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What Does a Car Strut do When it Goes Bad?

Hundreds of things can go wrong when a car strut is not working properly. If you are postponing the replacement of your vehicle’s strut (or shocks), this article is for you. 

Here, we will explain what changes a damaged car strut can do to your vehicle and how risky it is to drive with one. 

We all know how a lousy car strut can impact the steering of the vehicle. However, it’s nothing compared to its effect on the stability and safety of the vehicle. 

Keep reading to find out what happens if you don’t replace shocks and struts on time (and how you can avoid it).

Effects of a Bad Car Strut on Vehicle

Here’s how a bad car strut affects your vehicle:

  1. Loss of Handling and Steering

If the strut of your vehicle is not working correctly, it can impact the handling and steering of the vehicle. It is not just about convenience but it can also attract safety concerns due to reduced control over the vehicle.

You will notice that the vehicles start bouncing unnecessarily while driving. It is more prone to do this while taking a turn. 

Most experts recommend you do a shocks and struts replacement at the right time to avoid such situations. 

  1. Affects Weight Transfer of Vehicle

All of the car manufacturers focus on the transfer of weight to provide a smooth riding experience to the user. However, driving with a bad car strut can affect the weight transfer which will eventually lead to the loss of control over the vehicle. 

If you are someone who loves to drive your vehicle at high speed, you can not take chance with a bad strut. You will find it much more challenging to apply the brakes at the right time. 

  1. Excessive Weight on Other Suspension Parts

The complete suspension system includes different parts like shocks, arms, linkage, struts, etc. All these parts bear the weight of the vehicle and give you complete control over the wheels. However, when a strut goes bad, it puts more pressure on other suspension parts.

Thus, there is a heavy chance that the complete suspension system will require a replacement if you keep using a bad strut. Even if there is no other damage, they will start wearing out at a much faster rate.

  1. Impacts Braking Efficiency

You do not need to be a proper car mechanic to know that there is a clear relationship between the suspension and the braking efficiency. When there is some issue with the suspension, the brakes start taking more time to stop your vehicle and it takes longer distances to stop completely.

It simply means there’s an increased risk of an accident because the vehicle won’t stop efficiently.

  1. Tire Wear

Be ready with the tire replacement as a bad strut is going to affect your vehicle’s tire life as well. With a damaged suspension, there’s more pressure on the wheels that leads to the premature wearing of the tire. 

If you feel like your vehicle’s tires are getting worn out at a faster rate, you should get the steering and suspension checked by an expert. Simply replacing the tires won’t help you much.

Easiest Way to Know if the Struts Have Worn Out

If you are not sure about the health of your vehicle’s strut, you can refer to our guide and find out of they need a replacement or not.

Here are some easy quick tips to do it:

Tip1- Check for Noises

A bad strut will always make some noise when your vehicle needs suspension. The best way to do it is by driving through rough surfaces or listening to the noises while going through a pothole.

If there’s some noise, you will need to get the strut checked and replaced. 

Tip2- Check for Excessive Movement

A bad strut car can not absorb the shock and the vehicle starts bouncing over rough surfaces. Instead of a smooth ride, you will feel like you are losing control over the vehicle. 

Tip3- Excessive Swaying

Another way to find out if the car strut is working is by driving the vehicle at high speed. Most vehicles with a bad strut will start swaying and you will always notice it at a higher speed. However, make sure to tick out all other factors that can lead to the swaying of the vehicle before doing this test.

Tip4- Hydraulic Fluid Leakage

The most obvious way to identify a bad strut is by checking for leakage. A worn-out strut starts leaking the hydraulic fluid that is visible to everyone. If there’s some leakage, make sure to get the strut changed as soon as possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Will bad struts cause clunking noise?

A bad strut can make some noises but a clunking noise is usually due to some loose hardware. It is advisable to get your vehicle checked in such situations. 

  1. Can a bad strut cause tire wear?

Yes, a bad strut is one of the most common reasons behind tire wearing. It is because there’s more pressure on the wheels and they start wearing out prematurely.

  1. How bad is a leaking strut?

If a car strut starts leaking, it means there’s no hydraulic liquid left. That is why it is important to change the struts as soon as possible. A leaking strut can stop working anytime.

Where to Buy Car Struts For My Vehicle?

You can find some compatible car struts online and offline as well. We recommend going for online auto parts stores like SuncentAuto, CarID, Autozone, etc., as they offer better replacement options than the offline stores  Also, you can filter for compatible car struts on online websites.

You can also go for marketplaces like Amazon and eBay for some better deals. Make sure to find compatible car struts that work with your vehicle to avoid returns and replacements.



The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

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