<VV> How to tell if shocks are shot

kaczmarek@charter.net kaczmarek@charter.net
Tue, 3 Aug 2004 19:18:44 +0000

there is more than one way. I recently took a GM training course on struts and shocks.

Here's a few nuggets I managed to glean from it. 

1. The main purpose of struts and shocks is to dampen spring oscillation. 

2 only 21% of persons polled by GM knew that new shocks can improve ride control and handling. 70% thought they were only to "Make a comfortable ride".

3. Worn shocks allow increased tire hop, tread distortion and vehicle weight shift, reducing both vehicle performance and stopping distance. 

4. replacement shocks that offer comfort rather than control generally increase stopping distance. 

A physical inspection can tell you if your shocks need replacing. 
If you can see any leaking of fluid, shock housings dented or nicked, broken or nicked shock piston rod, and/or uneven tire wear (cupped or abnormally worn), you need to replace the shocks. 

Also, performance issues can also offer signs. Longer than expected stopping distance, swaying or leaning of the vehicle when braking, bouncing of the vehicle after hitting a road bump, and harsh, bumpy or shaking of the body while vehicle is riding down the road should give indication. 

Of course, the bounce test is the one used most often. Go to one of the four corners of the vehicle, and start pushing down on the bumper until you have the body bouncing, then let go. If the body does not stop in 1 or 2 movements of the body on its own, time to replace. 


GM Parts Consultant
> From: "Kinzelman, Andy" <akinzelm@greatnortherncorp.com>
> Date: 2004/08/03 Tue PM 06:00:42 GMT
> To: <virtualvairs@corvair.org>
> Subject: <VV> How to tell if shocks are shot
> Guys,
> This may be a stupid question, but what is the best way to determine if your shocks are wearing out?
> Thanks,
> Andy K.