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How can I tell if my struts are bad or not?

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Old 03-22-12, 07:56 PM   #1
NyCrAzY
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Default How can I tell if my struts are bad or not?

I've seen many topics about bouncing the car and see how many times it'll bounce back.

But I was wondering if there are any other ways to tell.

I only got my strut mounts changed a couple of weeks ago (along with the front two sway bar links) because of a rattling noise. I should of probably changed my struts too since it's @ 178k miles and was never changed.

My ride is pretty bouncy too. So I would assume the struts have gone bad?

And my mechanic told me to buy a strut ASSEMBLY. Good idea?
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Old 03-22-12, 11:44 PM   #2
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He told you that because then the job is a lot easier for him, and I doubt he'll charge you less because of it. Don't ya just love lazy mechanics?
And cars with struts don't generally bounce (with the bounce test) anything at all like a car with coil springs and shocks did when the shocks are worn. You have to more determine whether they need changing from driving it than bouncing it.
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Old 03-23-12, 02:42 AM   #3
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I am NOT an expert but I have read a fair amount on this topic. The bounce test is useless for struts. As Code58 said, you must assess the struts performance while you drive it under load. Theoretically you could have them removed and tested, but that would cost a whole lot more than replacing them.
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Old 03-23-12, 03:38 AM   #4
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The mechanic should have been able to test the struts when he had them apart to replace the strut mounts.

In some cases, a good mechanic can tell just by driving the car over a bad road that the struts are bad.
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Old 03-23-12, 11:12 AM   #5
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I think we are over complicating the issue.

Struts are more than a shock-absorber, but here the discussion is about the shock-absorber action ... the damping effect of spring-shock set up.

So load the vehicle (full tank) and seat 4 adults and do the bounce check. Proper loading will ensure proper inertia is being added.

Look for leaks and any strange steering behavior (or tire wear pattern) and that should suffice.

The only issue is that you will be testing the system ... [struts and springs]. So if there is a problem with springs only or strut only or both you will not able to distinguish.

Rest is very subjective.

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Old 03-23-12, 05:57 PM   #6
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Yes you probably should have changed them. I just changed mine at 195k and there were no clunking sounds, bouncyness or leaks but the ride was a little squishy and you could feel the tires hopping around over bumpy uneven roads. New shocks made a big difference...im sure they will on any worn 100k+mile shocks
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Old 03-24-12, 02:44 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by salimshah View Post
I think we are over complicating the issue.

Struts are more than a shock-absorber, but here the discussion is about the shock-absorber action ... the damping effect of spring-shock set up.

So load the vehicle (full tank) and seat 4 adults and do the bounce check. Proper loading will ensure proper inertia is being added.

Look for leaks and any strange steering behavior (or tire wear pattern) and that should suffice.

The only issue is that you will be testing the system ... [struts and springs]. So if there is a problem with springs only or strut only or both you will not able to distinguish.

Rest is very subjective.

Salim
As I understand it, you can not bounce the vehicle fast enough to mimic road conditions. The strut may offer little resistance to a hand bounce but work just fine under driving condition. If the struts are totally shot the bounce test will show it. But you would already know that.

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Old 03-26-12, 08:33 AM   #8
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I have been wondering this for a while now I have a 99 with 125k miles and it feels really squishy when riding in it and it doesn't feel like its really hugging the road. Is this just the nature of the vehicle or is it most likely bad struts?
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Old 03-30-12, 09:08 AM   #9
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I don't have an rx, but when driving over rough roads, i hear a rattling type noise, like something is loose. Does this mean a bad strut?/ bad mount? or both. I have kyb's that have almost a 100k miles on them, but only 3 years old
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Old 03-30-12, 09:17 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gray_es300 View Post
I don't have an rx, but when driving over rough roads, i hear a rattling type noise, like something is loose. Does this mean a bad strut?/ bad mount? or both. I have kyb's that have almost a 100k miles on them, but only 3 years old
Could be either the strut mounts or maybe even the sway bar link causing the noise.

Have your mechanic check it out.
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Old 03-30-12, 11:50 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gray_es300 View Post
I don't have an rx, but when driving over rough roads, i hear a rattling type noise, like something is loose. Does this mean a bad strut?/ bad mount? or both. I have kyb's that have almost a 100k miles on them, but only 3 years old
Sounds like a strut mount. But, the only way to know for sure is to look underneath the car and make sure all of the other suspension components are in good condition, including any bushings.
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Old 03-31-12, 10:47 PM   #12
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Ya, im pretty sure the mounts are done then, there was a slight noise before, but now they are bad. So i will just replace the rear struts again cause they are leaking and put th mounts in, just going to keep the springs
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Old 03-31-12, 10:47 PM
 
 
 
 
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