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.
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.
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.
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.
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.