There are so many parts of an automobile that come together to provide a comfortable driving experience and one of those systems apart from the engine is suspension. That is exactly what struts do, they provide the much-needed suspension in your car. Struts are designed to support the full weight of a vehicle and prevent it from swaying or bouncing while you’re driving on bumpy roads or sudden jolts like potholes and speed bumps.
They also keep the tire firmly planted on the road surface for better handling and steering response. When you think about all that struts must do for your car, it makes sense if they wear out over time which can cause squeaking sounds when driving or bouncing while driving down a rough road surface.
Hence, it is necessary to have them changed from time to time depending on your automobile’s mileage. The average cost to replace struts on a car is about $600 however, it may vary depending on the make and model of your car.
In the following sections, we’ll discuss what struts are and how they work along with how much replacement cost will be depending on whether you replace just a single strut or both the pair together. So read on!
What Are Struts?
Struts are made with a steel or chrome-plated spring that is surrounded by two coil springs with an attached shock absorber connected to the frame of your car. They are designed to dampen the bounce and sway of your vehicle by providing support.
Struts help hold up the weight of your vehicle with rebound springs which provide flexibility when turning corners and prevent swaying while driving over bumps like potholes, speed bumps and other road imperfections.
They are a key component of your vehicle’s suspension system where they are designed to provide the lift needed for your vehicle’s tire, this allows them to travel up and down as you drive.
Shocks VS Struts – What is the difference?
The easiest way to tell them apart is that struts are responsible for lifting the car, while shocks absorb bumps in the road.
Struts are components of your suspension system that work with your shock(s) to provide structural support when suspending your vehicle’s weight. They provide an upward force when compressing and when you hit a bump in the road, they will be compressed by the weight of the vehicle. As this happens, they will meet resistance which is supplied by their spring design and dampen down any bouncing motion or oscillations.
Shocks, on the other hand, control body lean or sway during turns at higher speeds along with soak up bumps from road surfaces like potholes and speed. Most vehicles use a shock and strut combination.
Bad Strut Symptoms
You can tell if you have a bad strut before you take it into the shop by driving your car around. Here are some of the most common warning signs that tell you that it’s time for struts replacement:
Bumps and Knock Sounds
When driving over speed bumps, you’ll hear a sound that resembles knocking or pinging that is caused by struts with bad seals.
The Ride Is No Longer Smooth
The ride can be very bumpy or your car starts to bounce when you drive over speed bumps, potholes and other road irregularities.
Your car may pull to one side instead of following your steering wheel when you’re driving straight.
Tires That Are Uneven
When one tire wears out before the other, it is another sign that your struts might be worn out and need replacement.
The Vehicle Tilts and Leans
Your vehicle’s front-end starts to lean and tilt more than usual when you’re driving.
Fluid That Has Visibly Leaked
Last but not least, you can tell if your struts need replacement by looking underneath the car for any signs of fluid leaks.
Cost To Replace Struts
As stated above, the average cost to replace struts on a car is about $600 however, this amount will vary depending on what type of vehicle you have.
The actual cost per strut could range from $100 for lower-end vehicles to $700 or more for luxury cars.
What’s worth mentioning is that when one of your struts fails, it usually means that the other one will need replacement soon as well since they usually fail in pairs because when one wears out the other one starts to weaken. That said, it is recommended that you have all four of them changed at once.
In terms of labor, most car shops charge anywhere from $50 to $100 per hour so expect the total cost of getting your struts replaced to be somewhere around $300.
This should bring the average total cost of getting new struts to $900.
Keep in mind, however, that this is just an average cost and if you need any additional parts replaced during the repair process your total price will increase. Examples of these are brake pads or rotors which usually need replacement with your struts due to the car’s weight on them.
Are struts worth replacing?
Struts are worth replacing if they are more than 6 years old or you’ve had issues with them in the past. On average, they last roughly 8-10 years. However, if you have a higher mileage vehicle it could wear down sooner.
Can you drive with bad struts?
Generally speaking, you should not drive with bad struts. The depth of the potholes will make the situation worse and the risk of getting into a serious accident is high. You can also damage the shocks and the ends of your control arms as well as potentially damage other components.
What happens if you don’t replace struts?
If you don’t replace struts, the stability of your car will be compromised. This can lead to swaying motions during turns and an uncomfortable ride. It can lead to uneven tread wear on your tires, poor gas mileage and can result in damage to the brakes.
What noise does a bad strut make?
The noise that a bad strut makes is usually either a pinging sound or a clunking noise.
To sum up the costs related to replacing your struts, it’s recommended that you replace all four of them at once if they are worn out which will cost an average of about $900 or more. However, this is just an average figure and can vary depending on the car shop and some other parameters such as whether or not you need additional repairs done to your vehicle during the strut replacement process.