Struts and battery connection?

hyundai
elantra

#1

I have a 2002 Hyundai Elantra GT with 99,500 miles.

My question is the following - is it possible that the struts on this car are in some way dependent on the battery?

Here’s what happened to me recently -

I got my oil changed a few weeks ago at a local garage. They also checked my battery and told me it would need to be replaced sometime this winter. They must have disconnected the battery to test it because I had to reset my radio clock. When I drove off, I went through a parking lot with speedbumps and noticed a huge change in the function of the struts - it shook like crazy. I took it back to the shop to ask what happened and they said there was nothing they could have done to cause a problem with the struts. They did examine things by putting it back up on the lift and low and behold when they did that they noticed that all four struts were stuck and not working properly, they were all suddenly frozen. They had no explanation as to why it happened but the mechanic suggested I try driving it for a while to see if they’d get unstuck on their own. I did some research and found a few mentions on the web about other Hyundais doing the same thing when they’re put up on a lift that doesn’t lift by the tires and they’re hanging unsupported in that position for an extended period of time. I’ve driven a few hundred miles since then and I think they improved some over this time but they still didn’t seem right. This week my battery died and I had to get it replaced. After replacing the battery, I think my struts are working a lot better. So I’m trying to figure out what’s going on. The mechanic said there was no connection between my battery and my struts but I’m starting to wonder. Is it possible that my struts get some type of benefit from having a fully charged battery? Why would my struts have frozen in the first place after being on a lift for an oil change and having a battery check? I had gone to same garage for my prior oil change and didn’t have any problems after that one, but I don’t think they checked my battery last time.

Thanks,
Kelly


#2

No, there is no connection between the two events.
This is a case of coincidence, pure & simple.

As to what happened to the struts, this is not limited to Hyundais or any other make, but, instead is something that can happen to any car with a lot of miles on the odometer if it is put on a chassis lift, instead of a lift that supports the wheels. Your old, worn struts, “overextended” (for lack of a better term), when the wheels were unsupported and they are unlikely to recover.

I would suggest that you begin shopping around for prices for replacement of the 4 struts.


#3

When you raise a car on a lift, the suspensions hangs down at the bottom extreme of travel. Think of this…when you have a flat tire, you jack up the car until the wheel is hanging off the ground so you can change it. When you do this, it’s the strut that everything hangs on and keeps things from falling apart. Putting the car on a hoist does the same thing, just all 4 wheels at the same time.

For some reason, Hyundai struts have a tendency–more than other makes–to seize in place once extended beyond their normal travel. Perhaps there’s a problem with the valving in the strut or perhaps there’s some sludge buildup inside. A professional group I belong to has discussed and documented this recently.

So yes, your struts worked find before the car was hoisted. Yes, the struts are not likely to function properly again. And no, the mechanic is not to blame for the strut failure. It would have happened the next time the car was lifted up, no matter who did it.


#4

Does this mean that I need to be cognizant of the lift used when my car is serviced?


#5

Almost all cars are lifted by the frame, letting the suspension hang down

Drive on lifts are mostly for alignments


#6

It’s a tough break and can happen to any car no matter the make and model.

A year or so ago I lost a strut on one of my cars after doing a simple oil change. The car rode perfectly line before raising it up and after being lowered the left front strut was never the same again; bouncing like a ping-pong ball being the applicable term.

It might be added that those struts only had 30 some odd thousand miles on them… :frowning:


#7

Life happens


#8

“Does this mean that I need to be cognizant of the lift used when my car is serviced?”

No, because the replacement struts will likely not have the problem your original ones did. Besides, there’s no other way to lift a car for regular routine service.