Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Replace Struts?

I’ve been told by an automotive repair shop that I need to replace the struts on my 2001 Maxima with 130,00 miles. Is my chain being yanked or is it a reasonable thing to do, considering the miles on the car?

How much longer are you going to keep it. Likely it’s reasonable, but not if you’re about to sell.

If you purchase lifetime warranted struts, the parts are a one time shot. I replaced mine on my Mazda MPV at 110K, knowing full well that I may only have to pay labor again during the life of the vehicle in my ownership. When viewed this way, purchasing them at your convenience makes as much sense as waiting for a problem or negative consequence to surface.

My wife’s Nissan Sentra has 120,00 miles on it and the struts are still OK. Depending on your driving pattern, and roads travelled you MAY need new ones. As the others say, change them if you are going to keep the car for another 3 or 4 years at least.

Push down on the fender with all your wieght and let go. Does it come back up and stop , or bounce two or three times ? …bounce two, three times, replace.
Are your tires wearing in a wavy or cupped pattern ?.. replace.
Can you hold a corner like you used to ? Change lanes without swerving ? If not, replace.

Only if you like to live.

Living is over-rated. :wink:

On a serious note, the bounce test mentioned above is a good ‘acid test’, and is better than waiting until you see oil leaking down the strut, but car will start to loose its road-holding ability some time before it fails a bounce test. Does the car feel as ‘solid’ on the curves as it did when new, or does it seem to loose its footing due to dips and bumps in the curves?

I am no one to lecture on this subject however, because I seem to let them go until they start to leak oil before I get around to changing them. I should know better.

Strut wear is gradual typically. You usually won’t feel it since the transition from proper to worn is gradual. I usually change them around 100k-150k and notice a significant difference in performance but also have owned mainly performance oriented vehicles.

Strut wear is gradual typically.

Oh this is so true…When I replaced the struts on my Pathfinder I THOUGHT it was still driving fine. It was so gradual I really didn’t notice how bad they got. The front struts were almost completely shot. The rear struts were bad, but still drivable. I couldn’t believe the drive difference with the new struts. Amazing what you can get use to.

Thanks for the replies. It sounds as if replacing them is the safest thing to do, so that’s what I’ll do.

Yes, it’s reasonable at 130K miles. Our 1990 Maxima has 132K and just showing signs of needing front struts (squeeky sometimes going over bumps). Expect to spend $1,000 if you’re using OEM parts and not doing the work yourself.

In complete agreement with you. I have seen recommendations that struts should be replaced something like 50 to 80K miles, and I kind of believe that would be better than driving with them slowly degrading toward nothingness. I didn’t even think of replacing mine till the rear began clunking when running over small ruts in the road (252,000 miles). Think. If the strut/shock absorbers aren’t in close to like-new condition, they can destroy your tires, and new sets of tires do cost money these days! I had been wondering why my newest set was needing to be replaced. Doing it myself was a rewarding experience because it taught me so much while saving a great deal of money. Once you learn how to do it, it is fairly easy.

After replacing the rear struts myself I just purchased the parts for the front struts on-line. . . just a little over $200. The rear struts were purchased locally at something like $300. Double that $500 and you have the $1,000 Cal alluded to, for replacing all four struts.

BTW: When finished with the rear struts, the car’s rear end was riding much higher.