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How to Check Shock Assembly

Is there a way to scientifically check my shocks assemblies? I know for the strut, you can check for leaking fluid. I know I have seen videos on Youtube, were you apply a force with your end to the corner of the car, and try and bounce it multiple times, if it osculates back and forth after you remove the force, there bad.

This isn’t to clear though to me. Is there a better method? I can try and do this method and form an opinion on if they should be replaced or not. But what I’m saying, is like for example, I don’t know how much force to apply, or how much isolation up and down is acceptable after I am no longer pressing up and down on the corner of the car.

Is there a more concrete method, where someone who doesn’t know the difference between good and back shocks, can perform some sort of test and can concretely say they are bad, and not just form an opinion or judgement, when they may not know the difference between good and bad?

Bouncing on a corner will reveal a shock that has failed soft, but shocks can also fail hard (too stiff) and I don’t think there is a test for that. Only that the ride has gotten worse.

Sure there is a test . You go to any chain store operation that sells shocks . They will put it on a lift and automatically tell you need shocks.
Good Grief John , do you just stay awake at night thinking of things to worry about ? The bounce test is just about all you need .


Right, so if I think the ride is fine, and it doesn’t bounce to much, then I’m good? The dealership tried to sell me some about two years ago, but I think it was a scan.

Yes… pretty much what Mr @VOLVO_V70 said. If you had some sort of description of a suspension ride issue then maybe there would be ways to test your theory.

Since you post no working theory of any problem, then there really isn’t a test needed.

One clear evidence of bad shocks I’ve seen is on the highway, when a car’s wheels are hopping up and down rapidly. It has to be felt by the driver, but they’ve probably gotten used to it as the ride deteriorated over the years. Sometimes a car’s front and back ends are clearly pitching up and down excessively after it goes over a bump or a dip - another clue.

How old is this Camry?

How many miles?

2005, 160k miles, I have originals on

Post some pictures of those leaking struts so we can see how bad they are.

Yup , have seen this many times and wonder , are people just oblivious to their cars ?

With 160k miles on the original struts, you will definitely notice a nicer ride with new struts.

For the me, the question would then become: Do I want to invest that much money in a 15 year old vehicle? Only you can answer that. (e.g. how long do you plan to keep the car, how important is ride quality to you, how tight is money, etc).

I had a 2005 Accord with 187,000 miles and the original struts when I sold it. I also wondered about whether to change the struts, but decided against it. When I sold the car, they weren’t flagged for replacement.

2005 Toyota Prius with 117K mile on it I bought in 2019 had OEM front struts completely dead (front was bouncing violently if bounce-tested), rears were slightly better, but still worn beyond safe usage.
Upon removal, fronts almost completely lost the fluid, no wonder they were “bouncy”.
Prior owner was more concerned with fixing the rear quarter-panel repeatedly “swiped” by his wife against the garage door than about safe/confortable ride.

Yes, there is. You remove the shock or strut and install it in a machine like this:

And stroke the strut or shock with the machine at various speeds and read the loads. These are not machines a normal repair shop would have. A race shop, maybe. Shock manufacturer, most certainly.

The labor involved with removing, testing and then re-installing the shock or strut will be higher that just replacing the shock or strut in question.

If the shock or strut is not dripping fluid off the bottom, it is pretty likely still working OK. Everything ELSE is worn on the car so if it feels floppy, change them, in axle sets.

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My hunch is that more than a few improvements people felt after getting new shocks were imagined, or a result of lubed ball joints, tie rod ends, links, fresh swaybar bushings, etc. that were done along with the job.

Mr . Mustangman , it is good to see you post again . I and others missed you and feared the worst . I am going to assume you won a lottery and have finished a wild spending spree .