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Is it dangerous to drive with broken struts?



  • edited February 2011
    I know there's this big pile of "you must replace your struts" replies.

    But make sure that they're really "broken" first. Take the car to your best, local, independent front end/alignment shop. Don't say anything about struts. Just ask them to inspect your suspension. If they also come back saying that you need struts (remember not to plant that ahead of time), then replace your struts.

    I drive a '97 Escort. Granted that it spends most of its time on reasonably well kept interstate highways, but I put over 200K on the front struts. When I replaced them it was because the strut bearings were binding - not because I had any problem with the struts. Based on the fact that the ride and handling didn't change at all I concluded that those original struts were still just fine.

    The rear springs on those cars are a weak point. I replace my rear struts at about 150K miles - but the struts themselves were fine. I did just have a broken spring.

    Now - since you could be confused you might clarify with them exactly what they claim is broken. If they are talking about springs then you absolutely cannot drive on broken springs.

    (I don't know if this is confusing but the strut itself is just one part of a whole assembly of things - look at the diagram in the middle of this page: - it says its for an Acura but a strut assembly is just strut assembly).

    In any case, just get a trustworthy second opinion.
  • edited February 2011
    I was told to put struts on a e-39 BMW (1998 5 series)they did not ask me if I thought it needed them, just said ,do it. I wanted to see what the results of my work would be so I gave the car a bit of a round the block test drive first, not so bad at all I thought. When I got the strut free and had access to the shaft I was able to move it up and down in the strut tube as there was no resistance at all. This was after I actually drove the car and was pretty much maybe/maybe not if the struts were bad. Making the call on struts has always been tough for me (unless you have everything free like I did)
  • edited February 2011
    1998 Escort- proven vehicle that will last and can go high mileage
    You already said you want/need it to go another 3 years and do not mind driving it, put the struts in it, it will make the car handle all that much better and increase tire life. They will also decrease your stopping distance which is a benefit for you. The other things you may want to do is put another tie rod end in the back on the pass. side so it is 4 wheel alignable instead of just 3. 1250 sounds alittle high though, try a big O store and look to pay 289.99 per axle and another 130 for the tie rod deal with a 49.99 alignment, they will make that deal, things that might drive it up is brg plates for the top cap of the strut. Then again you may have been given a quote containing quick struts (Spring and brg plate incl.) Shop that shit... If you quote included tires you can shop a set of those 13's for about 200.
  • I have a toyota sienna minivan 2005 with 76,000 miles on it and I have been told to replace my struts to the tune of $1000.00 as part of regular maintenance on the vehicle. I was told it needed to be done at 50,000 miles as part of a regular tune up. My wheels need to be aligned but they don't want to do this 'til after they have replace the struts. I can tell my wheels need to be aligned, but the struts seem fine as far as driving is concerned. Any thoughts?
  • What kind of a shop is saying you need new struts? This is a common sales ploy. At 76k it's getting close to time, though.

  • You only replace struts when they are worn or broke. Each vehicle and driver is different. Some may last only 50k miles...others may last 150k miles.
  • If you shop around, you might find a better price for the struts. Look for coupons and advertised specials in the newspaper.
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