How Do You Know If You Need New Struts?

Your struts work with the suspension of your vehicle to provide you with a balanced and comfortable ride, regardless of the terrain you are driving on. Since there isn't a specific mileage at which you should replace your struts, it is normal to wonder how you should know if they need to be replaced.

Driving the Car Feels Like You Are On a Roller Coaster

Unless you're on a very specific section of road that is full of bumps and problems, your drive should feel smooth and calm. If you feel like you're on a roller coaster, then chances are that your struts have worn down. Your suspension doesn't have the support it needs, and it can lead to problems with this part of your car later. For example, the excess bouncing may knock other suspension pieces loose.

Car Bounces

When you shut the hood, does your car bounce? It should go down and then straight back up again. If it bounces at all, you need to get your struts checked and replaced if necessary.

You may also notice this when it comes to going over bumps. You should only feel the initial bounce going over them and not any subsequent bounces afterwards. When you hit a bump, you also should find that the bottom of the car doesn't go too low to the ground.

Leaking Fluid

Look out for hydraulic fluid leaking. This usually happens as the struts start to break down, which is a sign that they need replacing immediately. You're more likely to feel it than see it, unless it has pooled on the floor. The hydraulic fluid is clear and the actual strut that is wearing will be moist from where the fluid is leaking.

Uneven Tire Wear

Tires cup when the struts start to wear down, and your tires will start to bounce along the road. This leads to uneven wear, especially along the middle. You may see spots of worn tire and then spots of low wear in a pattern due to the speed and pattern of the bouncing. One side of the car may experience it more than the other.

Feels Like Rolling

When you go around the corner at a safe speed, you shouldn't feel like the car is going to roll. As struts became less and less supportive, your vehicle becomes more of a safety hazard to drive. This is especially true when turning the vehicle.

As the struts start to wear, they won't be able to support the vehicle as much, and it causes a safety risk. This can occur on smaller turns, as well as larger, sharper corners.

As you can see, your struts do give you all kinds of warning signs to indicate they are nearing the end of their lifespan. If you pay attention to your vehicle and the way it feels when you are driving, you will not have any trouble spotting a problem before it gets too serious. Contact an auto repair center for more information.