Does My Vehicle Need To Be Aligned After I Have Strut Replacement
Yes. And your mechanic will complete the repair with an alignment. Many auto professionals recommend an alignment after any new struts are installed. Sure, there are a few exceptions where the vehicle manufacturer does not provide alignment recommendations. But generally, your auto professional will align the car.
Front Vs Rear Strut Bars
Most enthusiasts claim that you need to be an experienced driver to notice the real difference that front and/or rear strut braces make.
To maximize the effectiveness of your strut braces, you need to combine them with aftermarket bushings and ball joints. Add a pair of aftermarket sway bars to that list and youll dramatically change the handling of your car.
Strut braces can be installed either on the front or rear strut towers. Stiffening up the front end of your car will increase understeer and doing the same for the rear end will increase oversteer. However, this heavily depends on the current handling characteristics of your car.
You can either install both or just one, depending on what youre trying to set your car up for.
Shocks And Struts Explained
Your shocks and struts play an important role in your cars suspension system, and they help your tires stay connected to the road when navigating bumps or a pothole. Even seemingly smooth roads have imperceptible bumps, but you wont notice them if your shocks and struts are working properly. If your ride starts to feel bumpier than usual, it might be a sign that your shocks and struts need to be replaced.
While the words shock and strut are sometimes used interchangeably, both parts function differently to support your vehicle.
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Why Is The Spring Seat On The Replacement Strut Bigger Than On The Original Strut I’m Getting Replaced
Many replacement struts are equipped with a lower spring seat that is very large diameter. This is a safety measure and not a defect. This design is also in place to keep a broken coil spring from coming into contact into the tire. Your auto professional will provide clearance and check all parts and components before sending you on your way.
You Might Be Using The Term Incorrectly
Whether your car is set up for performance or comfort, it relies on an array of interconnected suspension components. And the shock absorbers, or shocks, are a critical part of this arrangement. But theyre not necessarily what you think they are.
When most people hear shock absorber, they likely picture something like an extendable metal tube topped with a spring. However, that entire arrangement isnt the shock. Rather, that term refers specifically to the metal tube. And arguably, the term damper better describes what it does, Car and Driver notes. Hence why car engineers generally use that term. More on that in a second, though.
But if thats the case, why are motorcycle rear suspension setups referred to with terms like monoshock? Well, its because these shocks are technically coilovers. And coilover is a shortening of coil-over-shock absorber. As in, the coil spring fits entirely over the shock absorber body. So, its more accurate to say that coilovers have rather than are shocks.
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Shocks And Struts Shot What To Do Next
If you see any of the above signs, if your vehicle has 50K or more on the odometer, or if you just arent sure about whether or not you need new shocks or struts, trust the qualified professionals at My Mechanic. Our friendly team of experts will be happy to check your struts, shocks, front suspension and alignment. We will give you a repair estimate for any work that is necessary and wont pad your bill with unnecessary expenses.
My Mechanic has a solid reputation for quality work and integrity that you can rely on mile after mile. Whether your vehicle needs maintenance, new struts or shocks, or you simply have a question about your car, our professionals will be happy to give you and your car the courtesy and attention you deserve.
Call us today for an appointment or schedule your appointment online. You and your vehicle will be happy you did.
Less Control Over Steering
Shocks and struts grab the road while youre driving, which becomes more difficult when theyre worn out. It becomes even more difficult when navigating curves or corners or when driving on uneven pavement. If youre having suspension issues, your car may start to sway and become less responsive when you turn the steering wheel. It may also feel like it is being pulled in the other direction when you try to turn. More force is then needed to turn the wheel, which then places undue pressure on your power steering components, meaning they will wear out even faster. If you notice issues with steering, shocks and struts may be the culprit, and you should have a mechanic take a look.
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What Is A Macpherson Strut
If you have ever spent time around people who like to talk about cars, youve heard them talk about some mythical thing called the Macpherson Strut. Often, its followed by the words great handling and upgrade.
But what is a Macpherson Strut? Fundamentally, its a suspension part that connects directly to the wheel on most modern vehicles.
While we know its part of a popular suspension design, theres a lot more to it. First, well give you a run-down of what a cars suspension even does. Then well explain the suspension components and how they fit into different suspension systems.
Its only after we explain all that can we talk about what the Macpherson Strut really is. Unfortunately, they wont make much sense unless you understand the rest of it.
What Is The Suspension In A Car
Modern cars are true wonders of engineering. They rely on multiple components and mechanical systems working together to guarantee smooth and safe operation.
However, while most people know a little bit about their cars wheels, steering systems, and brakes, many dont understand what suspensions are or how they work.
Are you looking to find out what the suspension in your car is and what exactly it does? Lets take a closer look together.
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A Comparison Of The 3 Types Of Sports Suspensions
When it comes to sports suspensions, a basic distinction is made between the following suspension types: sports, coilover and air spring systems. But what are the differences?
Sport suspension without thread: The advantages and disadvantages
With normal sports suspensions, the combination of shock absorbers and springs is tuned to be more sporty than with standard suspensions.
Sports suspensions like the BILSTEIN B12 are made for dynamic drivers. Thanks to a moderate lowering, they offer secure roadholding, even when driving at speed over poor tarmac.
The ride comfort remains close to the standard suspension. This is also because the damping usually remains unchanged at a preset level which ensures uncomplicated driving pleasure.
The disadvantage: In contrast to a coilover suspension, the preset damping is fixed and cannot be adjusted afterwards via a screw thread. This provides less flexibility and adjustment possibilities to the drivers personal preferences. But it is definitely an upgrade over the standard suspension.
What You Should Pay Attention To When Installing: Tv Abe And Parts Certificates
The most common form of approval for modifications to vehicles are parts certificates. In addition, there is also the general type approval for parts that are particularly easy to fit. In contrast to ABE certificates, modifications that require a parts certificate still have to be approved by an expert.
Before buying a sports suspension, you should read the relevant parts report. You can usually find this on the websites or online shops of the various manufacturers.
The parts certificate always states the axle loads and drive concepts for which the certificate is valid. You will also find the maximum permitted lowering range.
After the installation of a new suspension, the roadworthiness of the vehicle must still be checked by a TÜV or Dekra expert. The expert uses the conditions in the expert report as a basis. If you want to have modifications to your car approved, you must bring this document with you to the inspection.
Although a vehicles operating licence expires immediately after the modification, the car may still be taken to the TÜV or Dekra test centre. If the inspector does not find any defects, he issues a certificate according to §19.3 StVZO. With this certificate, the owner can have his modifications entered in the vehicle documents at the registration office.
A good overview of the registration regulations for the various tuning measures can be found on DEKRA Tuning.
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Are New Struts Supposed To Make Noise Are My New Struts Bad
Theres a good chance that you have great replacement struts. But the noise you are hearing after the repair may be due to worn or loose mounting hardware. So, take your car back to the shop and ask your auto professional to check that the mountings. He or she will make sure that they are tightened securely, and look for any other worn suspension components. For a noise coming from the strut, then your mechanic will need to look at the upper bearing plate and replace it -free of charge, after you paid- if this is necessary.
Common Noises From Suspension And How To Repair Them
Your vehicles strut is a huge part of your suspension. Think of your strut assemble taking the place of the upper ball joint and the upper control arm. Based on its design, a strut is very light and doesnt need as much space as the shock absorbers in many suspension systems.
Suspension noises vary and some of the noises are more common than other noises. Many of the noises are very typical and general to a specific component. Lots of auto professionals will know where to check for the cause of issues by performing various evaluations and road tests.
Below are some of the most common suspension/bad struts noises that plague drivers.
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Car Struts Do More Than Absorb Shocks
At first glance, car struts look identical to shockser, damper-and-spring assemblies. Thats because, like coilovers, struts have/are dampers. But while they do the same job, your cars struts have some extra duties.
Although shocks help the rest of your cars suspension do its job, struts are structural parts of the suspension, Car Bibles explains. As in, they not only support some of the cars weight, but they also keep the tire aligned and attach directly to the steering knuckle. If you removed a shock absorber, your car would still handle, albeit poorly. But if you removed your cars struts, it wouldnt just ride poorlyit wouldnt steer or handle at all.
In short, while struts function like shocks in cars, they control more things than just the ride quality.
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The Difference Between Shocks And Struts
When you drive over a speed bump, pothole, or other rough roads, youll be thankful when the shocks and struts on your vehicle are working well. While these two vehicle components are often discussed together, they are individual parts that provide a vital service for keeping your vehicle sturdy and safe. If youve ever wondered about the difference between shocks and struts, this article should shed some light. Lets take some time to break down what a shock is and a what strut is, the duties they perform, and what happens when they wear out.
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How To Tell If Your Shocks Or Struts Are Bad
Its difficult to know just when its time to replace shocks and struts. For one, they go bad slowly, so the reduced ride comfort and road control youre getting dont seem out of the ordinary.
Also, theres no set time or mileage for when aging shocks or struts are due for replacement. You wont find a set service interval in your owners manual.
Third, these parts can be hard to get at, and seeing precisely how worn they are requires expensive disassembly. Thats just not practical or cost-effective.
Bad shocks and struts are diagnosed through other methods. Heres what to look for as telltales:
- Cupping on tires, especially if a rotation was performed on schedule but abnormal wear is still occurring.
- Suspension bushings problems cracking, peeling, off-center.
- Active leaking of oil on parts.
- A rougher ride.
- Bottoming out when going up a parking garage ramp or backing out of a driveway.
- Longer stopping distance.
- Swaying after a turn or lane change or in cross winds.
- Noticeable bounciness after going over dips or bumps.
- Nose-diving when you apply the brakes.
What Do Shocks & Struts Do?
Shocks and struts in good condition help your car handle whatever comes at you on the road bumps, debris, sudden stops, swerving, potholes, wind gusts or sharp turns. They control the side-to-side, front-to-back and up-and-down shifts of the cars weight and maintain optimal tire contact with the road.
Shocks and Struts Arent Just About a Smooth Ride
How Long Do They Last?
Springs: Sprung And Unsprung Mass
The sprung mass is the mass of the vehicle supported on the springs, while the unsprung mass is loosely defined as the mass between the road and the suspension springs. The stiffness of the springs affects how the sprung mass responds while the car is being driven. Loosely sprung cars, such as luxury cars , can swallow bumps and provide a super-smooth ride however, such a car is prone to dive and squat during braking and acceleration and tends to experience body sway or roll during cornering. Tightly sprung cars, such as sports cars , are less forgiving on bumpy roads, but they minimize body motion well, which means they can be driven aggressively, even around corners.
So, while springs by themselves seem like simple devices, designing and implementing them on a car to balance passenger comfort with handling is a complex task. And to make matters more complex, springs alone can’t provide a perfectly smooth ride. Why? Because springs are great at absorbing energy, but not so good at dissipating it. Other structures, known as dampers, are required to do this.
Unless a dampening structure is present, a car spring will extend and release the energy it absorbs from a bump at an uncontrolled rate. The spring will continue to bounce at its natural frequency until all of the energy originally put into it is used up. A suspension built on springs alone would make for an extremely bouncy ride and, depending on the terrain, an uncontrollable car.
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What Are The Many Types Of Fuses
Automobile fuses come in a variety of shapes and sizes. For the various electrical equipment onboard a vehicle, different types and sizes will be necessary. It’s not uncommon for an automobile to have multiple types of fuses.
The sort of fuse you choose will be determined by a number of factors. The make and model of the car, the existing fuse, the electrical circuit, and the electrical equipment it is supposed to safeguard are all included in this list.
Signs Of Shock And Strut Failure
If you notice fluid of any kind leaking from your vehicle, its probably a sign that something isnt right. One cause of leaking fluid is strut or shock damage, which occurs when the upper seals become damaged or worn. This can be caused by dirt and debris getting inside the shock and/or strut. Shocks and struts need hydraulic fluid to absorb the force of the road. Without it, the car can roll more easily.
One of the primary purposes of shocks is to absorb the force of the car against the road. This is especially important when the car is braking. Brakes put force on the wheels to stop them the suspension system directs that force to the rest of the vehicle. Poorly functioning shocks have a majorly reduced ability to absorb the force of a vehicle coming to a stop. A study conducted by the Royal Automotive Club found that vehicles driving on 50% worn-out shocks took an average of 11% longer to stop. At highway speeds, this is equivalent to up to two car lengths, which can easily result in a collision. The ability to stop quickly and efficiently is crucial for the safety of vehicle occupants and other motorists on the road.
Issues with Turning and Acceleration
Loss of Control Over Bumps and Rough Terrain
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Shocks And Struts 101
In many cases, you will have struts on the front and shocks on the rear of your car or SUV. This isnt always true, though. Some cars and light trucks have struts on all four wheels or even shocks all the way around, but chances are that you have two of each.
Struts are a crucial part of your steering and suspension system. While they do act like shock absorbers, they are vital when it comes to the cars wheel alignment and they help keep the tires firmly planted on the road.
Shock absorbers, commonly just called shocks, do what their name implies: They absorb the bounce and shock of the road. You feel far less of the dips, bumps, potholes and speed bumps, which enables you to maintain control of the vehicle.
How do you know if your car has shocks or struts? Your owners manual will tell you, or you can get down and look under the wheels. An easy way to tell is struts have a spring around the top, shocks do not. If in doubt, you can ask a qualified technician, such as a member of the team here at My Mechanic.
How do you know that these important parts need to be replaced other than by mileage? Here are 5 signs that your shocks or struts are worn out