I'm not sure about the proper nomenclature but it looks like my rear shock absorber (or a part of it?) has dropped and is stuck at that down position.

enter image description here

Car details: 2000 BMW 320d (first version of the E46 generation)

Is there a proper name for this phenomenon?
Is there a fix? Or should I just get a new one?
Is it safe to drive in the meantime?

Thank you for your help.

  • What is the year/make/model of the car in question? Jul 7, 2021 at 22:34
  • @Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2♦ Sorry, I've now updated the question with those details. Jul 7, 2021 at 23:08
  • Haha ... I've done a lot of work on my son's E46 (2001 330Ci) ... I've grown to hate that car, lol :o) Jul 7, 2021 at 23:24
  • How does the other side look? Jul 8, 2021 at 0:54

1 Answer 1


It looks to me like the dust cover has just dropped down, which isn’t really a problem as far as the operation of the shock absorber is concerned. The shock absorbers are obviously getting old, so it could be a sign to plan replacing them.

This screen shot taken from this video shows that the dust cover should be attached to the rubber buffer at the top - enter image description here The video is titled - “How to change rear shock absorber on BMW E46 Touring”

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