National average cost of a a Front Strut Replacement for popular vehicles:
Avg. cost $287
Avg. cost $363
What is a strut and how does it work?
A strut, or strut assembly, is a component of the suspension system used on most passenger vehicles today. Struts (often referred to as MacPherson struts, named for their inventor) are used with independent suspensions, as opposed to cars and trucks that have a straight axle or double wishbone suspension and rely on a set of leaf or coil springs and shock absorbers. A strut is made up of a strut body, a coil spring, and a dampening device similar to a shock absorber. All of these components are tied together in a single assembly with a rotating plate at the top (the upper strut mount). This arrangement allows the top of the strut to act as the upper pivot point for the suspension. On a front strut assembly, this upper pivot point also allows the suspension to turn with the steering wheel.
How do I know if a strut assembly needs to be replaced?
The suspension is tasked with “suspending” your vehicle over the wheels and tires. It helps to absorb bumps in the road and to compensate for weight shifts when you turn. The suspension is also designed to keep your wheels in constant contact with the road. The front strut assemblies are integral to both the suspension and steering of a vehicle with independent front suspension. If a front strut goes bad, you will notice one or more of the following signs:
Knocking or thumping sounds while driving
An unusually rough ride or one that seems too soft
Excessive body roll when turning
Bouncing while braking
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To replace a front strut assembly, a mechanic will first need to safely lift and support your vehicle off of the ground and remove the wheels and tires. From there, the following general steps are necessary:
Remove the brake hose from its mount on the strut assembly
Detach the stabilizer bar link (in some cases) from the strut
Remove the bolts that fasten the strut to the steering knuckle
Separate the top of the knuckle from the upper control arm ball joint (on some vehicles)
Remove the upper strut mount at the top of the shock tower
Free the strut assembly from the vehicle
Insert the top mount of the new strut assembly into the strut tower and fasten the retaining nuts
Reattach the knuckle, upper control arm ball joint (when necessary), sway bar link, and brake line
Reinstall the wheel and tire and lower the vehicle
In many cases, a wheel alignment will also be necessary
Other questions customers ask
Is it okay to replace just one front strut?
Front struts (or strut cartridges) should always be replaced in pairs, left and right. This is to ensure that vehicle handling is even across the steering and suspension systems. Steering and ride stability will be affected if only one side is serviced. For this reason, and to reduce liability, some repair shops will only replace these components in pairs.
Is it safe to drive a car with broken struts?
Driving a vehicle with a broken strut is not only uncomfortable for you and your passengers, it can cause damage to other components of your car. And it can become dangerous. The struts control more than ride comfort. They also ensure that your wheels maintain constant contact with the road, they compensate for weight shifts when turning, and they function as the pivot point for the steering system. Damage to your struts has an impact on control of your vehicle.
Do struts affect steering?
The design of an independent front suspension requires that the top mount of the front strut assembly functions both as the upper axis for the suspension and the upper pivot point for the steering system. The condition of the struts is fundamental to the performance and safety of your vehicle’s ride, handling, braking, wheel alignment, and steering. When the struts become worn, these elements are diminished.
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What parts are related to a Front Strut Replacement?
What are some other common services related to a Front Strut Replacement?
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