Is your vehicle rolling and bouncing when it shouldn’t?

It might be time to replace your struts. Worn struts increase breaking distances and increase body roll, sway and bounce rate. Properly functioning struts improve braking, handling, and the overall controllability of your vehicle.

To determine if you need to replace your struts, try the bounce test. Bounce on each corner of your vehicle a few times. If the vehicle bounces and settles, the struts are operating correctly. If the vehicle continues to bounce, it is probably time to replace the struts.

Other signs the struts need to be replace include: excessive brake dive, acceleration squat, body roll or sway and unusual tire wear patterns. Unusual noise from the struts can also indicate the spring seat or strut bearing requires replacement.

Strut Basics

While the function of shocks and struts is very similar, the biggest difference is in how they mount to your vehicle. Shocks function in addition to other suspension components, while struts are designed as a pivot point for the steering mechanism. Struts behave as a dampening device that absorbs excessive bounce.

The strut assembly combines coil springs, spring seats, strut bearings, and shock absorbers into one working unit. The steering arm or steering knuckle is also included in some strut designs. Struts use a piston to absorb high lateral loads. The spring seat and strut bearing allow the shock to pivot with the front wheels and the steering mechanism.

Struts and accompanying suspension
components help push tires back into place when one leaves the road. Overall, struts work in conjunction with the rest of the suspension system to help stabilize the vehicle while maintaining a comfortable and safe ride.