Replacing Struts

Any advice on a national chain that does good work and fairly inexpensively to replace the front struts and then re-align the car too. It’s a 2004 Honda Civic EX and I was not into the quote from the Honda dealer.

Try an independent(ask around) in your area. Chains have a complete variability in quality of work from abysmal to excellent. Chains also tend to oversell work. Case in point I had just serviced my Subaru WRX at the dealer per Subaru maintenance schedule for $350. 1000 miles latter went to firestone car care for new tires(excellent price) and they recommended $600 of servicing. Chains pray on customers trying to make a buck.

From now on I am going to my independent tire dealer who I pay a bit more for the tires but never recommended or swayed me from doing work that was borderline.

If you know exactly what you want, and the chain carries quality parts, they will have the best price. Where I live, the nearby Midas shop does good work, and knows I do not need any exta stuff done. Way back when I had a Ford Granada, this same shop replaced the rear springs on my Ford Granada for less than half what the Ford dealer quoted. They have done CV joints and axles on my Nissan since as well, in adition to several mufflers. Struts on popular cars like yours are a good deal at a chain, provided you can “trust Midas”.

I got four new struts on my 1998 Civic at an independently-owned Goodyear shop. After shopping around at Honda dealers, independent shops, and company-owned tire shops, that was the best deal I could find. So shop around. Call the tire shops in your area and ask if they are company-owned or independently-owned. The prices might vary.

Is it odd to need new struts after driving the car for 3 years? One independedntly owned place thought it was odd, but then another said that he had seen lots of '04 Civics that needed replaced. Has anyone heard of a problem across the board with this year of Civic? Just curious. I’m thinking about getting a second opinion–the Honda dealer said they were leaking, so I figure someone else would tell me that too. Steering wheel vibration was what caused me to take the car in for a “check-up.”

Mine didn’t need replacing until my car had more than 130,000 miles, but I used to drive on the smooth roads of South Florida. It really depends on what kind of roads you drive on. If yours are leaking, they might still be covered under warranty. A second opinion won’t hurt.

When I had the tires replaced on my 95 Taurus (45,000 miles) at a national chain, they told me that the struts were shot.

I knew better & sold the car 110.000 miles later & the factory struts were still in good shape.

As mentioned, get another opinion.

Check the CarTalk web site for recommended shops in your area.

My wife has a 1968 Corvair she inherited from her father. When it needed exhaust work, I took it to two different Midas shops in the same city. The first shop told me it would be a custom installation that would cost many hundreds of dollars. The second shop quoted me $200 and did a good job in one afternoon. (The second shop knew about the first one and had no respect for it.)

Mine are giving me a problem and my car only has 64k miles. What’s up with that?

Why are you insisting on a National Chain. I stay away from those places like the plague. I’ve always been able to find a local mechanic cheaper and a LOT MORE HONEST.

As others have stated…find a good independent…you’ll be better of.

be careful alot of places work on they want people to replace everything.broken or not.of course not everyone looks to take advantage of people…