Tuesday, October 25, 2011

How can I tell if my car needs a new shock or if the shock tower needs to be rebuilt?

My '84 Toyota already had one rear shock tower rebuilt. My bf thinks the other one needs done but since the car passed inspection in August I tend to doubt that it is that bad. The car does have a clunking sound back there when I go over bumpy parts of the road but I'm not convinced it's the shock tower. Could the fact that it is so very cold here have anything to do with a car being clunky?
How can I tell if my car needs a new shock or if the shock tower needs to be rebuilt?
...Here goes: Check the height of car on suspect side compared to the repaired side. Is the tower intact? Free of rust through?

Is the shock or strut leaking oil? Are the rubber bushings (top or bottom) still there and intact? (not disintegrated). Is shock bent?

Is there intermittent rubbed off marks on the tire? A worn shock will make the tire bounce off the road and wear some %26quot;skipping%26quot; type of marks. Bounce on the car with you and someone then let go.--the car body should stop after 1 or 2 bounces. Good Luck
How can I tell if my car needs a new shock or if the shock tower needs to be rebuilt?
being cold is a posibility but I doubt it, I would have it checked out to be safe, maybe it only needs new shocks.
easy way to check shockers is to bounce the car on the suspect corner. It should go down with your weight and come up and then settle. If it keeps bouncing or doesnt come up it needs a new shocker on the corner.
You should replace shocks or struts in pairs,when one goes the other is never far behind and the cost is cheap compared to a tow or an accident.The clunking sound is the rear suspension beating the crap out of itself.It is better to 'know' than to 'think' your shock tower is alright.Have it checked out.
the easiest way to check shocks is to physically bounce the back of the car. if the car stops bouncing immediately, the shocks are o.k. sometimes, a clunking sound indicates worn components. (such as a worn stabilizer link) if you can't figure it out take it to a garage. noise indicates a problem, and small problems QUICKLY become big, and expensive, problems.
it could be a rusty caliper if possible jack youre car up safely where the noise is and remove the tire as if you were going to change it and use a flashlight to check for wear and tear. Check for cracks in youre spring exc. Note that some rust is expected. Also try moving the disc that you pulled the tire off of with youre bare hand to see if you can move it. if you cannot you might have an old rusty caliper the thing that holds youre brake pads and it is sticking and becoming loose when you hit a bump.
Passed inspection? I don't know where you live, but passing inspection for me only involved blinking my lights and paying the $5 for the sticker.

Like the other said, do the bounce test. I bet the shock is dead or tower has come loose. Can you see the tower to inspect the welds or the shock mounting hole?

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