Struts: What They Are and When They Need To Be Replaced

Struts are one of many important parts that go together in order for cars to operate correctly and give us a smooth ride. Struts are not often mentioned in routine maintenance, but they are an important item that needs to be maintained or occasionally replaced. Read below to learn more about struts.

What Are Struts?

Many people think of car struts and shocks as the same, but they’re actually different. The struts are on the front of the car while the shocks are on the back. Struts are an important part of your car’s suspension system. The main purpose of your struts is to help support the weight of your vehicle and offer you the best ride regardless of the irregularity of the road. The strut assembly consists of varies parts: coil spring, spring seats, shock absorbers, strut bearing and steering knuckle. When we hear of our struts needing work, we’re generally talking about the shock absorbers.

Struts: What They Are and When They Need To Be Replaced

When Do Struts Need to Be Replaced?

The frequency in which you replace your struts will depend on the number of miles you drive and the type of roads you do most of your driving. Testing shows that struts should be replaced approximately every 50,000 miles and should generally be replaced by a certified auto technician. If you do plan on changing them yourself, at the very least, you should have a spring compressor for safety.

What to Look For

The unfortunate thing about spring and summer is that they are known for road construction, which can really raise havoc on your car. You can expect potholes in the road that will affect your car’s ride. But, if they seem excessive, you may need new struts. Here are some signs that you may need to replace your struts.

  • Your car seems to have a little too much bounce when you’re driving it
  • The car seems to sway when you’re going around a corner
  • The nose of the cars seems to almost dive forward when you’re coming to a stop
  • The car bottoms out easily
  • The back of the vehicle bounces up and down a lot when you push down on the trunk or fender. This is known as the “bounce” test.
  • Uneven wear and tear, such as cupping”, on your tires can also be caused by bad struts or shocks

Maintenance on your car can become very costly and often at inopportune times. However, keeping up with regular maintenance and having your struts checked annually can add years to your car.