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Front drivers strut pressing against tire!

I bought a 2004 town and contry last week… everything was fine… about 4 days after i got it i was smelling a burning rubber smell i checked
My front driver side strut is pressed completely against my tire!!
Did the guy rig it to make it sellable?
What caused this?

Thank you

A rusted strut tower can cause that.


But, whatever the actual cause may be, this vehicle is not safely driveable at present, except for a brief, low-speed drive to a qualified mechanic’s shop.

Unfortunately, you have no recourse with this 15 year old vehicle, other than paying to repair it at your own expense.

Even if he did you will never be able to prove it . And since you drove for 4 days it seems like it is more possible that it was ready to break when you bought it.

Looks like the lower spring mount broke off the strut.

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That lower spring mount appears to have a pretty fair amount of rust on it so i agree with Nevada.

The other side is not likely far behind.

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Look at the tires head on, is the tire that is hitting the strut tilted in at the top? If so, you may need a new wheel bearing or hub assembly.

Are there oversize tires on the vehicle? That could provoke this.

Though I do agree that the lower spring mount is likely your problem.

A rusted strut tower would allow the car body to lower and begin to rub on the tire, but the tire’s distance to the lower spring mount would remain the same.

why did your mechanic not catch this possible problem when you took it for a pre-purchase inspection?


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the strut is attached to the knuckle. if the top of strut moves due to rust the gap from knuckle to tire does not change. maybe the actual strut body is bent/collapsed?

I’ve repaired rusted strut towers on two Chrysler mini vans.

You purchase a strut tower repair plate,

And weld it in.


@Tester, the van could have that problem, but that isn’t what is causing the tire to rub against the strut. The issue is somewhere between the bottom of the strut and the wheel or lower control arm. The bottom of the strut could be broken, mounting bolts missing, wheel bearing/hub assembly bad, broken lower ball joint or axle nut backed off or missing.

Yeah! Sure! I could see that!


Yes… we took the tires off on both the drivers and passenger side here it is the lower control arm… Its bent!! I bought one offline it should be here tomorrow

Huh? Who knew? And none noticed it during buying process. Just for giggles. What does your shock towers look like?

If the control arm was bent, most likely the tire would tilt away from the strut. But anything that could bent the control arm could also have bent or broken the bottom of the strut. Look at the drawing that @Tester just posted and inspect the area in yellow and the bolts that are numbered. Also if the control arm is bent, possibly the lower ball joint has also separated and that could tilt the tire in.

Were you going to include a picture?