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2018 Outback 3.6R Limited
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181 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Over the last couple of days I've noticed what I would call a short hissing noise from the front right when I go over speed bumps, or dips coming into parking lots. My best guess would be air escaping from the shock when it compresses. Car is at just over 90,000 miles. Does that sound symptomatic of a shock failing?
 

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Lawn ornament XT
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14,368 Posts
Sometimes you hear the gas and oil rushing around in them even when everything is normal.

It's good that you noticed it, and the next step would be to visually inspect- look for oil leaks and wet spots. If they are dry and damping still feels normal, I'd write it off as nothing to be worried about.
 

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2018 Outback 3.6R Limited
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181 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Sometimes you hear the gas and oil rushing around in them even when everything is normal.

It's good that you noticed it, and the next step would be to visually inspect- look for oil leaks and wet spots. If they are dry and damping still feels normal, I'd write it off as nothing to be worried about.
To my untrained eye nothing looks awry, and nothing has changed with how the car feels. I wouldn't even say that the sound itself is alarming, other than the fact that it is clearly present where it was clearly absent before. My gut told/tells me this isn't an urgent matter and can be addressed at my next scheduled service visit, but thought it worth checking to see if it sounded alarm bells for anyone.
 

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2010 2.5 CVT Limited
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1,525 Posts
All hydraulic dampers make noise when they are compressed or extended. Even brand new ones straight out of the box. The hissing sound is the oil and gas passing through small internal orifices when the fluids transfers from one chamber to another as the piston moves.

Sometimes you hear it more easily because you have the radio off or the window open or you are driving next to a fence or building that reflects the sound back to you.

Hearing the shocks or struts is not indicative of a problem (in fact, if all the fluid has leaked out, the shock will actually be quieter). Finding leakage, seepage or experiencing a tire 'hopping' as the car is driven is an indicator of a failed shock. The old 'bounce' test is not a reliable way to check the condition of the dampers.
 

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2016 Outback Premium 2.5 CVT w/EyeSight+SRVD
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7,258 Posts
Sometimes you hear it more easily because you have the radio off or the window open or you are driving next to a fence or building that reflects the sound back to you.
... or you are driving a 1960s Citroen DS 19. :)
 
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