Changing Your Struts: A Comprehensive Guide
Struts are an important component of your vehicle’s suspension system, and they play a crucial role in ensuring a smooth and comfortable ride. Over time, struts can wear out and lose their effectiveness, leading to a bumpy ride, reduced handling and stability, and even dangerous driving conditions. If you’re experiencing any of these issues, it may be time to change your struts. In this post, we’ll take a look at what struts are, why they need to be changed, and how to change them.
What are Struts?
Struts are hydraulic shock absorbers that support the weight of your vehicle and dampen the vibrations and bumps from the road. They are located in the front and rear of your vehicle, and they work in conjunction with your springs and other suspension components to provide a smooth and stable ride. Struts also play a critical role in handling and stability, helping to maintain control of your vehicle during sudden turns or emergency maneuvers.
Why do Struts Need to be Changed?
Struts are designed to last a long time, but they are not invincible. Over time, they will begin to wear out and lose their effectiveness, leading to a number of problems. Here are a few of the most common symptoms that indicate it’s time to change your struts:
- Bumpy ride: If your vehicle feels bouncy or bouncy when driving over bumps or rough roads, it’s a sign that your struts are wearing out.
- Reduced handling and stability: If your vehicle feels less stable or harder to control when making sudden turns or maneuvering, it may be a sign that your struts are worn out.
- Leaking oil: If you notice oil leaking from the struts or other suspension components, it’s a sign that they are damaged and need to be replaced.
- Uneven tire wear: If you notice uneven wear on your tires, it’s a sign that your struts are not functioning properly and need to be replaced.
How to Change Your Struts
Changing your struts can be a challenging task, but it can be done with the right tools and knowledge. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you change your struts:
- Raise your vehicle: You will need to lift your vehicle off the ground in order to access the struts. You can use a jack or a hydraulic lift to raise your vehicle, but make sure you follow the manufacturer’s recommended procedures and safety guidelines.
- Remove the wheel: Once your vehicle is raised, remove the wheel to access the strut.
- Disconnect the sway bar link: The sway bar link is connected to the strut and needs to be disconnected before you can remove the strut.
- Remove the strut: Use a strut wrench or a socket to remove the nuts and bolts that secure the strut to the vehicle. Once the nuts and bolts are removed, you can carefully pull the strut out of the vehicle.
- Install the new strut: Line up the new strut with the mounting holes and attach the nuts and bolts to secure it in place.
- Reconnect the sway bar link: Reattach the sway bar link to the new strut.
- Reinstall the wheel: Put the wheel back on the vehicle and tighten the lug nuts.
- Repeat the process: Repeat the process for the other struts.
- Test drive: Once all the struts have been replaced, test drive your vehicle to make sure everything is functioning properly.