How to Change the Strut on a KIAby Lee Sallings
The suspension system used by KIA is commonly called a McPherson Strut suspension, and is found on many other cars across the world. The advantage of this system is its light weight, reduced number of wearing parts and improved road feel. Replacing the strut has some concerns over replacing shocks because the coil spring is compressed and attached to the strut. Removal of this spring without the proper equipment can result in serious injury.
Begin removal of the strut by raising and supporting the vehicle with a jack, and with jack stands positioned on the frame. Do not support the vehicle on the lower control arm, as this will load the suspension and make removal of the strut impossible.
Remove the upper strut bolts that attach the strut to the strut tower. These bolts are removed from under the hood, and as they are removed, the strut will drop slightly and fall into the strut tower.
Remove the lower strut bolts attaching the strut to the steering knuckle, and separate the strut from the knuckle. This sometimes requires a few sharp blows with a large hammer. The strut assembly can now be removed from the vehicle.
Replace the strut by positioning it in the spring compressor, compressing the spring, and removing the large nut attaching the strut to the strut mount. The strut will then drop out of the spring. Install the dust boot and rubber bumper from the old strut onto the new strut, and slide the new strut into place. Align the spring on the new strut, and install and tighten the new bolt. If you do not have access to a strut spring compressor, this can be done by your local auto parts store or repair shop for a small fee.
Position the strut in the fender well and line up the upper bolts in the strut tower. Install the nuts and tighten. The strut will then be held while you position the strut and install the lower strut to the steering knuckle bolts. Tighten all bolts to factory specifications. The specifications for your KIA can be found online.
Reinstall the wheel and lower the vehicle to the ground. Drive to a repair shop and get a front end alignment to complete the process.
- Do not try to remove the coil spring from the strut without the proper equipment. The spring stores substantial energy, and serious damage to your vehicle or person can occur if it is not handled properly.