Are rear struts really necessary?

Please help solve a budget/ general debate. We have a 1996 Mazda protege and the rear left strut has no more liquid. We understand that front struts help with the braking, but what about the rear ones?

We have no loads we take in the protege, and it never sees more than two people. We also have no children. As long as the car is not scraping the ground on bumps, do we really need to spend money on fixing the rear struts?

If you ONLY drive city/rural streets and don’t exceed 30mph…shouldn’t be a problem…But shocks/struts also provide stability control of a vehicle…ESPECIALLY AT HIGHER SPEEDS. I would NOT drive on the highway with bad/worn struts…

You absolutely need rear struts. They help keep the car in control after it hits bumps, otherwise with the right (wrong, actually) combination of bumps it can bounce wildly. Just fix them. Even cheap ones are better than nothing.

Struts are very important for the control and safety of your vehicle. You wouldn’t drive on bald tires or with worn out brakes would you?


The spring portion controls the height but the rest of the strut controls the sway and pitch of the car body. Has nothing to do with weight but with control of the car. If they weren’t needed, they wouldn’t bother to put them on the car in the first place.

With a bad strut, that tire is bouncing down the road instead of keeping contact with the road. When a tire is off the ground it can’t help you go, stop, or corner.
I have driven “work” cars with worse things than that wrong with them but I would’t let anyone ride with me.

The age-old mis-conception rears it’s ugly head still again.

You speak of carrying weight and scraping the ground…that’s NOT struts/shocks.
That’s springs. Your springs hold the weight. Front or back, car or truck.

Shocks/struts control the bounce of the springs which need to flex but stop afterward.

Add to that you say only one shock has lost it’s oil and you have a horribly off-kilter, quarter angled, uncontroled bounce that will send you head-long wrestling with the wheel and having no real clue how to conrol the beast.

You say you can’t afford to replace them ?..YOU CAN’T AFFORD NOT TO !

Replace in a matching pair. ( the other side has seen the same miles, age, and conditions as the bad side and won’t last much longer. )

As with all major purchases ( home, car, appliances ) you should already have a repair fund stashed for just such an occasion.
If you don’t ,
This is the hard learned lesson.

You could drive without rear tires but not recommended. The other comments tell it like it is, the purpose of the strut is to keep the tires in contact with the road. Helps when actually driving.