Struts are a crucial component of your vehicle’s suspension system, allowing your car to operate smoothly and effectively. Structural in nature, car struts are usually installed at the top of the car’s chassis. They extend down the chassis and provide a place to mount the coil spring, which is responsible for maintaining the car’s height. Both the front and rear struts play a huge role in your car’s overall performance.
However, just like any other car component, struts can wear out over time or sustain damage. And this implies you might have to replace them at some point. But how do you know it’s time to replace struts? Peruse the article and get to know.
You don’t need to regularly replace your car’s struts. However, there are a few scenarios that may warrant their replacement including:
- When your vehicle constantly bottoms out over railroads or bounces as you drive.
- When a qualified technician confirms that the struts are leaking fluid or have suffered some serious damage.
- When they have undergone rusting, which is possible in some climates.
If your vehicle features a strut-type suspension, you can easily spot the struts as the shock absorbers installed inside the coil springs. Struts are popular due to their affordability, making suspension systems less costly as a result. They can be a good alternative to other types of shock absorbers.
They help regulate the level of bouncing created by either dips, bumps, or peaks in the road and also play a vital role when making sudden or hard halts. The term shock absorber can be a misleading name, considering the springs are what actually absorb the road shocks. The struts only minimize the intensity of the bouncing which occurs when the springs compress and subsequently decompress. So, the most appropriate name for struts would be dampers but not shock absorbers.
Usually, when you experience a drop in the quality of your ride, the first that comes to your mind is to have your old struts replaced. Perhaps the campaigns by various strut producers to replace them after at least 50,000 miles have popularized this belief. However, the truth is that unless your vehicle is plagued by excessive bouncing as earlier explained, or leans excessively in turns, you shouldn’t blindly replace your vehicle’s struts. If you didn’t know, there are many potential problems that could result in steering, ride, or even handling issues. What’s more, those unusual sounds could be originating from other devices within your car’s suspension system.
And this is why it’s highly recommended that you have a highly experienced technician examine your car. A thorough inspection will confirm whether the struts are in good working condition or not. The struts could be experiencing a leak, or the rubber bushings that usually act like cartilage protecting a joint could have worn out, permitting metal-to-metal contact.
What’s more, the strut assembly may have experienced extensive damage caused by rusting or due to a natural aging process. Also, don’t forget that the issue could be emanating elsewhere. For instance, bushings as well as other suspension sub-parts, including control arms, tie rods, and perhaps sway-bar links, can also undergo normal wear and tear, resulting in noise over bumps, unstable steering, and more body lean in turns. Moreover, incorrect tire alignment, as well as uneven tire wear, could potentially cause some of these issues.
The more you drive on incredibly rough terrains, or carry bulky loads, the faster your vehicle’s struts will wear out. However, with proper care and maintenance, they can last the life of your vehicle. Don’t always rush to replace your struts anytime you spot a potential problem. Instead, tell your technician whatever you are experiencing and let him determine whether the struts are behind those problems. As already explained, you could be facing a different suspension issue to contend with, or your car could be having an entirely different issue.
Time to Visit Your Fraser, MI Auto Repair Shop?
Feel free to stop in and visit Car Guys Auto Center today or give us a call at (586) 285-4444! We would be happy to answer any auto-related questions you may have. We are located at :
Car Guys Auto Center
32639 Groesbeck Hwy
Fraser, MI 48026