“Misting” shocks are often misdiagnosed asfailures. When a shock is subjected to rough roads, it’s fluid can become extremely hot. Under these conditions, small amounts of this hot fluid evaporate off of the piston rod while it’s under the dust cover. When the evaporated fluid reaches the cooler outside air, it condenses and forms a film or “mist”on the outside of the shock body. When mixed with road debris and dust, a large film of “hydraulic grime” will often form on the shock. This is a natural phenomenon caused by modern soft suspensions, and rough roads, and is not a failure.
A leaking shock is caused by a worn piston seal which allows fluid to escape from the top of the shock’s body. The fluid is pushed out with each extension, causing almost all of the fluid to escape in a short period of time. At the time inspection, leakers have usually lost all oftheir dampening. Unlike misting shocks, which generally show larges patches of film, a leaker may show signs of fluid that flowed in streams down the shock’s body. Evidence of these streams can most easily be seen when the shock is fully extended.