about the

standalone piece which one a lot of cars

is gonna be on the rear of your vehicle

and not as part of one unit with your

spring assembly and we're talking about

strut they're talking about what you see

here both the dampener and the spring

assembly as one unit aka McPherson strut

so basically what you see here the

spring would go over this piston and sit

right here so yeah basically your struts

and shocks are there to work as a

dampener so as you're driving and your

car goes over a bump the springs in your

car quickly compress as you drive over

it they quickly decompress and if it if

you don't have a strut or in a shock

absorber to dampen that quick

compression and decompression of the

spring you're in for a very bouncy ride

your car is just going to be bouncing

non-stop going down the road so as your

spring compresses your strut over here

will decompress with it as well but

you're only gonna allow it to decompress

slowly and in a controlled fashion now

as far as how you can tell whether you

have bad shocks or struts well let's

start off with a good visual inspection

of the tires so you could have uneven

wear on your tires if you have bad

shocks or struts however a lot of times

that's due to a different component that

has failed however one good telltale

sign that you have bad shocks or

struts is that if you run your hand on

your tire especially around the edges

you will feel that your fingers are

gonna start catching every tread on the

tire and if that's what you're feeling

when you run your fingers around the

edges that's due to a shock or strut

that's failing align for excessive

bouncing and movement of your suspension

system as a result deforming your tires

especially around the edges right next

you want to reach in there and inspect

and make sure you don't have an oil leak

around where the piston goes through

because there's a sealer that if it

fails it's going to allow the oil that's

inside your stress simile or shock

absorber to leak out and if that happens

well you can lose the dampening effect

of your strut assembly also the if you

have a leak here doesn't necessarily

mean it's the fault of a seal you could

also simply mean that the internal parts

of your strut or shock assembly are


causing too much friction and too much

heat that excessive heat allowing making

the oil expand and lose out where the

seal is up top however as far as you're

concerned if you have a leak here you

need a new shock or strap next you also

want to visually inspect your struts and

shocks and make sure there are no

noticeable dents on them now generally

speaking there are two types of shocks

out there monotube gas charged shocks

and twin tube gas charge shocks but

generally speaking more out of the

factory most car manufacturers use the

twin tube on those if you have a small

dent it's probably not gonna affect the

strut or the shock assembly however if

you found out that you have a mono tube

shock on those like the name suggests

it's only a single tube here this is

just one - as opposed to the twin -

which means there's a tube that you see

on the outside and on the inside there's

another tube on the model - if this part

gets dented even if it's a rather small

dent your strut or shock is no good and

you need to replace it in fact I'm

pretty sure this German strut over here

is a mono tube all right next we're

going to cover the classic bounce test

where you put your hand on the fender on

the side or the front or the rear of the

car where you have where you suspect you

have bad struts or shocks and you bounce

the car if it goes down and moves back

up and stabilizes generally speaking you

have a good

Strutt on that side however this is not

a very perfect or good test especially

nowadays with the with the struts

especially up front since you have most

of the weight of the car up front

already on the springs and you know that

way it has compressed the spring and you

know your measly 200 pounds of force or

pressure it's not gonna do you know

compress the spring much further however

this is still an okay test or a good

test for the shocks in the back since

again you hardly have any weight

relative to the front of the car in the

back of the car which means you can make

it bounce a lot more than the front of

the car how are the best test and the

giveaways are going to be found when

you're driving the car let's say you're

driving your car down the road every

time you hit a bump your steering wheel

wobbles back and forth a little bit

that's because when you hit that bump

your spring is moving up real quickly

and rapidly moving your suspension and

as a result you're entering out of tie

rods around causing your steering wheel

to wobble back and forth also excessive

body roll around turns so you know let's

say you're making your right turn as

you're turning the car if you know it's

normal to body roll to the left a little

bit but if it's excessive or more than

usual and you want to make sure you

Specht your struts and shocks because

they're not dampening the effect of the

the springs compressing on the left side

and decompressing on the right side

quickly alright another obvious sign is

that you know depending on whether you

have bad struts up front or bad shocks

in the back or bad dampeners all over is

there whether you're when you're

accelerating the further car going up

and the back of the car moving down or

bottoming out and on the opposite side

if you're braking the front of the car

nose-diving real hard and the back of

the car going up really high now this is

specially dangerous because every time

the weight of the vehicle is shifted to

the front or to the back I guess

especially to the front when you're

braking there is very little weight on

the rear tires therefore there's very

little traction on these and this is

gonna affect your stopping distance so

you know if you have bad shocks or

struts and you need to come to a quick

stop you may not always make it so you

want to make sure if this is happening

to you inspect your struts and shocks

and replace

if necessary so if you enjoyed this

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watching I'll see you guys next time