Is it dangerous to drive with broken struts?

I have a’98 Ford Escort with 106,000 miles. I drive about 60 miles each day, mainly on county roads - speed limit 55mph. i live in NE Colorado. I have been told that the struts on all 4 axles/wheels need to be replaced at a cost of about $1250. As this is greater than the value of the car, I am not going to do it.

Is it dangerous to drive my car in this condition? If I got a new set of tires (I need new tires anyway) and decided I would drive the car for about 3 more years and then get something else, would it be OK to just not replace the struts for 3 years?

Thanks for any advice.

There’s ‘broken’, and there’s ‘worn’. How bad is the handling? Does it bounce around a lot after you hit a bump? Who told you they were worn out? Have you checked around for prices? Sometimes shops have sales on replacement shocks/struts, including installation.

Is it dangerous to drive with broken struts?

Only if you drive over 30mph…

Dude, you’re not selling it, YOU’RE KEEPING IT !

Get new struts AND tires and it’ll feel like a whole new car, and drive like one too.

Shop around for total price.
Different shops AND different parts places like Auto Zone, or O’Reilly’s.

You can’t afford to ?
You can’t afford NOT to.

If you do any car work at all on your own (or if you have a good friend or relative who is good with cars), search this site and the web for things called “Quick Struts” - they make this a reasonable DIY job. If you don’t mess with cars very much don’t try it though.

Although 106K is not an unreasonable time to need struts, what you really need to do though is answer texases questions. If you put the phrase “you need new struts” through a Mechanic to English translator I believe the literal translation comes out to be “we have been slow and are trying to boost business.” Be especially suspicious if they also offered to change your tail light fluid and filter.

Broken is in the eye of the beholder. If there is evidence of fluid leaking past the shaft seal but the assembly is structurally sound there is no reason to panic. But when the handling becomes loose and the wheels bounce look for some relief from a repair shop or a car lot.

I wouldn’t put new tires on a car with bad struts. That can easily ruin the new tires.

Putting new tires on a car with weak/failing/blown struts is an exercise in false economy.

I’m sure that the OP is correct about needing new tires, but he/she is going to need to replace those new tires very prematurely if they are mounted on a car with bad struts. The reason is that the tires will bounce excessively on the road surface, thus leading to irregular tread wear that takes a very fast toll on the treads.

I know that it is hard to accept “investing” a lot of money in a 12-13 year old car, but getting reasonably-priced struts installed along with new tires might actually cost less in the long run than having to buy two sets of tires during that 3 year period.

And, then there is the issue of safety. Bad struts cause bad roadholding, which is a safety issue. Don’t think of this as merely a case of a car that rides poorly. The car will also be much less safe–particularly on wet or wintery roads.

Give some thought to doing the responsible thing by replacing the struts as well as the tires.

It is really hard for any mechanic to say “go ahead and drive” when a suspension or brake component has a known fault. It is one thing to be driving on a broken part if you do not know it is broken (I am speaking ethicaly) and a completely different story if you do know the part is defective.

There is an entire new area to explore if you want to include the degree of “brokeness” in the conversation. You most often get into this conversation with ball joints as some say any play in a ball joint is to much, but when a ball joint fails the results are much more likely more catastrophic than the results of poor handling (espically if you are used to the poor handling).

Do youurself and everyone else a favor and REPLACE YOUR STRUTS…while you replace your tires. That way you wont go bombing off the road and or drift into the other lane and smash into us…

It is extremely unsafe to drive with broken struts. Your rolling pile of junk will lose traction very easy at higher speeds or bumpy roads. Basically your tire will not keep its contact with the road and make braking and control compromised.

I would get another estimate, $1250 seems way too high unless you there is far more involved.

Don’t bother with tires.

I know there’s this big pile of “you must replace your struts” replies.

But make sure that they’re really “broken” first. Take the car to your best, local, independent front end/alignment shop. Don’t say anything about struts. Just ask them to inspect your suspension. If they also come back saying that you need struts (remember not to plant that ahead of time), then replace your struts.

I drive a '97 Escort. Granted that it spends most of its time on reasonably well kept interstate highways, but I put over 200K on the front struts. When I replaced them it was because the strut bearings were binding - not because I had any problem with the struts. Based on the fact that the ride and handling didn’t change at all I concluded that those original struts were still just fine.

The rear springs on those cars are a weak point. I replace my rear struts at about 150K miles - but the struts themselves were fine. I did just have a broken spring.

Now - since you could be confused you might clarify with them exactly what they claim is broken. If they are talking about springs then you absolutely cannot drive on broken springs.

(I don’t know if this is confusing but the strut itself is just one part of a whole assembly of things - look at the diagram in the middle of this page: - it says its for an Acura but a strut assembly is just strut assembly).

In any case, just get a trustworthy second opinion.

I was told to put struts on a e-39 BMW (1998 5 series)they did not ask me if I thought it needed them, just said ,do it. I wanted to see what the results of my work would be so I gave the car a bit of a round the block test drive first, not so bad at all I thought. When I got the strut free and had access to the shaft I was able to move it up and down in the strut tube as there was no resistance at all. This was after I actually drove the car and was pretty much maybe/maybe not if the struts were bad. Making the call on struts has always been tough for me (unless you have everything free like I did)

1998 Escort- proven vehicle that will last and can go high mileage
You already said you want/need it to go another 3 years and do not mind driving it, put the struts in it, it will make the car handle all that much better and increase tire life. They will also decrease your stopping distance which is a benefit for you. The other things you may want to do is put another tie rod end in the back on the pass. side so it is 4 wheel alignable instead of just 3. 1250 sounds alittle high though, try a big O store and look to pay 289.99 per axle and another 130 for the tie rod deal with a 49.99 alignment, they will make that deal, things that might drive it up is brg plates for the top cap of the strut. Then again you may have been given a quote containing quick struts (Spring and brg plate incl.) Shop that shit… If you quote included tires you can shop a set of those 13’s for about 200.

I have a toyota sienna minivan 2005 with 76,000 miles on it and I have been told to replace my struts to the tune of $1000.00 as part of regular maintenance on the vehicle. I was told it needed to be done at 50,000 miles as part of a regular tune up. My wheels need to be aligned but they don’t want to do this 'til after they have replace the struts. I can tell my wheels need to be aligned, but the struts seem fine as far as driving is concerned. Any thoughts?

What kind of a shop is saying you need new struts? This is a common sales ploy. At 76k it’s getting close to time, though.

You only replace struts when they are worn or broke. Each vehicle and driver is different. Some may last only 50k miles…others may last 150k miles.

If you shop around, you might find a better price for the struts. Look for coupons and advertised specials in the newspaper.