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How to Tell If Struts Are Worn Out

by Si Kingston

Struts are not just shock absorbers on most front-wheel drive vehicles. Struts integrate numerous parts of the suspension in one piece, so when they wear out, your suspension begins to fail as well. It is important to look for signs of worn struts in order to maintain your vehicle properly. Professional mechanics can inspect your struts for a hefty fee. To save money, you can determine if your struts are wearing out yourself. To discover whether or not your struts are wearing out, it is important to look for these telltale signs.


Listen for a squeaking noise as you drive over rough surfaces, such as potholes or cracks in the street. A worn strut's inner mechanisms will start to squeak as they move up and down the strut body.


Feel for excessive movement in your vehicle when you drive over rough road surfaces, such as potholes or speed bumps. When struts wear they absorb less shock for the vehicle, and a vehicle bouncing abnormally over rough surfaces is a sign that the struts are wearing out.


Look for excessive tire wear. Since struts keep tires under the proper amount of tension and alignment, a worn strut will affect tire stability and cause abnormal wear to occur.


Drive your vehicle at highway speeds (in appropriate areas) to determine if your vehicle sways a lot. Worn struts will fail to keep your vehicle under control, resulting in excessive sway.


Look for leaking fluid on or around the strut. Most struts are filled with hydraulic fluid that can leak as struts wear down.

About the Author

Si Kingston has been an online content contributor since 2004, with work appearing on websites such as MadeMan. She is a professional screenwriter and young-adult novelist and was awarded the Marion-Hood Boesworth Award for Young Fiction in 2008. Kingston holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Mills College.

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