Table of Contents
- 1 How Much Does A Strut Replacement Cost?
- 2 Strut Replacement Cost by Car Model
- 3 Factors Affecting Strut Replacement Cost
- 4 Symptoms of Bad Struts
- 5 Difference Between Shocks And Struts
- 6 How Often Do Struts Need to Be Replaced?
- 7 How To Replace Struts On a Car
- 8 FAQs
- 8.1 Can you drive with worn-out struts?
- 8.2 What does a bad strut sound like?
- 8.3 Should you replace all 4 Struts at once?
- 8.4 How to prolong the life of Shocks and Struts?
- 8.5 What happens if you do not replace faulty struts?
- 8.6 Can a bad strut affect alignment?
- 8.7 How do I know if I need new struts?
- 8.8 How long does it take to replace struts?
Regular maintenance of the vehicle is essential for its longevity and safety. When a vehicle part goes bad, you need to repair it as soon as possible. Timely repairs play a significant role in preventing road accidents. Struts are the most important components of the vehicle’s suspension system. Do you want to know the strut replacement cost?
When the struts begin to deteriorate, they may lead to various issues that may adversely impact the car’s drivability. This article explains the bad strut replacement cost, symptoms, and factors affecting its replacement cost.
How Much Does A Strut Replacement Cost?
The replacement cost of the strut varies according to the labor cost and vehicle make and model. Struts come in pairs. In general, the average replacement cost of a pair of struts is from $380 to $920.
Generally, the cost difference between rear and front struts is not significant, although front struts may be a little costly in certain situations. In this cost, the parts costs are from $240 to $520, with the remaining cost covering the labor involved in the installation process.
Strut Replacement Cost by Car Model
The strut replacement cost is highly dependent on the vehicle model. The following table indicates the replacement costs for the rear and front struts according to the vehicle make and model:
|Car Model||Rear Cost||Front Cost|
|Ford F-150||No Struts||$460|
|Toyota RAV4||No Struts||$370|
|Dodge Ram 1500/2500/3500||No Struts||$440|
|Chevrolet Silverado||No Struts||$460|
Factors Affecting Strut Replacement Cost
The following are the most common factors that affect the replacement cost of the strut:
1) Vehicle Model
The replacement cost of the strut highly depends on the vehicle model. Compact vehicles typically have more affordable struts than SUVs and larger trucks.
However, there are allowances to this rule. If you drive a rare model or a luxury vehicle, you might have to pay a premium cost for the necessary components.
2) DIY Vs Professional
One effective method to save money on strut replacement is by doing the job yourself. But this job needs essential knowledge that this job can be challenging and should not be attempted by inexperienced individuals.
If you opt for an auto repair shop to replace the struts, the labor costs may differ significantly. Local neighborhood auto repair shops usually offer more affordable prices compared to dealerships. However, the most important thing is to find a reliable mechanic who offers a guarantee for their work.
3) Additional Services
When your struts require replacement, it’s possible that other components, such as strut mounts or springs, might also require to be changed, depending on their condition. Including these parts in the replacement process will affect the whole cost.
Moreover, a professional mechanic will likely suggest a wheel alignment after installing new struts. The price of a two-wheel alignment can range from $30 to $110, while a four-wheel alignment may cost more. Taking this step is essential to ensure proper functionality and even tire wear.
With a variety of brands available, some are known because of their low cost. You may also select aftermarket brands for immediate cost savings, but they can’t offer the same durability as OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) parts.
For a better and longer-lasting experience, it is recommended to select either OEM struts or opt for high-performance models from reputable brands like KYB, Monroe, or Bilstein. Although they come at a higher cost, the improved ride quality and durability they provide will be worth the investment. Additionally, they often offer warranty coverage for added protection.
Symptoms of Bad Struts
When the struts of your car go bad, they produce the following symptoms:
1) Strange Noises
Worn-out struts can produce noticeable noise, although it’s not guaranteed. You might hear a hollow clunking or banging noise, particularly when driving over bumps.
As front struts are attached to the steering knuckle, spinning the wheels can also result in audible noises like clunking and creaking.
2) Oil Leakage
The strut of your vehicle contains hydraulic oil that should remain contained within the structure when they are functioning correctly. However, when the struts become faulty, the hydraulic fluid may start to seep from the casing, indicating an issue.
This oil leakage often appears when the seals inside the strut get older. You might not see oil dripping on the ground, but it can collect on the exterior of the struts. To check for this, touch the strut and look for oily residue. If you find any, it probably means the struts are leaking and need to be looked at by a mechanic.
Read More: Causes of Oil Coming Out Of Exhaust
3) Poor Performance
A reduction in vehicle performance is one of the clear signs of bad struts. As struts wear out, various performance issues become evident, impacting both comfort and safety. Accelerating or braking may cause the vehicle to squat or dive, and taking turns may lead to a leaning sensation.
As the strut bearing wears down, steering performance may also reduce, making it difficult to steer and less responsive. This compromised handling and steering pose a significant risk on the road, emphasizing the need for prompt resolution.
4) Rougher Ride
The primary function of struts within the suspension system is to absorb and dampen road flaws. When struts go bad, you will experience increased discomfort while driving, particularly when encountering uneven or bumpy roads.
If the issue is left unattended, the strut may deteriorate to the point of bottoming out. This occurs when the spring compresses excessively and reaches its travel limit. This condition can significantly affect the vehicle’s performance and safety.
5) Uneven Tire Wear
One of the consequences of bad struts is the alteration of how tires make contact with the road’s surface. This can result in uneven tire wear and tire feathering, with an infamous cupping effect on the tread. The bouncing of tires on the road while driving creates low and high areas on the tread, leading to irregular wear patterns.
Ignoring strut issues can lead to further problems, such as tire replacement, which significantly increases repair costs. Addressing strut problems at the first sign of trouble is essential to maintain vehicle performance and prevent unnecessary expenses.
Read More: Tire Feathering Symptoms and Causes
Difference Between Shocks And Struts
Many people use the terms “struts” and “shocks” interchangeably, but they are distinct parts of the suspension system with different functions. These parts are crucial for enhancing the vehicle’s handling and steering, but their operational principles differ.
Shock absorbers function independently within the suspension system, aimed at controlling the movement of the suspension. They do not support the weight of your car; their primary role is to dampen vibrations and shocks.
Conversely, struts serve a dual purpose. They not only act as dampers like shocks but also play a structural role by supporting both the suspension and the chassis. Struts replace other suspension components, such as upper control arms and upper ball joints, and they are designed to bear the vehicle’s weight and maintain the tire’s position. This makes struts stronger and more substantial than shock absorbers and enables them to handle side loads on the suspension effectively.
|Strut requires more installation space.||Shock requires less space for installation.|
|They control side loads and vertical movements||They control only vertical movements.|
|Struts operate as a structural component in the system.||They don’t have any structural role.|
|They assist with the vehicle’s weight.||They don’t support the vehicle’s weight.|
|Struts are parts of the suspension and chassis structure||It is installed independently in the system,|
|They offer damping and support the spring||Shocks dampen shocks and vibrations.|
|The strut controls movement and supports the weight of your car.||The shock controls the movement of the suspension system.|
How Often Do Struts Need to Be Replaced?
Replacing struts is not done as a preventive measure. Instead, it is recommended to start inspecting the suspension for signs of damage after approximately 25,000 miles of driving.
Typically, struts may last between 50,000 and 100,000 miles before they need to be changed. But aggressive driving or frequent traveling on rough roads can accelerate the wear and tear of struts, leading to a shorter lifespan.
As struts wear out quicker, you may also notice other suspension-related problems arising due to these driving conditions. Regular inspection and maintenance are essential to ensure the optimal performance and safety of your vehicle’s suspension system.
How To Replace Struts On a Car
Can you drive with worn-out struts?
Driving with worn struts is not recommended as it can have adverse effects on your car’s handling and pose a safety risk, potentially leading to accidents, especially at higher speeds. If you suspect your struts are worn out, it’s crucial to replace them promptly.
What does a bad strut sound like?
Unusual noises like clangs, clunks, or rattles coming from your suspension are clear indicators of potential issues with the struts.
Should you replace all 4 Struts at once?
You don’t have to change all four struts at once, but it’s usually recommended to replace both struts on the same axle. However, replacing only one strut can impact the handling of your vehicle, and it’s important to be aware of this fact. The cost of replacing two struts may be significant, but prioritizing safety is essential when making these decisions.
How to prolong the life of Shocks and Struts?
To improve the lifespan of your shocks and struts, you shouldn’t drive over bumps and rough roads whenever possible. Regularly have your suspension checked by a professional to identify any issues before they cause damage to the vehicle’s struts or shocks.
What happens if you do not replace faulty struts?
Damaged struts not only lead to further wear on the suspension but also create hazardous driving conditions on rough surfaces. It also affects the steering ability of your vehicle. Reduced control over braking and swerving can be particularly hazardous in cold or wet conditions. Postponing strut replacement will only result in expensive repairs and potential safety risks.
Can a bad strut affect alignment?
Struts perform different functions within the suspension system of your vehicle. It acts as a structural component and significantly influences the wheel’s alignment of your vehicle. Therefore, when replacing a strut, a wheel alignment is also necessary.
How do I know if I need new struts?
When the struts become faulty, they produce different signs, such as vehicle diving excessively when braking, increased bouncing after encountering bumps, the rear-end squatting when accelerating, or loud scraping sounds when going over speed bumps. If you observe any of these symptoms, it indicates that your struts are faulty, and you need to replace them.
How long does it take to replace struts?
The time required for a professional to replace a strut typically ranges from 1 to 3 hours, depending on your vehicle model and professional skills. But for inexperienced individuals, replacing a strut can be a challenging task and may take more than 3 hours.