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ServiceGram Vol. 1, No. 5

Weepage vs Leakage in Shocks & Struts

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Defining Leakage

Leakage is apparent when most of the shock/strut appears wet and oily or where fluid is found dripping off the shock/strut. When leakage is diagnosed, shock/strut replacement is required.

Leaking Fluid Doesn’t Necessarily Mean Shock or Strut Failure

Noticing oil on the outside of the shock/strut doesn’t mean the product has failed. The inside of the shock/strut has a piston and hydraulic fluid. Every day, the vehicle is traversing over bumps, potholes and rough road conditions, forcing the piston against the hydraulic fluid. This fluid can seep out of the shock/strut. A minimal amount is identified as “weepage” and doesn’t require shock/strut replacement. These small amounts are highly acceptable and are the result of fluid that is clinging to the rod and pulled past the oil seal on the extension stroke.


Inspection Procedure to Determine Weepage or Leakage

Here are some examples to help determine the shock/strut’s weepage or leakage diagnosis.

Shock Absorber

Shock-Oil-Weepage

Oil found on units 1 and 2 reflect weepage and do not require replacement. Units 3 and 4 reflect leakage and require replacement.

Coil-Over Shock Absorber

Coil-Over-Oil-Weepage

Oil found on units 1 and 2 reflect weepage and do not require replacement. Units 3 and 4 reflect leakage and require replacement.

Struts

Strut-Oil-Weepage

Oil found on units 1 and 2 reflect weepage and do not require replacement. Units 3 and 4 reflect leakage and require replacement.


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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