Struts are relatively inexpensive and often forgotten. But they are a critical part of the car’s overall suspension system and hold the body of the car off the ground.
Struts incorporate many suspension assembly parts, such as the coil spring and shock absorber, and affect your car’s steering and alignment. They provide support to the suspension springs.
Their main job is to act as shock absorbers to supportthe weight of the vehicle and ensure a smooth ride.
Shocks and struts are terms often used interchangeably, but there are differences. Many vehicles come with struts on the front, and shocks on the back end.
The only job of a shock is to absorb bumps on the road. Like struts, shocks level the car when you drive over a bump and keep the car from bouncing down the road.
Signs your struts are wearing down
Here are a few signs they need to be replaced:
• Hydraulic fluid will leak out from one or more of the struts, if they’re breaking down.
• Pushing the hood car down by hand is another easy way to check the condition of the struts.
This can also be said when you hit a bump while driving. If the car continues to bounce and doesn’t settle quickly, it’s a sign the struts are wearing. A car that bottoms out is also a sign the struts may be wearing out. Bottoming out is caused when the coil springs are worn and allow the car to dip close to the ground or touch the ground after hitting a bump.
• Tire wear or uneven wear is another warning sign, Mogab says. Worn struts can lead to tire cupping, which causes your back tires to sound like a basketball is being dribbled down the road while you drive.