A strut in a vehicle is an integral member of its suspension.
It can have an effect on the overall drivability of your vehicle. When you drive your car on the road, you are bound to hit speed bumps, potholes and other obstacles along the way.
The effect of these hindrances is absorbed by suspension parts that give you a smooth and pleasant ride. But why does the strut get a lot of credit? Well, that is because the strut assembly is connected to the wheel assembly and then to the chassis both in the front and back of the vehicle.
Its direct connection to the chassis gives it the power to withstand severe impacts. Which is why when your struts, especially your car’s front struts, go bad your car becomes prone to additional damage. Not only that, but your vehicle’s drivability is affected to the extent that it does not feel safe on the road.
Parts that can tear because of bad or failed struts
Other vehicle components can also get worn out due to ineffective front struts. These parts include:
The front struts are directly connected to the tires which are why if their performance is affected, your tire’s health will also get affected. Similarly, if there is any problem with your tires, you can expect your suspension to give you problems.
In both ways, a major component of your car will get worn out resulting in you spending unnecessary money.
The transmission of a vehicle helps move the car from point A to point B. If the tires are worn out and the front struts are not working optimally, you can expect your transmission to take more stress and work harder. This extra work can damage the transmission before its time.
A failed front strut will cause a change in the car’s wheel alignment. Misaligned tires will put extra pressure on the engine. Your engine will have to work harder than before and that will increase its chances of failure.
By now you might have guessed that front struts and struts, in general, can have a huge impact on your vehicle’s health. In order to save your automobile from excessive damage you need to know the symptoms of a bad front strut that are listed below:
Bad Front & Rear Struts Symptoms
Here are some tell-tale signs of a failing front strut.
1.Weird Knocking Noises from the Fender
The front struts hold the entire weight of the car. They are connected to the chassis directly via the wheel assembly. This is why when you hit a bump in your vehicle, the strut absorbs any jitters and does not let you feel anything. If a strut fails, you are bound to hear a knocking sound as soon as you hit a bump. This sound can increase over time as the strut’s inner components like the shock absorbers and bushings also wear out.
When you go over a pothole, a worn out strut will bottom-out and cause the sound. If you are hearing this strange noise near the front-end of your vehicle, it is time to get a professional checkup. A professional can decide if you need a replacement or a repair.
2. Uncomfortable Ride
Just like in the case above, a strut failure will cause your suspension to not work up to standards. If you are feeling more bumps than before it could be possible that your front struts have worn out, or in the worst case, they are broken.
However, a bumpy ride does not always indicate strut failure. It can also be caused by the failure of other suspension components like bushings or shocks. Which is why it is always better to get an inspection done by your trusted mechanic. He can decide the best course of action. If you are advised to change your front strut, change the strut on both the right and the left end to maintain unity.
3. Unstable Car
One more indicator of a bad front strut is a floating front end. A floating front end can cause your ride to sway to one side. This can cause problems at high speeds not only for you but for others as well. If you are feeling such symptoms you should first get your car’s alignment checked. If the alignment is slightly out of form, get it done correctly.
Otherwise, you could take your vehicle to the nearest mechanic and get a quote for a replacement.
4. Uneven Wear of Tires
We have already discussed the role of tires in making your ride smooth as silk. If your tires are damaged or worn out, you can feel their effects on your drivability. If the shocks are not working up to standards, your tires will take the most damage. Other than that, the tread on the tires will wear out unevenly as the shock absorption is below par.
Fortunately, tire wear is easy to spot and it is one of the first signs of strut failure. So, if you see uneven tire wear, get your wheel alignment checked and then get your struts checked. Since wheel health is so interdependent on the suspension’s performance, you should always get your suspension inspected before and after every tire change. This small exercise would enhance the life of your tires and of your struts.
Struts Replacement Cost
Struts are a big component so do not expect them to be cheap. Furthermore, struts have to be changed in pairs, it means that if you change the strut on one side you have to change the strut on the other side as well. Otherwise, your car will not be aligned properly.
Keeping these facts in mind, you should expect at least $200 for a replacement strut and around $100 or more as labor costs. It could be more or less expensive depending on the make and model of your vehicle.
Therefore, you should get your struts inspected and repaired as soon as you see the first signs of failure. The longer you delay the repair the higher your repair/replacement will go.