Question about 2002 Volvo S60

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Rear end feels like it is scooting to the right when I hit bumps

My 2002 S60 is FWD with about 130,000 miles on it. The car has never been in an accident. Live in a rural area and use local shops for maintenance. Recently noticed the car was handling poorly. Used to hug the road but now the rear end feels like it is floating/scooting to one side when I hit a bump. Local shop thought it was a rear shock/strut on the driver's (left?) side but didn't want to tackle replacing it. They don't see Volvos very often. They did the bounce test and saw more bounce on the left side than right side although not dramatic difference (they showed me). Took it to the local suspension guy who did not think there was anything wrong with strut/shocks based on my "floating/scooting" description so replaced tie rods and did front and rear alignment. Car goes straight on flat road but no improvement on bumpy roads. Car handles great on flat road, starting to scare the heck out of me on bumpy roads, especially if the bumps are on the left (drivers) side. Literally feels like the rear end of the car is scooting over to the right when I hit a bump on the left. Don't ever get scooting to the left when I hit bumps on the right. No feedback in the steering wheel, just a feeling there's movement in the rear end. Can hear clunk/rattle in rear at slow speeds going over bumps. Noise may be there at high speeds but can't hear it. Tires are relatively new and have been balanced and rotated since this all started about a month ago. Do I just need a new set of rear shocks/struts? Do I have shocks in the rear? Went to see suspension guy today and he said he was going to do some additional research. Only option right now seems to be to replace the struts/shocks to see if that helps. Any ideas? Thanks.

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  • 3 more comments 
  • lelliot3 Mar 12, 2009

    Regarding the locked brake comment - I don't understand how the car could drive perfectly on flat road if I had a locked brake. The issues with the rear end only show up on bumpy roads.

  • lelliot3 Mar 12, 2009

    The response is using struts and shocks interchangeably. How do I know if I have struts or shocks? Does it depend on front or rear or the car model or the specific equipment put on my car?

  • lelliot3 Mar 19, 2009

    I can't see the solution anymore but whoever said the shock (driver's side) was bad was correct. The clunking sound and the feeling of losing control of the car (perfect description of what I was experiencing) are both gone. The service guy said the left shock had no bounce left in it at all. I was really glad he found something wrong!

  • lelliot3 Mar 19, 2009

    bestdarngood (Benjamin) was right on the mark when he said I needed to replace the shocks. $262 for Volvo shocks and $110 in labor and all is well again with my S60.

  • livetech May 11, 2010

    u require the new set of rear shocks urgently.replace it.

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Without looking at it myself, from everything you said, it looks to be time to invest in some new shocks/struts like. The old ones have held up and if you are constantly on rough roads then they will usually go bad sooner. Definitely will be worth the investment.

Benjamin

Posted on Mar 12, 2009

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I would say that would be a good start have the sway bar or swaybar links looked at that would cause that too hope this helps

Posted on Mar 19, 2009

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  • Master
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No, you do not need a new set of rear shocks or struts. Take your car in for alignment. Insist they chech on the back wheels. Your kind of vehicle can be aligned at the rear wheels too.

Posted on Mar 19, 2009

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You have struts on this vehicle .and what it sounds like is one or both of your struts locking up over bumps.like they are frozen making the car leave the ground.please have them replaced and also check alignment in case it is dog tracking in the rear end!

Posted on Mar 12, 2009

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  • 87 Answers

Replace the struts

Posted on Mar 12, 2009

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Replce the shocks in the rear. They are shot.

Posted on Mar 12, 2009

  • Jyackle5
    Jyackle5 Mar 12, 2009

    It depends on the car make and model if you have shocks or struts

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Its your struts. they are bad. its about time for some new struts, considering the miles and age of the car. this is typical experience when dealing with bad struts/shocks...

Posted on Mar 12, 2009

  • Michael Masters
    Michael Masters Mar 12, 2009

    this car has independent suspension so, if the shocks are bad, you will feel like you are losing control during high speeds over rough terrains.

  • Michael Masters
    Michael Masters Mar 12, 2009

    in your case, the struts will be in the front because of the engine weight and, the shocks are in the back in conjunction with the coil spring. the strut is two pieces molded together were the shock is a stand alone piece that gets the support from the coil.

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Check that one of the rear brakes is not locked.

Posted on Mar 12, 2009

  • Ginko
    Ginko Mar 12, 2009

    Check that the right rear wheel brake is not locking when you drive on bumpy roads.
    The most common cause for the car rear pulling on one side is a locked brake.
    The brake may be fine in normal conditions , and lock up because of vibrations.

    The Volvo S60 has also an electronic control for the 4WD traction called Available Dynamic Stability & Traction Control (DSTC) . If the DSTC module is faulty, then you can lose traction on opne of the wheel and get the same problem. In this case find a Volvo qualified mechanic, as the problem would be quite specific of this model.

  • Ginko
    Ginko Mar 12, 2009

    Well, I explained it to you, and I also told you about DTSC giving troubles, more likely than a brake locking up erratically.
    No problem, keep working on suspensions.

    Goodbye


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Hi, You may want to check the alignments again. If they are fine, the problem might be with the suspension.
I couldn't think of any other reason explaining the problem.

Posted on Mar 12, 2009

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