Rear Shocks Leaking: Causes And Symptoms

When it comes to automotive problems, rear shocks leaking is a common occurrence. If you can catch it early, you only need to have a replacement. Otherwise, a whole other problem arises.

We must learn how to detect leaking shocks and recognize changes in vehicle performance to avoid this. In case you are bewildered about this problem, you are in the right place.

Our post will give you the reasons and warning signs for this issue. Let’s scroll down and check when your car has a symptom.

What Is A Rear Shock Absorber? How Does It Work?

Rear Shocks Leaking

Shock absorbers can absorb the shock that your suspension experiences when traveling over bumps or uneven terrain.

They use struts and coil springs to keep undesired spring motion at bay and to help balance the car. This part is essential in giving a smooth ride.

This component has two purposes. In addition to controlling suspension and springs, shock absorbers maintain your car tires always in contact with the ground.

When stopping or moving, the only part of your vehicle in contact with the road is the bottom surface of your tires.

Your ability to drive, turn, and the brake is seriously harmed if a tire doesn’t come into contact with the ground.

Shock absorbers are essentially oil pumps. A piston is affixed to the piston rod’s end and acts against the pressure tube’s hydraulic fluid.

The hydraulic fluid is pumped through orifices (small holes) into the piston when the suspension moves up and down.

Because the orifices only let a minimal amount of fluid pass through the piston, the piston slows, slowing spring and suspension movement.

What Causes Rear Shocks Leaking?

What Causes Rear Shocks Leaking

Many reasons can cause shock absorber leaking, including dirt, mud, old shocks, broken/worn-out seal, rough terrain, and accidents.

This problem will make your tires imbalanced, creating a feeling of floating while driving.

The time or miles specified in the manual for shock replacement is a guideline, not an absolute: driving style, road conditions, and even how much dirt the shock meets can all have an impact.

Rough Terrain

One of the most common reasons for the problem is the rough terrain.

Although shock absorbers are designed to help drivers feel more comfortable on such terrain, they can affect this component’s lifespan.

Pothole-infested roads shorten a shock’s lifespan. The piston’s constant strong action against the hydraulic fluid may increase the chances of leakage.

Worse, the bolts that keep the shocks in place are dislodged, causing the wheels to spin out of the socket. Furthermore, shocks may wear out faster or slower depending on driving behaviors.

Broken/Worn-Out Seal

The suspension system’s wear and tear could cause the seal to become brittle and worn.

Fortunately, damaged or worn-out seals can be changed, which is less expensive than the replacement of a shock absorber.

It is recommended that you have your shocks tested every 6 months. This is to be forewarned in comfortable settings to avoid surprises.

A shock’s parts are easier to replace than the entire component.


Any collision with the suspension can harm the shock absorbers; a dented or bent shock always requires replacement.

After an accident, the repair shop will inspect your shocks to see if they need to be replaced.

Still, it’s important to understand that “accident” includes anything that jars the suspension particularly hard, such as hitting curbs, deep potholes, large rocks, or even a rock being kicked up against the shock when you drive on the road.

Dirt And Mud

Another must-noticed reason is dirt and mud on the road. Those particles entering the vehicle suspension system components can damage the seals, causing leakage.

Old Shocks

During use, the shocks fought wear out. Modern struts and shock absorbers are meant to endure several years and 50,000 miles.

Beyond this time, the shocks’ parts will wear out faster and lead to leaks.

With that said, these intervals are not fixed, depending on how you use them. Thus, you should let the mechanic check it regularly.

Symptoms: What Will Happen When Rear Shocks Leaking

Uneven Tires

Your shock absorbers aid in keeping your tires securely in contact on the road.

When they aren’t working properly, your tires will wear unevenly. It will be more noticeable if uneven wear has developed bald areas on your tires.

Take your automobile to a mechanic when you see any uneven tyre wear or bald areas. In case you continue to drive on these bad tires, you may face a fine and license points.


If you are driving and experiencing unpleasant vibrations, your shocks are probably in trouble. You might feel vibrations through the steering wheel.

They’re frequently caused by fluid leaking past the piston seal, causing the shocks to overreact to suspension movements.

Check your shocks at a nearby mechanic when you notice shaking through the steering wheel. Otherwise, it can lead to other issues, such as leaking gas while driving.

Knocking Sound

Each end of a shock absorber has a bushing. They’re constructed of rubber and may easily break, destabilizing the shock absorber and preventing it from functioning properly.

When you have a broken bushing, your automobile will usually knock or tap when you go over a speed bump or a pothole.

You might think that your tires are imbalanced and find ways to balance them at home.

But, if you hear rattling or knocking, the shock might not be held in place and can lead to leaking. It’s best to have it checked and replaced as soon as possible.

Bumpy Riding Experience

When a shock absorber is working properly, you rarely notice. They always attempt to lessen the impact of all bumps and potholes you encounter and the vibrations they cause.

However, if they are worn or leaking, you will quickly spot it as you begin to feel every bump in the road.


Is It Ok To Drive With A Leaking Shock?

No, we don’t recommend you drive in this situation.

This problem is responsible for the knocking sound we hear as our cars climb out of potholes; it is the most damaging to the strut.

With a worn-out strut, even the tiniest movement could trigger the steering system to swerve the vehicle violently. This is dangerous when driving.

A malfunctioning shock absorber sends the energy burden to the wheels.

You could end up with a flat tire and an unpleasant driving experience. Leaking shocks should eventually be corrected.

How Much Does It Cost To Replace The Rear Shock?

Rear shocks normally cost between $1,000 and $1,200 to replace.

The parts for changing rear shocks normally cost around $900 (depending on the type you choose), while the labor charges are often around $200.

Is Replacing Rear Shocks Easy?

Replacing shocks is rather simple. You just need to detach the top and the lower mounts. However, in some vehicles, you may have to remove some paneling to access the shocks.


The takeaway from this post is that driving with rear shocks leaking is never advised. A repaired shock absorber is unlikely to survive as long as a new item.

Always keep the shocks cleaned and perform a visual inspection as often as feasible to extend their lifespan. Once you find hydraulic fluid leaks, take the car to a local repair shop to inspect it.

Changing a seal is cheaper and can keep you from any hefty bills.

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