Honda Civic rear struts

I just bought a 1998 Honda Civic. The front struts were replaced just before I bought it, and now I’m told by a mechanic I trust that the rear struts are worn and should probably be replaced soon. I don’t know when or if they had been replaced before. My question: when do the rear struts typically wear out?

Struts wear out under all sorts of different conditions, at different rates.
No way to answer that question properly for you.

If you don’t believe your mechanic, take it someplace else for a second opinion.


Ask your mechanic to show you why he thinks they should be replace. You can also do a quick check - bounce each corner of the car up and down, if the rear corners continue to bounce after you stop pushing, compared to the front corners, then the rears are probably worn out. 13 years is certainly possible for wear, how many miles do you have?

There is no “typical” mileage for struts. They wear out based on the driving environment and mileage.

If the fronts were shot it’s a pretty good bet the rears are, too. If you trust the mechanic you should follow his advice.

The car will handle almost like new with four new struts.

Thanks. I tested the rear right side myself the other day. It bounced back up twice (the second time it came up only a little bit). The mechanic said it felt spongy. He also said it wasn’t critical yet, so it wasn’t a ‘hard sell’. I figure I’ll have them replaced now, when I have the money, rather than later when they fail and cause damage to other areas of the car.

Thanks McParadise,
I had this mechanic check out the car before I bought it, and he gave it a thumbs up. The front end felt solid, but the rear was a little spongy. I’ll go ahead and have the rear struts replaced.

Make sure you check if the timing belt is due for replacement. If it snaps, your engine will become a very large paperweight.

Thanks. I was told the timing belt was replaced some time before I bought it, so I’m good there. The mechanic and I looked at it pretty closely, and the seller had replaced the parts he said he did.

I’d be a little annoyed that the mechanic didn’t catch it on the prepurchase inspection, if indeed you “just” bought the car.

The mechanic and I looked at it pretty closely

Almost impossible to tell how good the timing belt is by inspecting it. It may look perfectly fine…and break the next day.

Go by the time frame and mileage ONLY.

“I was told the timing belt was replaced some time before I bought it…”

Because sellers of used cars never lie about the condition and the maintenance of the car, right?

Unless you have hard-copy documentation that the timing belt was replaced within the last 6 years or so, then you need to have it done. As Mike stated, a visual inspection can reveal a really good-looking timing belt, and that belt can snap the next day. Appearances mean almost nothing in regard to this part.