1) Is this a new method for testing shock absorbers/struts - push down once and see what happens. Rocking and release is no longer used?
2) How much latitude does mechanic have when completing the state required vehicle inspections?
Penna inspection requires a car be rejected from passing during the inspection of the suspension system "when checking the shock absorbers the vehicle continues free rocking motion greater than three cycles after release" or "if upon internal inspection, the shock absorbers have severe leakage - not slight dampness."
Car did not pass because it needed new front struts. Mechanic said he pushed down on front of car and the car did not come back up; thus, he concluded struts were bad and needed to be replaced to pass inspection. He brought out old strut and demonstrated that the compressed gas inside strut was not responding properly because when he pushed down on the tip, it was very slow to restore to original position. There were no leakage signs on strut and coil springs were not bent or broken.
I have been on YouTube and have read descriptions on this site and others and have not read the technique and result that mechanic is describing. I cannot even visualize pushing down on the front of the car and its staying in a depressed position?!?
Mechanic said bounce test is subjective, and it is ultimately up to the mechanic to determine that all vehicular parts are operating as they should. I think the PA code allows gradations of performance; hence, its providing descriptors of what qualifies as inspection failure (severe leakage and more than three bounces). The mechanic was in his 20s may be early 30s - is his technique a new shock absorber test? Comments appreciated.