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1996 Park Avenue Rear Bumper Oil Leak?

I have what seems to be oil dripping on the end of the tailpipe from above. It seems to be a petroleum product but I just don’t know of any oil back there. The wife recently backed lightly into another vehicle but no damage resulted to either vehicle.

Some of the old cars had the bumpers mounted to hydraulic energy absorbers to absorb low speed impacts like the one your wife had.


The bumpers have shock absorbers filled with hydraulic oil.

When she backed into the other vehicle, some of the oil was pushed out.

Try cleaning the area with brake parts cleaner to see if continues to leak oil.

If not, everything is fine. If continues to leak, it needs to be replaced.


But it continues to leak. Is that normal?

If it still leaks, the seal got blown out.

So it needs to be replaced.


What would the part be called? Rear bumper shock? Is it hard to replace?

It’s part 11.


Technically called an EAD… energy absorbing device. The GM division I worked for made them. The have a gas pressure area that keeps hydraulic oil pressurized so that when the car hits something the device can stroke and absorb the energy turning it into heat. There is a seal that holds the oil inside but clearly that has failed so technically your EAD has failed and should be replaced.

WOW, you guys are the best. I really appreciate it! Is it difficult to replace?

It can be a bear to break all the rusted nuts free AND to remove all the stuff in the way. For a 1996 car I’d consider just ignoring it.

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Thanks, I was wondering about that option. Any idea how long it will take to leak out completely?

If it was mine I would do as Mustangman suggests: just forget about it. The other thing would be finding the part.

Forgetting about it is the easiest thing to do - - I think I’ll do just that. Thanks!

Might I suggest putting some cardboard and/or kitty litter in your driveway, in the appropriate location

Wouldn’t want to ruin your concrete driveway :frowning2: