Don’t Ignore These Signs of a Bad Shock Absorber

Your shock absorbers soak up bumps and keep you in control, so any shock absorbers that wear down or break should be replaced as soon as possible. To make that happen, you need to be able to identify the signs of a bad shock absorber before things get too bad.

Here are just a few of the most common signs.

Braking Feels Delayed

When you brake your vehicle, weight needs to move forward slightly, and it’s your rear shock absorbers that help that happen. When a shock absorber starts to fail, your vehicle will start taking longer to stop. At first, the difference will be barely perceptible, but it will become more pronounced unless something is done.


When the valves or piston seals in your shock absorbers start to break down, they aren’t able to properly manage the flow of fluid when you hit a bump. When you go over rough ground, you might feel vibrations transmitted up through the steering wheel even when you return to level ground. At high speeds, vibrations can become dangerously intense.

Uneven Tire Wear

One of the responsibilities of a shock absorber is keeping its tire firmly planted to the road. If the absorber is bad, the part of the tire in contact with the road will wear more than on other tires. If you take a look at your tires and notice that one has excessively worn patches, you could need to replace the shock absorber.

Unintended Swerving

Shock absorbers help manage the weight of your car by distributing it across all four wheels. When one needs replacing, the vehicle’s weight will not be properly distributed. As a result, it might swerve for no reason when you hit the brake pedal.

Unexplained Tapping

You’ll find rubber bushings at the end of each shock absorber. When the absorber gets worn down, the bushing can crack and create a tapping sound whenever you hit even a minor bump during your daily drive.

Written by Karl Peters

Karl is a university graduate with years of experience in casual writing and freelance services. Always up to date on the latest trends and working hard to bring these trends to the forefront of the public eye. Lover of beer, dogs and cars and dedicated to being the best bachelor bro.