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Q: How do you determine when it is time to replace the rear shocks?

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How do you determine when to replace rear shocks? Thanks

My car has 147000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: Hi there. As a former Lexus master technici...

Hi there. As a former Lexus master technician I used the leak criteria guide provided by Lexus for the technicians to determine when to replace the shocks and struts. The guide had levels ranging from 1 (no leak) to 5 (severe leak).

The first "level" of leak that was determined to be in need of replacement was level 3. A level 3 leak, according to the guide, is oil that has run from where the shaft comes out of the housing and has met the same area where the mounting bolts are located; levels 4 & 5 go beyond this level and have oil dripping. If you see a trail that is running to the bottom of the shock, then it's time to replace it.

Also, there is the bounce test for shocks and struts that do not have a leak. Bounce the vehicle at one end and watch how many cycles it takes for it to stop; 3 cycles was the general rule of thumb and any more than that meant the shocks/struts needed to be replaced. I recommend having a professional mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, assist you with a safety inspection and a shock replacement if needed.

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