I inherited a 2003 Saturn Ion with about 128,000 miles on it. I took it into a shop to get a sense of what kind of maintenance it needs, and I was told that the struts on the front suspension need replacing (the right one is leaking a bit and the left one is just super worn down). The front kind of rattles/knocks if I’m moving slowly or going over bumps, so that makes sense, but I drove it through the mountains for 300mi this past weekend and it felt totally fine. The shop said I should just replace the whole suspension rather than just the struts as it’ll be cheaper (includes the struts and spring).
I’m wondering how long I can drive the car safely before repairing the suspension? It’s an expensive fix; if it’s mission critical I can always hold my nose and put the repairs on a credit card, but I’d rather save up for it if I can.
I don’t intend on selling it any time soon and will probably just drive it into the ground, but I want to take good care of it so it lasts. I tend to drive around 15-30mi on normal days and upwards of 100-300mi on weekends when I go on trips. If I save up for 2-3 months before repairing the suspension, will I be doing irreparable damage or driving unsafely?
Thanks for any help!