Symptoms of Bad or Failing Air Shocks

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Air shocks are a type of suspension component and system that is found on many newer vehicles. They are similar in function to conventional oil-filled suspension shocks, however, instead of using hydraulic fluid and pressure to absorb the road shocks, they use air and air pressure to suspend the vehicle and absorb road impacts. Because they are subject to the harsh impacts of the road and weight of the vehicle, the seals in air shocks can eventually go bad and begin to leak, reducing their performance.

Bad air shocks can not only reduce performance and handling, they can also compromise the safety of a vehicle. Usually, defective air shocks will produce a few symptoms that can alert the driver that there is a problem that should be serviced.

1. Noticeable change in the ride quality

One of the first signs that your air shocks may need attention is a noticeable change in the vehicle’s ride quality. When the shocks fail, the weight of the vehicle is no longer being supported as firmly. As a result, the vehicle may experience a decrease in ride comfort and an increase in harshness. Without the cushion provided by the air shocks, the impacts from road imperfections like bumps and potholes will be directly transferred to the frame of the vehicle where they can be felt by the driver.

2. The nose dive effect

Another symptom of bad or failing air shocks is what is referred to as, “the nose dive effect.” The nose dive effect occurs when the shocks have failed and can no longer support the weight of the vehicle during sudden takeoff or braking. Sudden takeoff or braking causes the weight of the vehicle to transfer completely to one end, which will cause that end of the vehicle to lean and nose dive. In more severe cases, the nose or rear bumper of the vehicle may even come in contact with the ground from the amount of lean from bad air shocks.

3. Leaning when turning

Leaning during turns is another symptom that indicates the air shocks may need replacing. If you notice that your vehicle is leaning excessively, or is significantly less stable when going around corners, then that may be a sign that the air shocks need attention. A vehicle that leans due to bad air shocks will be significantly more difficult to steer than one with a firm suspension. As a result, the car will be less safe to operate.

As air shocks are what support the weight of the vehicle, they are very important to the overall handling and safety characteristics of the vehicle. If you suspect that your air shocks may need replacing, or your air shock system may require attention, have the vehicle inspected by a professional technician, such as one from YourMechanic. They will be able to replace the air shocks, or make any other repairs that are needed to return proper handling, performance, and comfort to the vehicle.


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Michael

15 years of experience
518 reviews
Michael
15 years of experience
Mercedes-Benz GL450 - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Atlanta, Georgia
Micheal was punctual and friendly. Work was completed within promised time. Will definitely use again.
Volvo S80 - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Roswell, Georgia
Michael was SUPER QUICK with doing my brake and rotors. Great communication throughout the whole process. Will always recommend

Kenneth

19 years of experience
509 reviews
Kenneth
19 years of experience
Toyota Sequoia - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Newport Beach, California
Kenneth did a great job and very knowledgeable. He has a great attitude and I will for sure be using him again.

Chuy

13 years of experience
129 reviews
Chuy
13 years of experience
Honda Civic - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Cicero, Illinois
Excellent work on doing the breaks for my car and the break and steering system flush I’ll definitely recommend and take into consideration for chuy’s work whenever I need a fix on my car

Richard

16 years of experience
72 reviews
Richard
16 years of experience
BMW 328i - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Dublin, California
Richard was an outstanding mechanic. After he arrived, the first thing he did after taking the initial pictures of the car is an assessment into what work was asked. He quickly verified that I did not need brake fluid and my front brakes even-though it affects his personal commitments and time, which I think is highly appreciate and thorough professional. He was detailed oriented - took time to make sure that all the issue are fixed. He paid attention to detail in overall car assessment- he goes above and beyond. He was also teaching me through the process which I found highly educational and appreciate him providing the information ensuring and making me comfortable what he was doing and explaining patiently all the questions that was thrown at him. When he works - you know he's highly skilled and experienced and knows his stuff. He is highly experienced. He is a "Master" mechanic in true sense :)

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