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Car Driving Poorly After Fitting New Front Shock Absorber

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Author Post
Mon Jul 15 2019, 11:20pm
Joined: Feb 27 2019
Member No: #3844
Location: Scotland
So, after having a replacement o/s/f shock absorber fitted, the car seemed to drive okay and my first trip was a long one, over 200 miles of mainly motorway. That's where I noticed the sideways rocking that I'd read about. It wasn't too excessive but I drove most of the way there and back with the suspension in Sports mode. Today however, another reasonably long trip, mainly motorway, but on the way back I noticed, quite suddenly, the steering wheel shaking slightly, as if a tyre was off balance. I figured it might be the road surface but then I hit those yellow stripes that are there to warn you of an approaching roundabout, and the car felt really quite bad, jarring and shaking like never before. I was braking throughout this but not particularly hard, reducing from about 50mph. After the roundabout the problem disappeared and the car returned to its (new) normal. Then I took it for a blast up the hills, on what can only be described as appalling roads and the car felt like a bag of old bones. The really strange thing is, before it had the new shock fitted, I took it for a blast up the hills (but different roads to the ones I drove today) and I remember thinking how well it was driving. In fact, I almost cancelled the replacement shock fitting, it felt so sorted.

Having read around the forums, I've gathered that this could be a couple of things: Ride height - this is something I need to tackle as I haven't looked at it since I bought the car (March this year) and I understand that incorrect heights can cause problems. Secondly, I could be looking at new spheres, as the ones I have may have lost sufficient pressure to cause the problems. My last resort would be that the replacement strut was faulty.

My main question is this, do I need special tools to set the ride height and does the working surface need to be absolutely level? Is there anything else that I should be looking at?

Just in case it's relevant, the only other difference is the tyre pressures which I set to 2.6 Bar, according to the sticker on the door jamb. This was slightly up on the previous which I think were set to 2.4 Bar.
Tue Jul 16 2019, 12:30pm

Joined: Apr 12 2010
Member No: #86
Location: Penwortham
Might be worth you talking to DHallworth, he based near Glasgow and one of the admins on here.
1 User said Thank You to Trainman for this Post :
 Candide (16 July 2019)
Tue Jul 16 2019, 07:37pm
Joined: Feb 27 2019
Member No: #3844
Location: Scotland
That's great, thanks. Would you know how I go about contacting him? I searched his name but didn't see anything valid.
Tue Jul 16 2019, 10:56pm
Joined: Nov 26 2010
Member No: #299
Location: Wiltshire
Definitely check ride height.
Also check that all tyres are good. I've been fooled before!
1 User said Thank You to Dan595 for this Post :
 Candide (17 July 2019)
Wed Jul 17 2019, 08:16am

Joined: Oct 01 2009
Member No: #1
Location: Northumberland
Candide wrote ...

That's great, thanks. Would you know how I go about contacting him? I searched his name but didn't see anything valid.

David is User 90, send him a PM - Click Here -
1 User said Thank You to C6Dave for this Post :
 Candide (17 July 2019)
Wed Aug 14 2019, 02:23pm
Joined: Feb 27 2019
Member No: #3844
Location: Scotland
UPDATE: Well, with continued driving the car seems to have settled down now and the superb ride has been restored. What I may also be noticing, for the first time in my ownership, is the "real" ride, as opposed to riding around with a failed shock absorber. The car is much more "floaty" when it needs to be but firms up nicely when the suspension is switched to "Sports" mode. It's also much more noticeable how differently the car reacts depending on road surface, speed, approach, etc.

It's now a pleasure to drive again.
3 User said Thank You to Candide for this Post :
 cruiserphil (14 August 2019) , C6Dave (14 August 2019) , 321dave (15 August 2019)

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