The upper dumping pads damp the vibrations generated by the suspension and reduce the noise produced by it. They gradually wear, resulting in an annoying clatter and play in the upper damper mountings, which compromises the driving precision.
Where are shock absorber pads located?
Shock absorbers comprising the MacPherson strut are equipped with pads located in their upper mounts, whose task is to damp the vibrations coming from the suspension and to silence the noise produced by it. Like many other car components, the pads wear, causing annoying clatter and play in the upper shock absorber mount and, consequently, compromising its performance.
How are the pads replaced?
Replacing a shock absorber pad requires removing the whole MacPherson strut. To this effect, the shock absorber is detached from the steering knuckle. Next, its upper mount, located in the wheel arch, is removed. Subsequently, the strut is disassembled on a working table. Replacing the pads is a perfect opportunity to check the condition of the other components, including the shock absorber bearings, their covers and buffers, and to replace them, if necessary, to avoid having to disassemble the strut again in the event of a failure. Next, the strut is fitted back in the car. A good idea is to check the wheel alignment.
What to keep in mind?
As their useful life is similar, if one pad fails, both of them should be replaced to avoid the hassle of disassembling the strut again if the other one breaks soon thereafter. The pads and the bearings should also be replaced when changing the shock absorbers or springs.