How to Diagnose Bad Struts

by Cleveland Van Cecil

The struts on your car control the balance and suspension of your vehicle. Struts are made of several components including the coil spring, shock absorber, strut bearings and the steering column. The struts not only keep your ride form being too bumpy and uncomfortable, they also keep the handling of the car straight. Struts will wear out over time, causing a variety of shock absorption and steering problems until they are replaced. Bad struts will also cause gas consumption to rise and increase wear on tires.

Testing the Struts

First check the shocks by placing your body weight at the bumper of the car then releasing. If the car bounces more than two times the shocks are worn away and need to be replaced. Look under the car for leaks from the shocks as well, as this will indicate a loss of shock fluid.

Check the springs of your vehicle by doing a visual inspection. If the car looks like it is sitting lower than normal, or if the car is "bottoming out" when it goes over bumps, the springs need to be replaced.

Look at your tires for any strange amount of wear on the inside or the outside of the tires. Your wheel should rub down evenly, removing the tire tread over time. If there is rubbing coming away from the inside or outside of the tire the, struts are not holding the car up properly.

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