Symptoms of bad car shocks or struts include an uncomfortably bouncy ride, nose dives and the back of the car dipping or squatting. Bad shocks or struts may cause unusual wear on the tires, and wet or oily leakage on the shocks or struts.
Shocks and struts are both used to prevent excessive bumping and bouncing when driving over rough terrain. If a car bounces more than usual, it may be time for a replacement.
Shocks and struts also keep the car stable when accelerating, braking or turning. When braking, bad shocks or struts may cause the front end of the car to dive down. When accelerating, bad shocks or struts may cause the rear end of the car to squat or dip down. When turning, bad shocks or struts may cause the car to lean to one side.
Bad shocks and struts cause the tires to bounce along the road when driving. This causes chunks of rubber to come out; the resultant holes in the tire eventually smooth out naturally. This creates a recognizable irregular pattern known as scalloping or cupping.
Shocks and struts contain hydraulic fluid, and a small amount of leakage is normal. However, if the majority of the shocks or struts look wet and oily, it may be necessary to replace or fix them