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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So my sedan has started this intermittent problem... When I hit bumps of various severities at various speeds...65mph, 35mph... It feels as if the front left tire bounces on the pavement. Kind of like the spring doesn't drop the tire as fast as gravity does. There is no pattern or sequence to the bouncing, and it doesn't do it at every road bump. The cars alignment is straight and there isn't any weird sounds or indications to be found.

As I mentioned, it has happened going over parking lot grates at 8mph, as well as highway overpasses at 70mph. The bouncing lasts about 2 seconds...then it stops until the next random bump makes it bounce again.

Helpful info: the car was wrecked on that side prior to my ownership. I was told in a very forthcoming manner that it was cosmetic damage only which ended with a replaced headlight, and the engine bay and body panels agree with that statement from my judgement.

I'm dumbfounded on what the problem is. I thought maybe I've got a bad strut, but I'm not sure.

Any ideas?
 

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Yes you guessed right, it is most certainly the strut, the purpose of the strut or shock absorber is to damp out the spring motion, if you look at the top of the strut cylinder area, you may see oily dampness, but even if you don't, it's still possible for the valving mechanism internally to fail, which then degrades the damping aspect.
 

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You can try pushing down on the strut mounts on either side. If it doesn't come right back up after you push it down, then the shock is likely in need of replacement. There should be no "bounce" on this test when you push down.
 

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A well-written description answered this problem fast!

My right rear strut is doing this, and yes, there is a oil leak in the strut's seal. Springtime project...
 

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A well-written description answered this problem fast!

My right rear strut is doing this, and yes, there is a oil leak in the strut's seal. Springtime project...
I think the same thing may be happening in one of my front struts.


Do you notice any noise (clunking/tumping) when the tire "bounces"? Something that might be like wheel hop?
 

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I think the same thing may be happening in one of my front struts.


Do you notice any noise (clunking/tumping) when the tire "bounces"?
YES, more like a light rattle...but I live in Chicago and don't feel like lying on the driveway when it is 10 below outside. Must wait till Springtime.
 

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YES, more like a light rattle...but I live in Chicago and don't feel like lying on the driveway when it is 10 below outside. Must wait till Springtime.
You know, I think the leaking strut in my front passenger side might be what's causing the rattle/clunking noise coming from that corner when I go over dips in the road at slower speeds. I might have had my endlinks replaced for nothing :(

Do you ever notice the noise on the highway? For me it's mainly at lower speeds (<35 mph), and on rough roads with lots of dips and gaps.
 

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On the highway? Only when I hit an expansion joint in the road.

Struts have a limited life....some people get lucky, some are not bothered by blown struts, etc...

Me, I think 80K - 120K is a good life for our struts it seems. Yet there is always someone on the forum with 260K miles and original struts, original battery, original complimentary tank of gas from the dealer, etc...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
...original complimentary tank of gas from the dealer, etc...
Apparently I need to have this person come car shopping with me next time.

I figured it was struts, but I've never actually needed to replace any before. Thanks for the helpful info! I will have to try the bounce test and see how it reacts.

Hopefully they've got some life in them to last until February because my long overdue timing belt job on the coupe takes precedence over a worn strut right now. :paranoid:
 
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