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Subaru Legacy Shock Absorber

Symptoms of a Subaru Legacy Shock Absorber Gone Bad

Shock absorbers are a critical part of the any car's suspension system. Aside from damping the shocks out as you drive, they are also designed to keep your tires properly on the road to give you excellent handling and steering. Driving with worn shocks is dangerous, but many are still not aware of the risks they are taking. Here are the symptoms of bad shocks you need to be aware of to prevent you and your Subaru Legacy from plunging into a pit of accidents.

Nose dives and swerves

Observe how your vehicle reacts when you apply the brakes. If it performs a nose dive or experience excessive leaning, then at least one of your Subaru Legacy's shock absorbers has gone bad. Also, unintentional veering towards the other lane when driving along the highway is a sign of bad shocks.

Too much bouncing

Do the famous "bounce test" on all four corners of the vehicle by pushing the bumpers down one side at a time. If a given corner bounces more than twice, then your Subaru Legacy shock absorber on that side is all worn out. Also, if you notice excessive bouncing while driving over speed bumps, it indicates that the shocks have lost their dampening capabilities. This may be caused by leaks in the piston seals that may have been caused by corrosion of the piston rod or simply by their wearing out. Check for hydraulic fluid on the shock body as well as grime and dust to confirm.

A lot of noise

When you notice a lot of clanking and knocking noise from the undercarriage, it may indicate broken shock mounts. When this happens, the shock absorber is completely going to be disengaged, and will cause the vehicle to sag. Part of the car's undercarriage will no longer be supported by the suspension system and will bring about sagging. This will, in turn, cause a scraping or grating sound.

Increased braking distance

Worn shock absorbers will also cause an increase in your car's braking distance by up to 10 feet. This is especially dangerous when driving high speeds on the highways. If you are able to observe this on your Subaru, replace the shock absorbers immediately to keep you and other safe on the road.

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  • Avoiding Subaru Legacy Shock Absorber Problems

    Shock absorbers usually have useful life of 50,000 to 60,000 miles. After that, replacing them becomes necessary so as not to cause problems with other car parts. At times, however, shock absorbers wear out a lot earlier and they do not even get to at least their 50,000th mile. This can be due to a number of factors-the amount of load in the vehicle, to name one. Here is a quick guide to help you maintain the part and make sure you get the best out of your shocks:

    • Do not overload your Subaru Legacy.
    • Bad shock absorbers, most of the time, are caused by damaged mounting that originates from overloading the vehicle. When the shock mounts break, the shock tubes will disengage completely and will cause the side of the vehicle to sag. Depending on the model year of your vehicle, it is able to carry a maximum payload within the range of 1055 to 1200 lb. Overstuffing your car might save you one trip, but will cost you more money on repairs if the shock mounts break.
    • Secure shock mounts.
    • Shock absorbers only work properly with firm mounting. So the first thing you need to check when you are just about done replacing your old shocks with new ones is to check how secure the mountings are. Also, keep in mind that no matter how secure you make them at installation, they sometimes loosen up as you drive. Make it a point to tighten them up again at least once a year. Replace the bushings or washers if necessary. They have rubber components that wear out sooner than replacing the shocks themselves.
    • Maintain sound springs, ball joints, and other suspension components.
    • Sometimes, problems and damages on shock absorbers ultimately come from other unattended components of the suspension system. So make sure that you maintain all of them too, especially the springs because these are the parts that substantially support the vehicle's weight. When one spring becomes weak, the Subaru Legacy shock absorber in that corner will be forced to carry the weight. This will cause it to wear out soon and will require you to buy at least a pair of new shocks.