Will bad shocks cause vibration: What are the Signs of Bad Shocks on My Car?

Will Bad Rear Shocks Cause Vibration?

Many people think that high-quality shocks are an important requirement for a safe and decent ride. Bad shocks can produce uncomfortable vibration, but also influence fuel consumption by 10% and decrease the useful load.

So, Will bad rear shocks cause vibration?

Let’s get to it.

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If the vibration remains constant while you’re driving, it might be a sign that there’s a serious problem with your shocks. At highway speeds, these vibrations could become more intense and hamper your ability to control the car.

How Do I Know If My Rear Shocks Are Bad?

You can tell if your rear shocks are bad by going over a speed bump and seeing how the car reacts. If it bounces multiple times, you probably need new shocks.

The front end of a vehicle usually needs to be aligned at least every couple of years and will have noticeable tire wear patterns if it’s out of alignment.

In a pickup truck or SUV, the rear tires can be out of alignment even if they aren’t wearing unevenly. The rear suspension is typically independent so there is no toe-in or toe-out adjustment like there is on the front end. The rears just adjust for camber and castor – sometimes in trucks they’ll have adjustable shackles that let you set pinion angle too. Even with all that, you’re still not going to get an alignment printout for the rear end like you do for the front end.

Camber and castor are not adjustable on most vehicles unless they’ve been modified from stock settings. If your tires don’t show any uneven wear then an alignment shop may not bother adjusting those angles, but if they are way off then I’d expect them to adjust them anyway.

Can Bad Struts Cause Vibration At High Speeds?

A bad strut can cause a vibration at high speeds, but usually it is not the strut that is bad. The most common reason for a vibration felt at high speed (60 mph or higher) is worn tires.

When tires are worn, the tread design becomes uneven. This causes the tires to have what is called a “hop”. The hop creates an out-of-balance condition that will be felt as a vibration through the steering wheel and seat.

If you were to put two new tires on only one end of your car and drive it down the road, you would feel the hop in the wheels that have old tires.

Another cause of vibration at high speed is a bent front wheel. A bent wheel can be caused by hitting a pothole or curb, but it may not cause any problems until it gets hot from driving down the road.

How Do You Check Rear Shocks By Hand?

It’s very easy to check the shocks by hand, just bounce the car several times and see how fast it is bouncing back.

However, if you want to be more sure about it, you can jack up the rear axle and remove the tires so you can see them better. Then shake or tap on the shock and see if there is any play in it. If there is any play, then it’s time to change the shocks.

You can also check for leaks in the shocks by doing this. Oil leaking from a shock absorber usually means its time to replace them.

While you are at it, try to shake the tire while holding the top of the shock absorber. If there is play in one of your bearings, you will feel it here when shaking the tire.

Do Rear Shocks Make Noise?

Yes, they do. If you hear a noise that sounds like metal scraping against metal, it’s probably the shock. Not only will this make a loud noise, but it can also cause damage to your vehicle in the long run. If you are having trouble with your rear shocks and need repairs, schedule an appointment with a professional.

When To Replace Your Rear Shocks

There are many signs that indicate that your rear shocks are in need of replacement. You may have noticed that your vehicle is not as stable when you are driving over bumps or cracks in the road. Or, perhaps you have noticed that your vehicle is sagging more than usual. These are all indicators that your rear shocks need to be replaced.

If you notice any of these signs or if it has been a while since your last replacement, schedule an appointment with a professional.

What Is A Clunking Sound?

Clunking sounds. They’re among the most common noises a car can make, and they’re usually pretty easy to diagnose.

A clunking sound can mean many things, but the most likely explanation is that you’ve run over something or your tires have thrown a rock up against your undercarriage. Sometimes, it’s not a big deal. If a rock is thrown up with enough force, it might just bounce off harmlessly. Other times, though, rocks can dent parts of your car’s undercarriage or cause damage to shocks or struts.

Inspect your car for damage if you hear a clunking sound. If there’s nothing obvious, you may want to take it to a mechanic so he can examine the suspension and other components that could be damaged by rocks or debris on the road.

Why Is My Car Rattling At The Back?

Rattling sounds from the back of your car can be caused by many things. It is important to identify the exact location of the rattling noise. If you are certain that it is coming from the back and not from under the car, then inspect the luggage compartment or trunk.

If there is something loose inside, such as a jack handle or tire iron, tighten it down. Also check any spare tires and make sure they are securely held in place if they are there.

If you have a hitch on the back of your car, check to see that all pins are in place and secure. If so, move to the area where the exhaust pipe pipes through to the interior of the car. Check to see that no furniture or other items are lodged against it.

A common problem with cars is loose suspension parts causing noises such as rattles, squeaks, clunks, vibration and shimmy problems. Some of these issues pertain to safety as well as noise concerns.

When Replacing Shocks What Else Should Be Replaced?

You’re not doing yourself any favors by waiting to replace your shocks and struts. Your car will feel less stable, especially over bumps and uneven pavement.

You wouldn’t drive a car with a flat tire, would you? So why would you drive a car with worn out shocks? They’re just as dangerous.

A bad shock can cause your tire to come off the road and make it hard for you to steer in an emergency situation. At highway speeds, your shocks are essential for keeping your tires on the road. They also help keep your vehicle from sliding sideways when you have to brake hard or take a corner fast.

You’ll notice that your vehicle bounces more than usual, especially after hitting a bump in the road. This is caused by the shock’s inability to control the suspension. The springs bounce back up because there’s nothing to slow them down. You might even see your wheels and tires bouncing up and down in front of you when it happens!

The most obvious sign that something is wrong with your shocks or struts is if they are leaking fluid. This means there is a hole somewhere in either component which needs immediate attention before causing further damage elsewhere on vehicle (like brakes).

Can Bad Sway Bar Links Cause Steering Wheel Vibration?

Bad sway bar links can absolutely cause steering wheel vibration. Sway bar links are an important part of the suspension system for any vehicle. They connect the sway bar, which runs from side to side on your car, with the rest of the suspension system.

A bad sway bar link will produce a lot of noise while you’re driving and cause uneven tire wear. But they can also produce steering wheel vibration at highway speeds. It’s worth taking a look at what causes steering wheel vibration and how you can tell if it’s caused by bad sway bar links.

The first thing to understand is that steering wheel vibrations aren’t always caused by issues with your tires or wheels. There are a number of other causes that should be considered first, so you can make sure you get the right repairs done.

Will Bad Rear Shocks Cause Vibration – Conclusion

As a recap, here is our response to the question, Will Bad Rear Shocks Cause Vibration?

If the vibration remains constant while you’re driving, it might be a sign that there’s a serious problem with your shocks. At highway speeds, these vibrations could become more intense and hamper your ability to control the car.

Thanks for reading.


Joe lives and breathes cars and trucks. After many years working in the Auto industry, he decided that it is only right to share his knowledge with the public. As a qualified expert in trucks and cars, he started working for Truckile.com and is the main editor and publisher.

Symptoms of Worn Shock Absorbers


Like most safety-critical chassis components, shocks and struts wear out so gradually over the course of normal operation that the negative effects — reduced steering precision, stopping performance and/or vehicle stability — might not be easily recognized in normal driving conditions. The rate of wear depends on a wide range of variables, such as road and environmental conditions, your driving style and vehicle load. Read on to learn the signs of worn shocks & struts.


Signs of Worn Shocks and Struts


While shocks and struts wear out gradually, your vehicle may give you some signs that there is something wrong with its ride control components. Worn shocks and struts can have a detrimental effect on steering, stopping and the stability of your vehicle. If your vehicle is displaying any of these symptoms, it’s time to make an appointment with your service provider for a Safety Triangle Inspection of your suspension system.


  • Nose dive when braking – Does it feel like the front end of your car dips quickly toward the ground when you hit your brakes? This is called nose dive and can indicate worn shocks and struts. It is dangerous because it can cause an increase in stopping distance.
  • Bouncy ride – Excessive bouncing when you hit a bump can be a signal that your shocks and struts aren’t working effectively. Your vehicle should settle after hitting a bump and not continue to bounce. Worn shocks and struts aren’t able to effectively absorb road impacts and soften the bump.
  • Vehicle rolls or sways when cornering – Feeling like your vehicle is swaying or rolling when making a turn is not only annoying, it is unsettling because you can feel like you aren’t in control of your car. As shocks wear, they can lose their ability to control the rate of weight transfer when going around corners; this may also result in increased steering input to navigate turns.
  • Uneven tire wear — When your vehicle’s shocks and struts are worn out, the car can bounce, causing a reduction in road holding force. This bouncing can also cause accelerated tire wear including cupping or scalloping of the tires (when pieces of rubber are gouged out of the tire).
  • Rear squat during acceleration – Properly functioning shocks and struts stabilize suspension movement when accelerating. When your shocks and struts are going bad, the rear of your vehicle can squat excessively when you hit the gas pedal. The vehicle’s momentum is transferred to the rear which causes the front end to rise, a factor in passenger motion sickness and unnecessarily high loading of the rear suspension components.
  • Vibration in steering wheel – It is natural to experience a little vibration in your steering wheel when driving over a bumpy road. If you experience similar vibrations on smooth roads, your shocks, struts, or steering stabilizer may be worn.
  • Unusual noises – When shocks and struts are worn out you may hear a clunking or knocking sound. This sound is caused by metal-to-metal contact when the shock or strut bottoms out when hitting a bump. In addition, these noises could be a result in worn shock or strut mounting components.
  • Leaking fluid on exterior of shocks/struts – If you notice excessive hydraulic fluid leaking from your shocks or struts, it can be a sign they’re wearing out. If the seals fail, then the fluid that is essential to the proper function of your shocks and struts is escaping.


Effects of worn shock absorbers on road safety




Learn more about Monroe shock absorbers, find the right car part or find a local repair shop today.


The content contained in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be used in lieu of seeking professional advice from a certified technician or mechanic. We encourage you to consult with a certified technician or mechanic if you have specific questions or concerns relating to any of the topics covered herein. Under no circumstances will we be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on any content.


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Compressor vibration

Why worry about vibration?

Every machine vibrates during operation. No matter how rigidly a machine is mounted, it and all structures attached to it will experience unwanted movement caused by various forces. These forces are usually associated with the movement of various parts within the machine. If this vibration-related movement becomes too large, it will damage the machine.

What causes vibration?

Vibration can be caused by a variety of causes, including bent shafts, unbalanced rotating parts, worn or bent gears, damaged bearings, misaligned couplings or bearings, electromagnetic forces, etc.

However, in compressors, the most common causes are unbalanced rotating parts and abnormal aerodynamic forces. Ariel pays special attention to its design and manufacturing processes to ensure that these conditions do not occur.

How vibration affects compressors

When studying the occurrence of vibration in a compressor, it is necessary to consider the compressor installation in conjunction with all peripheral equipment connected to it. Compressors, dryers, intercoolers, piping and all other components form a complex mechanical system that transmits vibration energy.

Natural Frequency — Tuning Fork Ringing

This mechanical system forms a structure that has one or more natural frequencies. The best example of a natural frequency is a blow to a tuning fork. A tuning fork emits a sound at its own frequency. Each design has its own frequency. When an external force (such as a hammer blow) excites a structure, it will «ring» at its own frequency until damping forces within the structure stop the vibration. Tuning forks ring for a long time, but not forever. Mechanical structures, which must be designed to reduce vibration, will not ring for long unless the drive force is constant.

In real mechanisms, when the structure enters into resonance (vibrates at its own frequency), the vibration amplitudes increase. In this case, breakdowns will occur more often.

Ariel compressors are designed so that the natural frequencies of the system lie far away from normally occurring vibration frequencies.

Types of Vibrations in Compressor Systems

Two types of vibration predominate in compressors: translational (transverse) and torsional (rotary). An example of translational vibration is the movement of an external pipeline due to resonance. If the vibration of the external piping becomes excessive, it is almost certainly due to some vibration within the system that occurs at a frequency close to the natural frequency of the piping structure. A common manifestation of torsional vibration is excessive vibration along the crankshaft, the frequency of which coincides with the frequency of rotation of the shaft. This type of vibration is usually due to unbalanced forces acting on the crankshaft as a result of the unequal mass of the piston pairs.

Unbalance is the main vibration problem in compressors

Most vibration in compressors is related to unbalance. A high level of vibration can be directly related to the rotational force or translational force caused by the unbalanced condition.

What is imbalance?

There are two main types of imbalance. An unbalanced force is a force that tries to push the compressor and its foundation first in one direction and then pulls in the opposite direction. An unbalanced moment is a torque that pulls the machine around an axis of rotation, such as around the axis of a crankshaft. Although these two types of imbalances are similar in their effect, in order to prevent them, it is necessary to understand how they occur and how they can be prevented.

Reciprocating mass

Let’s take a closer look at the unbalanced force. This force attempts to move the compressor and frame back and forth along the same plane of motion. This force is the result of an unequal reciprocating mass (mass of the piston pair assembly) and aerodynamic compression forces between the piston pairs. Assuming that the aerodynamic forces are within the design capacity of the rod assemblies (as in normal operation), we need to study the reciprocating mass problem.

Reciprocating mass is defined as the mass of the piston group, balancing nut, crosshead assembly, piston rod and connecting rod small end. This is the part of the compressor that moves back and forth in each cylinder. With a large difference between the reciprocating masses of the piston pairs, an unbalanced force is created that is sufficient to cause problems.

As part of ISO9001 certification, Ariel carefully monitors the reciprocating masses of all production units. A complete balance report for each new machine is kept at the factory. Our tolerances are within 1lbf for JG/A/M/P/N/Q/R/W/J models, 2lbf for larger beds than JGH/E/K/T/C/ D, and 5 lbf for larger beds than JGB/V/U/Z. For 1000 hp machine. With. this tolerance equates to a piston pair reciprocating mass difference of less than 0.33%, which is the standard for extremely high accuracy. The exact tolerances for each Ariel compressor can be found in the Compressor Data Guide.

Rotating mass

Rotating mass is defined as the mass of the crankshaft and the structures attached to it (oil deflector, accessory side drive, etc. ) together with the mass of the large connecting rod head. When changes are present in any of these assemblies or castings, a force is created that attempts to rotate the entire assembly around the crankshaft’s axis of rotation. The force, or thrust, will be directed to where the more «heavy point» is as it moves around the axis of the crankshaft.

How Ariel Engineers Minimize Unbalance

In order to understand how Ariel’s design philosophy reduces compressor unbalance problems, we need to describe in more detail the forces acting on the compressor’s internal components.

First and Second Order Horizontal Forces

First Order Horizontal Force (HPF) is the reciprocating force of the piston group that attempts to pull the crankshaft into the cylinder as the piston moves into the cylinder.

This force can be balanced by a counterweight which is placed against the piston group during rotation. The second order horizontal force (HSF) is much weaker than the first order force and is due to the movement of the connecting rod around the axis of the crankshaft.

First order vertical moment

However, when using a counterweight, a new force is generated when the rotation reaches the midpoint of the piston stroke. During this phase of rotation, the counterweight is moving in a direction perpendicular to the piston’s direction of travel, and all of the mass of the counterweight is converted into a vertical force (Vertical First Order Moment, VPC) pulling the machine up (or down during the second half of the cycle).

Ariel minimizes the need for counterweights by using only paired, opposed cylinder designs. In this way, the reciprocating forces are balanced by the use of opposed cylinders. Since a much smaller counterweight is used, the first order vertical moment (VPC) is reduced to a negligible value.

Because the piston pairs cannot be directly opposite each other and must be offset horizontally, some torsional force is generated. Such forces are called first order horizontal moment (HPC) and second order horizontal moment (HSC). The resulting relative force is determined by the displacement distance D between the center lines of opposite rows.

Most compressor manufacturers place counterweights directly on the webs of the crankpins to reduce HPC; however, this does not reduce HSC.

Ariel places counterweights outside of the main bearing webs. This reduces the size of the required weights and helps reduce both HPC and HSC.

Ariel firmly believes that our opposed piston design provides the maximum mechanical advantage in system reliability and service life. Each of our 2, 4 and 6 cylinder designs has a different degree of power ratio. All designs are designed for long service life, but different numbers of cylinders have different force ratios, as shown in the table below.

Force or moment 2 rows 4 rows 6 rows
First order horizontal force Small Small No
First order horizontal moment Significant Significant No
First order vertical moment Significant Significant No
Second order horizontal force Small Small No
Second order horizontal moment Significant No No

Preventing Vibration-Related Faults

Although you will not balance the Ariel by changing the weight of the internal components, there are some preventive measures you should take. It should now be obvious that there are many forces at work in a normally operating compressor.

Anchor Bolt Maintenance

The fasteners and castings in your Ariel unit are designed to withstand all of the vibrations and torques normally encountered. However, Ariel cannot control the maintenance of the fasteners that hold your rig in place.

Ariel highly recommends scheduling anchor bolt maintenance. We’ve seen many problematic installations in production, the only problem being loose fittings. We suggest sticking to the following schedule.

  • Initial maintenance : Anchor bolts are tightened and loosened three times, with the final torque set on the third tightening.
  • After 7 days of operation: while the equipment is still close to operating temperature, check the tension, but do not loosen.
  • After 30 days of operation: While the equipment is still close to operating temperature, check the tension.
  • Every 6 months from 6 months from installation: Check tension while equipment is still close to operating temperature. Record Resonance Troubleshooting in External Structures

Earlier we said that each system has one or more natural frequencies. If the excitation occurs at one of these frequencies, the structure will tend to vibrate. Existing vibration levels will increase, which will accelerate damage to the machinery. If you notice that some part of your equipment design is resonating, you can fix it with a few different steps.

Make sure the mounting bolts and other fasteners are properly tightened. Loose fasteners often cause a general play that mimics resonance.

  • Change the machine’s operating speed to change the frequency of the driving forces.
  • Increase the mass of the resonating structure. Changing the mass of a structure(s) also changes its natural frequencies.
  • Fasten the system at the point of greatest movement. This will not only change the natural frequencies, but also increase the rigidity of the structures involved.
  • Vibration in the pipes can also be eliminated by adding spacers to the top of the separator, by placing the pipes of the system in a different plane (to increase rigidity), or by building a frame of concrete and pouring concrete on the fixing points.

News and articles | Uremont News

November 07, 2017, 15:06

Vibration of the steering wheel at speed is a clear sign of a certain defect on the car. Do not delay with the diagnosis and elimination of identified malfunctions to prevent serious consequences that could lead to an emergency. Reliable operation of the steering system provides for the absence of any “jitter” and “oscillations” transmitted to the driver’s hands when the car is moving on a flat road with a high-quality surface.

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Determining, with the help of visual inspection, the exact cause of the vibration of the steering wheel when driving, is beyond the power, immediately, even by professionals. To facilitate diagnosis when a defect is detected, it is necessary: ​​

  • Drive to a section of flat and dry road that allows the development of speed on your car up to 100 km/h.
  • Carry out smooth acceleration to the maximum permitted speed.
  • Drive 1-2 km without acceleration in this mode.
  • Reset the speed to the minimum value.

Pay attention to which driving mode the vibration appears, how strong it is, longitudinal or transverse vibrations predominate and at what point it disappears. These are the questions that experts will ask you when contacting a professional service center.

It should be borne in mind that on some models of the domestic and Chinese car industry, a slight vibration on the steering wheel is an acceptable norm by the manufacturer and only with its increasing amplitudes, it is necessary to take measures to identify the causes of occurrence.

Wheels and rims

If the steering wheel starts to vibrate when the car is stationary with the engine running, the problem is definitely related to the engine (fasteners are loose or there is an inaccurate installation after dismantling), usually appears on cars older than 10 years. Additionally, you can check the steering column, looking for other defects, in this case, you should not waste time. Repairs should be carried out as soon as possible to avoid serious damage.

If «beating» occurs at low (up to 40 km / h) speeds and disappears after further acceleration, you should pay attention to the presence of:

  • Snow.
  • Ice.
  • Dirt.

On rims and in arched fender spaces. Such a problem usually occurs in winter and after operating the car on polluted sections of roads or rough terrain in the spring and autumn thaw. Cleaning, washing with a Karcher or thawing in a box will eliminate the defect and get rid of vibration.

Vibration occurs when driving at a speed of 60 km/h or more. It can mean that the wheels are out of balance during their seasonal replacement or after repair — the most common cause. With an increase in the speed of movement, the centrifugal force on the wheels increases. The difference in its values ​​​​between the wheels leads to the “beating” of the steering column. Prolonged operation with this defect can lead to failure of the bearing, which is replaced on most vehicles with a hub assembly and repairs are not cheap.

Violation of the geometry of the discs (especially stamped), will cause steering vibration, which will increase in proportion to the acceleration of movement. The problem of changing the geometry can occur when:

  • Physical impact (impact) on the wheel due to falling into a pit or hitting an obstacle.
  • Factory defect or installation damage.

It is not always possible to identify a defect visually, even for professionals. The inside of the disc may be damaged. To eliminate it, you should contact the tire shop.

Especially common among inexperienced motorists, the cause of steering beating is a banal difference in pressure in the wheels and uneven tire wear as a result of:

  • Factory defects or poor quality.
  • Vehicle operation in poor road conditions or rough terrain.
  • Unbalanced camber and convergence of the front pair of wheels.

Regular pressure checks, quality maintenance and timely replacement of old «rubber» with new ones are an effective preventive measure to prevent the occurrence of steering wheel vibration.

Mounting and suspension

When installing non-original wheels on your car, you should keep in mind that this factor can cause steering column vibration. The discrepancy between the diameters of the holes for fastening to the hub in it and the bolts causes the effect of “hanging out” of the wheel, which increases with increasing speed and betrays vibrations to the hub and steering. In this case, the disks should be replaced with «native» ones, no matter how you like them and are not combined with the tuning of the car.

Skewed disc due to incorrect bolt tightening:

  • Uneven mounting force.
  • Loose fastening during operation.
  • No fixed amount of fasteners.

In this case, the vibration in the steering wheel will appear at high speeds and disappear when the speed is reduced, but over time it will increase and become more noticeable. To eliminate it, it is enough to raise the car on a jack and use a wheelbrace to check the tightness of the bolts.

Wear and failure of the suspension units, transfers «beating» to the steering wheel in the following cases:

  • Passing sharp turns at speed — speed hinges or silent blocks of the front levers, increased traction play, incorrectly set wheel pair angles.
  • Moving obstacles and bumps — the reason is the broken steering rack bushings.
  • Vibrates during acceleration — the hub bearing has failed.

A decision on the need for repair and replacement of suspension components is necessary after checking the wheels and disks.

Malfunction of the braking system

Manifestation of “beating” of the steering wheel during braking is a sign of a malfunction of the parts of the brake system.