Not to confuse you with shock, but the strut, too, is responsible for keeping its spring in check. It's more than just a damper, though; struts also add structural integrity to the suspension, so they have more responsibility than shocks. Put it this way: it's possible, though completely dangerous and not at all advisable, to drive a car without shocks--you'd just have the bouncing problem discussed above. But a strut-based suspension without struts would simply fall apart, because the struts are part of what holds the front end of the car together. They're like super-shocks.
Over time, your struts will begin to wear down. We’ll talk about some of the warning signs they need replaced and how much they cost.
How often do struts need to be replaced?
Some manufacturers recommend replacing struts every 50,000 miles, other auto experts say 100,000 miles is a good range. Hawley recommends somewhere in between 60,000 and 100,000 miles.
If you change them as a part of routine maintenance, you’re not going to have any problems.
If the tires are fine, and there’s no indication they’re wearing down, spending $1,200 on brand new ones, that would be tough. Ninety-nine percent of the time, customers call because there’s a problem related to the struts.
How do I know when my shocks or struts need replacing?
This is kind of a trick question, because the real answer is, "You should probably leave that to your mechanic." Shocks and struts aren't like wiper blades--there's no surefire way to determine when they're spent. Accordingly, your first line of defense is taking your car in for an annual suspension inspection. Have our trusted technician thoroughly investigate your shocks and/or struts for signs of failure.
Why can't I just wait until my shocks or struts are totally busted?
That's never a good idea, honestly, but it's an especially bad idea when we're talking about vital suspension components like shocks and struts. One thing you need to know is struts are not simply about giving your car a smooth ride! They're not luxury items; rather, they are integral to car control, so when they fail, your car becomes a hazard to both yourself and other drivers.