How Do Struts Work?

Man using a tool to assess a lifted vehicle's suspension system around the tire.

What Are Struts?<br/>The struts of a vehicle are essential structural components of its suspension system. A strut assembly houses the shock and spring. It also consists of the strut bearing and steering knuckle.

A strut connects the wheel on which it is installed to the vehicle body. Struts are mounted at the top of the chassis. The primary purpose of a strut is to support the weight of the vehicle and absorb or dampen the compression of the springs and suspension when you drive over speed bumps.

How Do They Work?

A strut connects the upper bearing to the lower ball joint to provide structural support. It moves as the wheel turns. As the vehicle passes over uneven road surfaces, the struts work to prevent the suspension from bouncing excessively, ensuring a smooth ride.

A car can have a strut on its front or back wheels depending on its make and model. Every wheel on a vehicle can either have a strut or shock. Struts affect wheel alignment and braking performance.

Cars with compromised struts are challenging to control. They bounce excessively and roll or sway abruptly when making a turn.

How Long Do Struts Last?

Automotive experts like the team at GreenTech Automotive in Sonoma County recommend replacing struts every 50k-100k miles or 5-10 years. If you’re an aggressive driver and frequently drive on poor roads or use your vehicle to transport heavy items regularly, you will want to replace your struts sooner.

Some common causes of premature strut deterioration include damaged bushings and worn internal components. In some cases, premature wear occurs when the internal oil loses its viscosity.

Signs of a Bad Strut

Here are a few of the most common signs that the struts in your vehicle are worn out and it is time to have your car suspension inspected or struts replaced:

  • Your car constantly moves up and down while driving on highways
  • It tips to one side when you navigate a turn and wobbles around tight corners
  • The front-end dives more than usual during hard braking. You may not notice this sign until you slam on your brakes too hard
  • Your tires bounce excessively after you hit a bump
  • Leaking fluid
  • The front end of your car dives when braking, while the rear end squats during acceleration
  • Premature or excessive tire wear

Strut Maintenance Tips

Why wait for your struts to go bad, repair or replace them when you can prevent problems in the first place?

Here are some ways to keep your struts in top shape:

  • Keep your tires properly inflated
  • Have a mechanic inspect and maintain your struts regularly
  • Try your best to avoid bad roads
  • Go easy on your brakes when driving in stop-and-go traffic

GreenTech Automotive is a trusted car repair company in Sonoma County. We can devise a solution no matter how complex the car problem you’re experiencing. To schedule car suspension strut replacement in Sonoma County, call (707) 545-7076.