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Hi Guys, Im driving 2011 Xterra offroad version (Pro-4x)
during my last visit for service, my service adviser recommended to change all 4 shock absorbers. but i dont feel any difference in ride (maybe im used to it)., Hence im having second though about this advice.
however i would much appreciate if someone can recommend a self diagnostic way to check shock absorbers conditions and how can we decide whether its time to replace or not.
thanks
 

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2006 Xterra SE
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Visual sign is if there is sign of oil leakage, you typically see them with oily dirt in the lower part of the shock body.
Another sign is noise, probably noticeable if you hit speed bumps at slow speed with the window down you hear then groaning or even the sound of the piston pushing through the hyraulics.
When they are REALLY finished you will notice rebound, you push down on the hood or rear and it bounces, othertimes you see wheel hop on the highway at higherspeed.
The shock absorbers do nothing more than that, absorb bumps, so you'll see of feel evidince that bumps aren't being absorbed. Something visually it's easier if you watch while someone else drives the car and you can follow watching.
 

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Shock absorber does not absorb bumps. That is what the springs do. But if all you had were springs the ride would be very bouncy. The damper (correct name for a shock) is there to control the oscillations (the springs bouncness).

Signs they are bad.
Leaks, physical damage, bushing failure, bouncy/floaty ride. Harsh bottoming out. Generally the ride gets very soft as they go.

For me I started feeling the rear bottoming on big bumps it didn't do in the past. And it would tend to bounce up more after the bumps. Confirmed when inspection showed fresh fluid weeping down the body.

Next up is picking the correct damper to put back in. The Pro-4x has a better than average set of dampers from the factory. Many of the upgrades available are actaully a downgrade from stock. New does not mean better. An upgrade from a non-Pro4x suspension may not be as good as your aged Pro4x suspension.

Unless they provide an actual reason for getting new shocks I would blow off the service adviser. There job is to sell. Weather you need it or not. Many of them will look at the age/mileage and automatically decide that you need a service regardless of if it is actually needed or not.
 
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