Signs that Your Acura TL Shock Absorber is Worn
Automobile experts say that because of its sports-tuned suspension system, owners will love the Acura TL shock absorber. However, this doesn't mean that the component is immune from wearing out or failing. To identify a worn-out shock absorber before it causes any severe problems, watch out for these common symptoms.
Abnormal tire wear
When at least one of your tires are starting to have cups or scalloped dips appearing around the edge of the tread on either side, it almost always indicates worn shock absorbers. When this happens to your car, having the wheel realigned is not enough; you will have to replace your shock absorber. Check the suspension system that the worn-out wheel is connected to, and you'll find the faulty component that needs replacing.
If your car is constantly bouncing even while driving on even ground, the shock absorbers may be to blame. To test for this problem, stand over at one end of your car, and have another person stand at the other end. Both of you apply pressure on the vehicle's trunk and hood at the same time--this should let the car bounce a little. If it bounces too much, or if it continues to bounce even after a while, then that's a sign of a faulty shock absorber.
When you're driving and you notice the car tending to pull to one side, and you have to keep hold of the wheel firmly to keep it going straight, a shock absorber might be worn. The affected component is usually at the side that's pulling. Usually, this is primarily caused by abnormal tire wear. After replacing the shock absorber, remember to have your wheels aligned as well.
If you hear a clunking noise while driving over bumps, there could be a problem with the shock absorber. To look for the noise, put one foot on a corner of the front or rear bumper, and bear down on it quickly and forcefully. Do the same thing to all four corners of the car. If you hear a clunking sound, the shock absorber in that side is the faulty.
Tips to Prevent Your Acura TL Shock Absorber from Failing
An Acura TL shock absorber that's properly functioning helps extend the lifespan of other suspension components and the tires. It also reduces vibration damage to the car's body, which is caused by driving on uneven roads. When this component fails, your driving won't be so smooth even if you go slowly over a speed bump. Instead of waiting for symptoms of a faulty shock absorber, you can identify any problems through regular inspections.Visual inspection
When under your car, check each shock absorber for any signs of damage, such as:
- Broken upper or lower bushings, which are regular maintenance items on the component;
- Improper installation, wherein the component is upside-down or its washers are installed backwards;
- Broken shock tube or dust cover;
- oil seepage on the outer tube or the piston rod;
- Bent or dented outer tube; and,
- Seizing, such as the component locked in a collapsed position.
If you see any of this damage, reinstall or replace the component as necessary.Heat test
Aside from visual inspection, you should also test its temperature as well. To do this, drive you car at a moderate speed for at least 15 minutes then park it back to the garage. Get under the vehicle, carefully touch each shock absorber on its body below the dust cover. After touching each component, also feel a nearby part of the chassis. This is so you'll have a reference ambient temperature of the metal. Note that all shock absorbers should be warmer than the chassis. If it's noticeably cooler, further diagnose the component for possible failure.Other maintenance tips
Because your car's shock absorbers are connected to the tires, schedule proper maintenance for these parts as wellAlways be wary of the Acura's ride as it may deteriorate because of a failing shock absorber. Be conscious of any excess vibration, too.While you're under the car doing visual inspection, it's also recommended that you check the springs if they're uneven or damaged.To test your shock absorbers' effectiveness, do this in a safe area such as an empty parking lot: drive to about 10 mph and then hit the brakes hard. Observe the front end of your vehicle as you brake--it shouldn't be bobbing up and down too much.