1. Longer Stopping Distances
Although this symptom can be caused by various other vehicle problems, it is one of the most probable signs of bad shock absorber parts.
One of the shock absorber functions is to keep the tires on the ground.
If the shocks are worn, they cannot help control the bouncing of the wheels.
With a minimal grip of the road, the tires do not respond to braking as they should.
2. Uneven Tire Wear
Again, this problem can be caused by several other vehicle issues and not specifically bad shock absorbers.
You may, therefore, want to rule out other reasons for the wear.
The symptom of uneven wear of the tires should not go unchecked.
It could result in issues such as hydroplaning and become a safety issue.
Replace faulty shock absorbers that cause the problem.
3. Nose Diving When Braking
Bad or worn out shock absorbers let fluid flow out through the seal.
That causes the piston to move excessively in the cylinder.
Braking then causes the nose of the car to dive.
That is because the weight of the car swings more than it would do if its movement was controlled by the shock absorber.
4. Rear Squats
Just as shock absorber failure causes the nose of a vehicle to dive, the rear will also squat.
A squaring rear indicates rear shock absorber problems.
But whereas the noise dives during braking, the rear will squat when you hit the gas pedal.
This shows loose shock absorbers, most probably due to leaking seals.
5. Excessive steering wheel Vibrations
The steering wheel of your vehicle may vibrate when driving over rough terrain.
However, that should stop as soon as you are back on normal roads.
If that does not happen, you are likely to be having faulty shocks.
6. Leaking Shock Absorber Fluid
This is a sure sign of broken shock absorber, precisely broken seals.
Leaking shock absorber symptoms include oil on the sides of the shock or even an oily patch on the ground.
Leaking shocks are of no use. They will not control the oscillations of the chassis and suspension spring.
In addition to causing vehicle handling issues, the problem of leaks can lead to uncomfortable and tiring rides.
7. Rattling Noise
Shock absorbers are supposed to up/down movements of the suspension and coil.
They also help to dampen vibrations through the bushings.
When the bushings wear out or break down, they can no longer prevent vibrations.
You may, as a result, hear rattling sounds when on the road. It can be front shock absorber noise or rear shock absorber noise.
It depends on the particular shock.
8. Swerving in the Wind
Shocks stabilize a vehicle.
If they are old and worn, they cannot perform this function properly.
The vehicle then sways uncontrollably, especially if the winds are strong.
Should you encounter this problem and suspect shock absorber failure, it is advisable to replace the whole device.
9. Broken Shock Absorber Bushings
At the end of either side of a shock absorber are bushings.
The bushing are ever exposed to the harsh conditions of the atmosphere.
After thousands of miles on the road, the bushings may to crack and deteriorate.
Worn bushings cannot cushion the shock mounts from the suspension it attaches to.
As a result, the car makes a lot of noise, especially when driving in rough conditions.