A suspension strut in a vehicle is an integral part of its suspension system.
It can have an impact on the overall ride quality of your vehicle. When you drive your car on the road, you will inevitably encounter bumps, potholes and other obstacles.
The effect of these obstacles will be absorbed by the parts of the suspension that will provide you with a smooth and comfortable ride. But why does the suspension get so much credit? Well, it’s because the shock absorber is connected to the wheel assembly and then to the chassis, both at the front and rear of the vehicle.
Its direct connection to the chassis gives it the power to withstand heavy impacts. This is why your car will be vulnerable to additional damage if your suspension struts fail, especially the front struts of your car. Not only that, but the drivability of your car will be affected to such an extent that it no longer feels safe on the road.
Signs of Bad Front or Rear Struts
Here are some telltale signs of a failing front strut.
1.Weird Knocking Noises from the Fender
The front struts carry the entire weight of the car. They are directly connected to the chassis via the wheel assembly. For this reason, the struts absorb any shaking when you hit a bump in your car’s road surface and leave you feeling nothing. If a strut fails, you will inevitably hear a knocking sound when you hit a bump. This noise can increase over time as the internal components of the strut, such as the shock absorbers and bushings, also wear out.
If you drive over a pothole, a worn strut will leak down and cause the noise. If you hear this strange noise near the front of your car, it is time to have a professional examination. A professional can decide whether you need a replacement or repair.
2. Uncomfortable Ride
Just as in the case above, a failure of the shock will result in your suspension not meeting the standards. If you feel more bumps than before, your front shocks may be worn out or, in the worst case, broken.
However, a bumpy ride is not always an indication of shock absorber failure. It can also be caused by the failure of other suspension components such as bushings or shocks. For this reason, it is always better to have an inspection carried out by a mechanic you trust. He can decide on the best course of action. If you are advised to change the front shock absorber, replace the shock absorber at both the right and left ends to maintain unity.
3. Unstable Car
Another sign of a bad front strut is a floating front end. A floating front end can cause your vehicle to swing to and fro to one side. At high speeds, this can cause problems not only for you but for others as well. If you experience such symptoms, you should first have the alignment of your car checked. If the alignment is a little out of shape, have it fixed correctly.
Otherwise, you could take your car to the nearest mechanic and get an estimate for a replacement.
4. Uneven Wear of Tires
We’ve already talked about the role of tires to make your ride silky smooth. If your tires are damaged or worn, you can feel their effect on your drivability. If the shocks are not standard, your tires will suffer the most damage. Apart from that, the tread of the tires will wear unevenly because the shock absorption is below standard.
Fortunately, tire wear is easy to spot and is one of the first signs of strut failure. So if you notice uneven tire wear, have your wheel alignment and then your suspension struts checked. Because the health of your wheel depends so much on the performance of your suspension, you should always have your suspension checked before and after every tire change. This little exercise will increase the life of your tires and suspension struts.
Parts that can tear due to bad or failed struts
Other vehicle components can also be worn by ineffective front struts. These parts include:
The front struts are directly connected to the tires, so if their performance is affected, the health of your tire is also affected. Similarly, if you have problems with your tires, you can expect your suspension to cause you problems.
In both cases, a key component of your car will wear out, causing you to spend money unnecessarily.
The transmission of a vehicle helps to 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 withstand more stress and work harder. This extra work can damage the transmission before its time.
A defective front suspension strut leads to a change in the vehicle’s wheel alignment. Incorrectly aligned tyres exert additional pressure on the engine. Your engine will have to work harder than before and this increases the probability of failure.
By now you may have guessed that front struts and suspension struts in general can have a major impact on the health of your car. To protect your car from excessive damage, you need to be aware of the symptoms of poor front struts listed below:
Struts Replacement Cost
Struts are a big component, so do not expect them to be cheap. Also, the struts have to be changed in pairs, i.e. 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 correctly.
If you take these facts into account, you should expect at least $200 for a replacement strut and about $100 or more as labor costs. Depending on the make and model of your car, this can be more, or less, expensive.
Therefore, you should have 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 costs will be.
Hello I’m Magnus, the owner and the writer of this website. I have been working with cars since I was 16 and I’m specialized with in-depth Automotive diagnostics. Also been driving drifting for the last 6 years. I’m here to give you answers to all your automotive questions and I hope that you enjoy our content.