My wife and I recently acquired her grandmother’s car, a 95 Park Avenue. The car had under 53K miles on it when we received it from her last summer. We’re not approaching 60K. The car was garage kept and driven very little, obviously. Anyway, when I was under the car a couple months back I noticed a oil like fluid hanging from the bottom of the struts (on both front wheels). I don’t know much about suspension so wasn’t exactly sure what this meant… and wanted to seek advice about it. An incident this past week has spurred this on as I was forced to take the car to the shop.
On Wednesday of this past week I hit a rise in the road (a seem that was turned into a bump larger then than a speed bump due to the wonderful midwest winter temperature changes). Immediately after hitting this bump I had a terrible noise which forced me to take the car to the shop. They said the stabilizer bar end link had broken and needed to replaced… $99.20. Sure, okay, fine we did that… even though I maybe could have done that myself. But they also discovered that the struts were leaking and stated they needed replaced… $750 is the price they quoted me… Yikes! The car drives okay and I think I’ve heard a little bit of noise from the front end… nothing major though.
So now for my questions. How urgent is something like this? Will I have other warning signs? Can I do struts myself? (I’m a reasonably good shadetree mechanic but have never done anything related to suspension). With a car this age, what other major expenses should I brace/prepare myself for and what might those cost (approximately)?