What is the Strut Assembly all about?
The strut assembly, an essential part of your car's suspension system, is attached to the front wheels and is used to absorb road shock, providing a smooth ride. Most cars made after 1995 have shock absorbers in the rear and strut assemblies in the front suspension. Older cars may have shock absorbers at all four wheels. Faulty or damaged struts affect the ride comfort as well as the braking effectiveness.
The strut assembly, located in the front or rear of the car, is basically a shock absorber with a spring coil for additional support. The front wheels have the extra weight of the engine and need extra support to absorb shock from the road. The shock absorber has a piston and a cylinder that contains a gas or liquid substance. The spring is attached to the piston. When you drive over a bump, the piston inside the cylinder moves up and down against the gas/fluid and the spring, absorbing the shock from the bump.
The strut assembly takes a beating over time, especially on bumpy roads. It will eventually start leaking the gas/liquid, leaving you with an unstable or rugged ride. With worn out struts, it is possible that the tires could lose contact with the road and/or the tires will wear out prematurely.
Keep in mind:
- Struts are replaced in pairs (front or rear).
- You may need to take the car to a shop for wheel alignment after this service. A mobile mechanic does not have the machine to align the wheels.
How it's done:
- Verify that the struts are bad.
- Remove and replace the struts.
- Inspect the suspension system for any worn or damaged parts.
You can easily find out if you need new struts by doing a bounce test. Go to the front corner of your car and push down on the front of the car. If your car bounces up and down a few times, it's time to have a mechanic throughly assess the health of the strut assembly as bouncing often indicates a need for replacement.
What common symptoms indicate you may need to replace the Strut Assembly?
- Unstable, bumpy ride.
- Excessive body roll.
- Uneven, excessive tire wear.
- Knocking or other noises when going over bumps.
How important is this service?
The front of your vehicle has a strut assembly to help absorb shock. With so much weight at the front of the car (due to the engine placement), your vehicle needs extra help absorbing the shock and vibrations from the road. The strut assembly is a shock absorber with a spring coil that keeps your engine and cabin from experiencing the full vibrations of the road. When the strut assembly is damaged, it no longer acts as a shock absorber. Without this shock absorber, the ride will become much less smooth and comfortable, and your engine will be subject to potentially damaging amounts of force.