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The struts are a critical component of your vehicle’s suspension system. Struts keep your vehicle balanced and flat while driving, so without functioning struts your car would continuously bounce as it heads down the road.
Struts are one of the toughest and longest-lasting components of your vehicle, but nothing lasts forever. Eventually, they will break down and need replacement. The longevity of your struts depends on several factors, including driving style, road quality, and build quality of the struts themselves.
Read on to become an expert in struts.
What are Struts?
The main job of struts is to support the weight of the vehicle and absorb shock, ensuring proper handling and a smooth ride. Removing the struts would cause the vehicle to fall to the ground.
When you look under your car, you can see the struts contained within the obvious suspension springs. While the springs and struts are different components, they work together. The struts provide support for the suspension springs.
Don’t confuse struts with shocks. The only job of shocks is to prevent the car from bouncing, while struts do that as well as replace the upper control arm and upper ball joint used in conventional suspension systems. Struts play a critical role in not only absorbing shock, but also providing structural support for the suspension system, holding the tire in proper alignment, and supporting the coil spring.
How Often Should I Replace Struts?
There are two ways of answering this question. You can replace struts as part of regular maintenance, relying on mileage to indicate when it’s time for new struts.
Depending on a variety of factors, your struts could need replacement in as little as 100,000km or last for over 300,000km. Typically, we expect struts to be replaced right around the 200,000km mark. Your mechanic will let you know if they think it’s time.
Alternatively, you could wait until your struts are showing signs of wear. A full strut replacement isn’t a particularly cheap service, so it can make sense to hold off on repairs until it is necessary. Your struts will show signs of wear well before driving would become dangerous, so you have a nice window of time to schedule the service.
Signs Your Struts are Wearing Out
There are a number of signs that indicate worn-out struts. Pay attention to the following and bring your vehicle to a mechanic when you notice any issues.
- Knocking sound while driving over bumps.
- Leaking hydraulic fluid from the strut.
- The vehicle continues to bounce after encountering something like a speed bump.
- Uneven tire wear.
How Expensive are New Struts?
If you are questioning the condition of your struts, simply bring your vehicle to your trusted mechanic. They will quickly be able to assess the condition of your struts and recommend a course of action.
It’s wise to replace struts in pairs. If your front driver’s side strut needs replacement, it is best practice to replace both front struts. That will save you money in the long run and ensure that both sides of your vehicle handle the same. How scary would it be to dread every left-hand corner because you only replace your driver’s side strut?!
The total cost for a strut replacement service for a pair of struts, including parts, installation, and the necessary alignment, will be around $1,100. It could be more or less depending on your vehicle, but if your shop quotes you something wildly more or less than that, consider getting a few additional quotes.
Strut Service at Parkside
Replacing struts is a bread-and-butter type of repair for our expert mechanics at Parkside. The whole process should only take a few hours, so there is no need for us to have your vehicle overnight – that being said, there is a chance we’ll have to order the parts from the mainland. Simply get in touch with us to schedule an appointment.