How To Diagnose Failing Nissan Shocks

Shocks last a pretty long time. However, shocks eventually wear out and can put you in danger. Worn shocks cause longer stopping distances, less control during acceleration, and poor handling. Bad shocks can also cause other parts of your Nissan to wear out quickly, including the tires and springs.

If you want to remain safe on the road, check your shocks as soon as the symptoms of worn shocks occur, and then replace your shocks if you need to.

Signs That Your Shocks May Have Gone Bad

OEM nissan shocks

If you're wondering what symptoms to look for when your shocks finally go bad, here's a list of the most common symptoms:

  • Shaking in the steering wheel
  • Longer stopping distances
  • Nosediving when braking hard
  • Uneven tire wear
  • Rougher ride
  • More body roll in corners
  • A floaty feeling over rises and dips in the highway

If you have a hunch that your shocks have gone kaput, you can accurately determine the condition of the shocks by:

  • Visually inspecting the shocks
  • Conducting the bounce test

We'll show you how to do both diagnostic procedures below.

Visually Inspecting the Shocks

To visually inspect your shocks:

  1. Lift your car. If you have a floor jack, you can just lift one end of the car.
  2. Remove the wheels in front of the shocks you're going to inspect.
  3. Carefully inspect your shocks. Look for leaks (characterized by an unusual accumulation of oily dirt stuck to the shock), bent rods, broken bolts, worn out bushings at attachment points or cracks in the housing
  4. Replace your shocks if necessary.

If the shocks look okay, it doesn't mean that they're still good to use. The best way to tell if the shocks are still in good condition is to perform the bounce test.

Conducting the Bounce Test

Doing the bounce test is quite easy. It doesn't require any special tools. The process basically involves bouncing the car at all four corners and then observing how the car reacts. Here's how:

  1. Park your Nissan on a level surface.
  2. Walk to one corner of the car.
  3. In a swift motion, push down on that corner with your body weight and then let go.
  4. Count how many times the car bounces. If the car simply returns to at-rest position, the shock at that corner is still in great shape. If the car bounces once before returning to at-rest position, the shock is still okay to use, but it's about to go bad. Lastly, if the car bounces more than twice, the shock is bad and you need to replace it as soon as possible.
  5. Repeat with the rest of the corners.

Replacing Your Shocks

Old new shock

Image Credit: handyman lps

Like diagnosing your shocks, replacing them is certainly something you can do at home. All you need is a great tutorial, like this one. You would also need OEM replacement shocks. As authorized sellers of genuine OEM Nissan parts, we offer wholesale pricing for shocks and struts.

We're here to chat if you have any questions about diagnosing your shocks.