Shock Absorber Leaking: Causes and Solutions

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    As an important part of the suspension system, shock absorbers improve driving stability and ride comfort.

    However, shock absorber leaking has become a common and unnoticeable problem over time.

    In this article, we will explore the causes and solutions of shock absorber leaking to help you better understand.

    1. Seal Failure


    Seals inside the shock absorber, such as oil seals and gaskets, will gradually age over time and with increased use.

    Aging seals lose their elasticity, decreasing sealing performance, which in turn triggers oil leakage.

    Poor quality:

    If shock absorber manufacturers use poor-quality oil seals in producing shock absorbers, leakage will also occur during application.

    Wear and tear:

    During the working process of the shock absorber, the oil and piston rod rub against the seals, and long-term wear and tear will lead to sealing performance failure.

    2. Problems with Vibration-damping Movements

    Coating Flatness:

    The flatness of the coating on a shock absorber movement has a significant impact on sealing performance.

    If the coating is not flat enough, the oil may leak out from the tiny mating gaps after being pressurized by the shock absorber oil.

    Bending and deformation:

    After the shock absorber is subjected to abnormal impacts, the shock absorber movement may bend and deform, resulting in the occurrence of mating gaps in the oil seals, which may lead to leakage.

    3. Fluid Contamination

    Impurities or water in the oil will accelerate the wear and corrosion of seals and reduce sealing performance, thus triggering leakage.

    1. Improper installation

    If the shock absorber is not installed correctly during installation or if the fastening bolts are loose, this may lead to leakage of the shock absorber during use.

    If the shock absorber is bruised or misaligned during installation, this may also lead to excessive wear on the working surface of the connecting rod or unilateral wear, which may cause leakage.

    2. Damage from external forces

    Damage to the shock absorber may be caused by external impacts while the vehicle is in motion, such as hitting rocks, passing through potholes, etc., which may result in damage to the internal components of the shock absorber or failure of the seals.

    3. Conditions of use

    Harsh working environments, such as high temperature, high humidity, dust, etc., will accelerate the aging and corrosion of the shock absorber’s internal components, thus triggering leakage.

    Prolonged heavy or overloaded use will also increase the burden on the shock absorber, accelerating its wear and aging.

    We have to take precautions, here are some tips you can prevent shock absorber leaking in daily life:

    1. Regular inspection and replacement of seals

    Regularly check the condition of the seals in the shock absorber and replace them in time if they are found to be aged, worn, or damaged.

    2. Keep the oil clean

    Replace the oil in the shock absorber regularly and make sure the oil is clean and free from contamination.

    3. Correct installation and maintenance:

    When installing the shock absorber, we should install it according to the correct method and ensure that the fastening bolts are firm and reliable.

    In the course of use, the installation condition of the shock absorber and whether the connecting parts are loose should be checked regularly.

    4. Choose high-quality shock absorbers

    When purchasing shock absorbers, you should choose products with reliable quality and stable performance to minimize leakage problems caused by design or manufacturing defects.

    Once your shock absorber is leaking, there is no other option, rush to a repair store to have it repaired or replaced!

    1. Is it safe to drive with leaking shock absorbers?

    Driving with leaking shock absorbers is not safe. The car will react to even the smallest road pits with intense body motions.

    Additionally, moving into curves becomes difficult at low speeds, and the braking distance increases significantly.

    This can lead to dangerous driving conditions, making it essential to address the issue promptly.

    2. Should I replace my shocks if they are leaking?

    A leaking shock absorber typically requires immediate replacement.

    Often, once one shock starts leaking, the others will follow shortly. Replacing all four shocks at once is advisable, as replacing a single shock can negatively impact your car’s handling.

    This proactive approach ensures balanced performance and safety.

    3. Leaking shock absorber symptoms

    Common symptoms of leaking shocks include a bouncy ride, poor handling, and uneven tire wear.

    You may also notice oil stains on your driveway or garage floor.

    If you experience these symptoms, it’s time to inspect your shock absorbers for leaks.

    4. How long can I drive with a leaking strut?

    Driving with a leaking strut is not advisable, as it compromises vehicle handling and safety.

    While it might be possible to drive for a short period, it’s best to replace the leaking strut as soon as possible to avoid further damage and potential accidents.

    Picture of Eric Ding
    Eric Ding

    Hi, I'm Eric, the founder of GDST Auto Parts, a family-run business, and we are a professional suspension parts manufacturer in China.
    With 20 years' experience of production and sales, we have worked with 150+ clients from 80+ countries.
    I'm writing this article to share some knowledge about suspension parts with you.

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