It’s important to know how to replace the struts on a vehicle as it’s the struts that keep a vehicle safely on the road.
As with all components, they’re subject to wear and tear. They should be replaced every 80,000 km.
What are the struts on a car?
Cars have either struts or shock absorbers on each wheel. Most late-model vehicles have struts at the front and shock absorbers at the back.
Struts are part of the vehicle’s suspension and steering systems. They connect the front wheels of the car to the chassis. They stabilise the vehicle, absorb the impact of bumps and ruts on the road, and support optimal control and manoeuvrability.
Unlike shocks, which are standalone parts exclusively used to mitigate the effects of rough road conditions, struts have multiple functions.
A complete strut assembly consists of several components built in to one unit: boot kit and bumper, coil spring, spring seat, mount-bearing plate and isolators.
Signs of worn struts
Signs that the struts are dangerously worn include:
- steering is stiff and the car difficult to control
- the vehicle floats around corners
- trouble staying in lane
- braking is inefficient
- the car lurches forward when accelerating
- the car nose dives when the brakes are engaged
- fluid leaks around the wheels
- scalloped wearing of the tyre tread.
How to replace the struts on a car
When replacing the struts, it’s essential to replace both assembly units at the same time. All that’s required is a jack, jack stand, socket wrench, lubricating oil or Q20, and two complete strut assemblies.
- Loosen the nuts on the front wheel, jack up the car, slide in the jack stand and remove the tyre. Locate the strut assembly. Disconnect any wires or components that may be attached to the strut, such as the sway bar or brake line support.
- Apply the lubricating oil or Q20 to the large bolts holding the strut to the steering knuckle. Remove the bolts, using the socket wrench, to separate the strut from the steering knuckle.
- Open the bonnet, locate the strut tower bolts holding the top of the assembly in place. There are usually three bolts, arranged in a circle around a centre bolt, on each side of the engine compartment, near the windscreen.
- At this point, you may want to ask someone to hold the assembly while you remove the tower bolts. Once the bolts have been removed, pull the assembly free.
- Install the new assembly onto the steering knuckle, and replace the bolts. Place the assembly into the strut tower and replace the bolts under the bonnet. Tighten all the bolts with the socket wrench and torque to the strut assembly manufacturer’s specs.
- If necessary, reconnect the sway bar and any other wires and parts onto the assembly unit. Replace the tyre, and repeat the process on the second wheel.
Replacement shock absorbers and struts from Masterparts
Masterparts stocks a comprehensive range of high quality shock absorbers for almost all vehicle models – old and new – on our roads.
Our shocks are manufactured by KYB and Monroe, internationally acclaimed automotive companies that produce innovative, warranty-backed products.
Contact us if there’s a part you need and we’ll be happy to help.