Why/When Should I Have My Struts Replaced?

When/Why should I have my struts replaced at John's Auto Pros in Escondido, CA close up image of struts on sedan

The struts on your vehicle are part of the vehicle’s structure. They are attached at the top of the vehicle’s chassis and use coil springs. The struts maintain the vehicle’s height to keep the body off the tires. They also provide a smoother ride. As with other wear and tear items, struts wear out. The spring actually absorbs the bumps in the road. The strut keeps the springs from bouncing too much. Struts will wear out long before the spring – in most cases.

When Should I Replace the Struts on My Vehicle?

The easiest way to tell when the struts are worn is to pay attention to how your vehicle behaves. It’s time to replace the struts if you notice:

  • The vehicle does not take corners as tightly at higher speeds as it once did.
  • The ride is bumpier than normal.
  • When you push the fender down three or four times, and the vehicle bounces more than once.
  • The vehicle bottoms out in potholes or when you go over speed bumps.
  • The struts are rusting.
  • The struts are leaking fluid (the seals are broken).
  • You experience problems with steering.

Many strut manufacturers recommend that you change the struts every 50,000 miles, but that is not necessary. You only need to replace the struts when one or both sides are worn. We recommend replacing struts as a pair – both front struts if a front strut is broken or worn, or both rear if one on the rear is broken or worn.

Struts can often last for the life of your vehicle if you always drive on smooth roads and do not carry a lot of heavy loads in your car. When you drive over gravel roads or a back road filled with potholes every day, the lifetime of the strut decreases.

Why Should I Replace the Struts on My Vehicle?

If you drive with bad struts, you are putting yourself at risk for a wreck. Bad struts could affect steering and increase stopping distances. Additionally, if the strut gives out, the spring won’t be able to hold the vehicle up by itself. The body could rub or fall onto the tires, causing a blowout.

Additional reasons you should consider strut replacement as soon as possible include:

  • Your vehicle could become unstable at highway speeds.
  • Your vehicle could tip to one side in a turn, especially a sharp turn or a turn taken at higher speeds.
  • The front of the vehicle could dive too much if you have to brake hard.
  • If you hit a bump too hard, the tires could bounce on the road and cause you to lose control. Even if the rear tires bounce, you could lose control each time the tire bounces off the road.
  • The tires could experience uneven wear, which could lead to loss of traction or even a blowout.

Contact John’s Auto Pros

If you notice that your struts are worn or if you are not sure and would like an experienced mechanic to check them, contact John’s Auto Pros in Escondido CA for an appointment.