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how important are struts on a car

I am supposed to have my struts replaced and am wondering how critical this issue is? Also, I want to take my 2001 prius to an independent mechanic to do this work instead of the dealer. Any reason I should not?
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  • edited October 2007
    Why do your struts need to be replaced? It seems too soon to me. There are lots of MUCH older vehicles on the road with original struts. I wonder if someone is trying to sell you something you don't need.

    Who told you the struts were bad, and how did they diagnose this condition?

    How many miles on this vehicle?
  • edited October 2007
    It seems too soon to me. There are lots of MUCH older vehicles on the road with original struts.
    Struts have more to do with mileage...not years. If the op puts miles on like I do..then his 2001 will have about 200k miles, so the struts are probably bad.

    op - Do NOT take it to the dealer for this. Find a good independent mechanic. They'll be done a lot cheaper with as good or BETTER parts.
  • edited October 2007
    You are, of course, correct, which is why I asked about the mileage.

    I also know that dealers are notorious for selling struts to people who have no idea how to determine when struts are worn out.
  • edited October 2007
    I agree that the question is valid and also that the car is old enough that the struts may be shot......and that dealers....and chain shops....and many private shops.... are notorious for selling unneeded struts. I'd also add that the type of mileage is as much a factor as the amount of mileage....been on Mass Ave in Boston lately?

    One thing I'm curious about is WHY the OP is having teh struts changed. OP?
  • edited October 2007
    been on Mass Ave in Boston lately?
    Last friday as a matter of fact.

    You can need new struts if you drive on a bad roads in as little as 40k miles. Use to live on a dirt road....I was lucky to get 50k miles on a set of shocks. But if you travel a lot...even on nice paved highway....very few struts will last 200k miles.

    I agree that dealers and many other mechanics always try to sell you things you NEVER need...ESPECIALLY struts. But a car that's 6 years old....It's well within MY threshold to need new struts so I really don't question it. But when people ask about the Fuel Injection System cleaning or Carbon Cleaning on a vehicle that's only 2 years old...I REALLY QUESTION IT.
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