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Mom's struts

Mom bought new tires at a local chain last week and they told her that the car’s struts were “weak” and quoted $850 to replace them.

She said no thanks and that she would get a second opinion.

We pushed down on the front end of the car and it only bounced up once. She hasn’t had any handling or driveability problems, either.

It’s a 99 with 135,000 Good to go?

If those are the original struts I would say it is good to go To the shop for new struts Get a second opinion, but 135,000 is a lot for struts.

With modern suspension the old bounce test is not very accurate. Help keep mom around a little longer. Tell her you want her around a while longer and Offer to split the cost, maybe that will get her to get them replaced.

I actually took a pair of Ford Escort front struts up over 200K. When I replaced them it was only b/c the mounts had gotten noisy & started binding. The new struts that went on ride & handle the same as the old struts that came off. (I also live in an area with very good roads and the bulk of my miles are on the interstate).

I’d just get a second opinion.

Does the suspension bottom out going over speed humps or railroad tracks? Excessive bounce under a big load can mean she needs new struts. But it certainly would not hurt to get new struts. Consider it preventative maintenance and get at least 2 more estimates.

Drove my Honda Accord until it had 280k miles on it. Never replaced the struts or had an alignment. Always got at least 75k miles out of each set of tires. Not that this is the same for all Honda’s, but get a second opinion.

I’ve been told that the bounce test hasn’t worked for a couple of decades except in the a few cases where the strut is actually broken rather than tired where it might produce a click or thunk … and certainly should be replaced.

As far as I can see, the safety aspects of the struts depend almost entirely on the spring which the tire store will reuse anyway unless they install prebuilt strut packages like Monroe Quick Struts. The part that gets tired is the damper part that makes the bouncing go away rapidly. In my opinion – and I certainly could be wrong – strut replacement of non-broken struts is a comfort issue, not a safety issue. Many people feel otherwise – some of them strongly. And some of those people are sincere, not just looking for a boat payment.

All that said, you will probably be amazed at how much better the car will ride with new struts.

If I did decide to replace the struts, I’d shop around for price. Assuming that there is nothing unusual about CR-V strut replacement, I’m guessing that you can get a competent replacement job done for considerably less than the $850 the tire store wants.

If the alignment was able to be put into spec after the new tires were installed (you DID get the alignment checked, RIGHT???), then the next thing you should do is find a bumpy road with two lanes in the same direction, and drive alongside your mom’s car, and see how the tires react to hitting bumps.

If they hit the bump, and then smooth out instantly, then the car is still good to go.

However, if one hits the bump, and then still keeps bouncing a couple more times, they need to be replaced.

I’ve seen lots of cars on the road where the tire keeps bouncing long after the bump is a distant memory, and I wonder how the driver doesn’t feel that happening. Hit a bump mid corner in rain or snow, and you spin out.



We’ll get thee to John (our mechanic) asap.

No, not that I know of.