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Q: Bouncy suspension, bottoms out, is it broken?

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My 2011 Toyota RAV4 has always had pretty forgiving suspension. I liked the comfort at first, but I began to notice that it was pretty bouncy going over bumps. I thought the suspension was just breaking in, but I just passed 25,000 miles and it is only getting bouncier. Now it is occasionally bottoming out. How can the ride be so bouncy? Is it supposed to do that?

A: A certified mechanic, such as one from Your...

A certified mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, needs to examine your suspension system to identify any shocks that are leaking. It sounds like your shocks are losing hydraulic pressure which accounts for the excessive bounce over hard bumps. It normally doesn’t happen too quickly or to all of the shocks at once, but this is a commonly reported problem for the Toyota RAV4’s. You need to address this issue quickly as many critical components are on the bottom of the vehicle including fuel and brake lines, not to mention the cosmetic damage that can occur. The other though less likely issue is that there is damage to your stabilizer links or stop bumpers under the car. This would result in a more uncontrolled bounce even with good shocks. However if this was the case, this would tend to affect your steering as well as your suspension.

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