The Volvo Parts, Accessories &
Performance Specialists Since 1963

Shock Absorber & Strut Warranty Conditions Q&A

2011-01-27 - Kevin Rutledge

Most of the shocks and struts we submit for warranty to Bilstein, Koni and Sachs for noise issues are rejected and returned to us because there is nothing wrong with them.

Please don't assume the shocks/struts are going bad because they are the most recent suspension part you had installed.  If your suspension starts making noises soon after replacing your shocks or struts, it is more likely other worn out suspension parts. New shocks will increase strain on other parts of the suspension and cause parts to make noise that weren't before.

It is quite common for technicians to blame new shocks for noise issues, especially when the technician didn't sell you the shocks or better yet, when they want to sell you a new set of shocks or struts.

Shocks and struts rarely fail in such a way as to make noise. Squeaking noises are usually caused by swaybar or other bushings that are worn or need lubrication. Clunking noises are almost always worn out bushings, upper strut bearings or even swaybar end links.

ConditionExampleWarranty Status

Coating of film on shock body or piston rod. A completely normal occurrence, not defective

Normal condition, no replacement necessary.
Signs of abuse, improper installation, broken or bent rods, collision damage or modification. Also, shocks used for racing or in race cars.

Warranty has been invalidated.
Unbroken piston rod is separated from shock body.

Include note describing problem, return for evaluation.
Compression depth seems off--check by fully compressing shock and comparing distance "x" to that of a new shock, same part number. If variance between old and new shock exceeds 3/8" (10mm), old shock is defective. Exception: Strut cartridges must compress to their internal bumpstop.

Include note describing problem, return for evaluation.
Clicking noise, plus pronounced endplay--when piston rod is held downwards, compressed halfway, then quickly moved up and down an inch or so in each direction.

Include note describing problem, return for evaluation.