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SACHS useful tip:

Shocks and dampers leak.

Causes

Although a shock absorber or damper may appear to have a leak, this may not in fact be the case. A certain amount of "perspiration" is normal, and even necessary to lubricate the piston rod seal.

Never diagnose shocks and dampers after the vehicle has been driven in the rain - they should be dry.

Therefore:

  • Feel the shock absorber/damper with dry fingers. If your fingers remain dry, the shock absorber/damper is not leaking.
  • If you are still not sure, wipe off the shock absorber/damper. Check again a few days later!

Causes

Although a shock absorber or damper may appear to have a leak, this may not in fact be the case. A certain amount of "perspiration" is normal, and even necessary to lubricate the piston rod seal.

Never diagnose shocks and dampers after the vehicle has been driven in the rain - they should be dry.

Therefore:

  • Feel the shock absorber/damper with dry fingers. If your fingers remain dry, the shock absorber/damper is not leaking.
  • If you are still not sure, wipe off the shock absorber/damper. Check again a few days later!

Oil mist residue on shocks and dampers

Cause:

  • During every stroke, the piston rod carries a very small amount of oil from the working cylinder to lubricate the seal.

Consequence:

  • If the shock absorber/damper was bone-dry, residue from this oil mist will be visible.

Comment:

This is not a malfunction. Following extended periods of use, oil mist residue may be visible on around 1/3 of the container tube.

Oil mist residue on shocks and dampers

Cause:

  • During every stroke, the piston rod carries a very small amount of oil from the working cylinder to lubricate the seal.

Consequence:

  • If the shock absorber/damper was bone-dry, residue from this oil mist will be visible.

Comment:

This is not a malfunction. Following extended periods of use, oil mist residue may be visible on around 1/3 of the container tube.

Shocks and dampers show clear traces of oil

Cause:

  • The piston rod seals are worn out due to:
    • Long use
    • Severe operational demands
    • Sand or road dirt

Consequence:

  • Oil loss, and thus lower damping forces

Shocks and dampers show clear traces of oil

Cause:

  • The piston rod seals are worn out due to:
    • Long use
    • Severe operational demands
    • Sand or road dirt

Consequence:

  • Oil loss, and thus lower damping forces

Underbody sealant on shocks and dampers

Cause:

  • Underbody sealant or corrosion-preventive wax collects on the shocks and dampers.

Consequence:

  • It appears that oil is leaking.
  • Heat dissipates more slowly.

Comment:

These substances do not belong on the shocks and dampers, so remove them! Accumulated road dirt is also often wrongly diagnosed as leakage.

Underbody sealant on shocks and dampers

Cause:

  • Underbody sealant or corrosion-preventive wax collects on the shocks and dampers.

Consequence:

  • It appears that oil is leaking.
  • Heat dissipates more slowly.

Comment:

These substances do not belong on the shocks and dampers, so remove them! Accumulated road dirt is also often wrongly diagnosed as leakage.

Chrome coating on piston rod worn out

Cause:

  • Strong distortion of shock absorber during installation
  • Misaligned attachment points.

Consequence:

  • Wear on seal and piston rod guide, leading to oil loss and reduced performance

Comment:

Always tighten the shocks and dampers only after the vehicle is standing on its wheels.

Chrome coating on piston rod worn out

Cause:

  • Strong distortion of shock absorber during installation
  • Misaligned attachment points.

Consequence:

  • Wear on seal and piston rod guide, leading to oil loss and reduced performance

Comment:

Always tighten the shocks and dampers only after the vehicle is standing on its wheels.

Piston rod damaged

Cause:

  • The piston rod was gripped with pliers during installation, which damaged its surface.

Consequence:

  • A rough piston rod surface causes the seal to tear, leading to oil loss and reduced performance.

Comment:

Use a special tool to hold the piston rod.

Piston rod damaged

Cause:

  • The piston rod was gripped with pliers during installation, which damaged its surface.

Consequence:

  • A rough piston rod surface causes the seal to tear, leading to oil loss and reduced performance.

Comment:

Use a special tool to hold the piston rod.

Further information