Struts damaged by lifting the car

Just had the routine service done on this car and now it handles like the front strut on the drivers side is bad. Can a strut go bad by taking all of the weight off of it by putting the car on a lift or did the dealer sabotage the strut to get more money?

Year, mileage on car?? Lifting a car will not damage the suspension…

Lifting a car without using proper lift points can cause damage. It may not be on the strut, but wherever it is you need to go back and let them check it out.

Yes. A strut or shock can fail after a vehicle is raised on a lift.

When this happens, the strut or shock is hyper-extended past it’s normal travel when the suspension is allowed to hang. This then can damage the valving inside the strut or shock to where it no longer functions correctly.

This usually happens when the strut or shock is quite old and the valving inside is worn out. The shop did nothing wrong. All they did was reveal that the strut or shock was worn out.


As usual, Tester is correct.

You would not be likely to see this situation on a car with struts that are in good condition, but once they are significantly worn, what you experienced can definitely happen when the car is put on a chassis lift.

It must be that over the past 35 years and the tens of thousands of cars I have lifted I never lifted one with a about to fail strut because this never happened to me.

I have only seen this on early to mid '90s Chevy Luminas and Pontiac Grand Prix’s, with the rear struts, when they rust out and break apart from age. When the car is raised up, the struts or mounts break and the wheel cambers out. If the car is driven away that way, it is usually noisy over bumps and shows rapid tire wear on either edge due to camber.

I see a tag on the original post of Acura RL. What kind of car is this? When was it made? I don’t think I’ve ever heard of it, and I thought I knew of just about everything on the road…

The RL is the “big” Acura sedan. It is a nice car, but is not a big seller, so I’m not that surprised if you haven’t seen one. They come standard with AWD, and the new ones have a 3.7 liter V-6, and sell for over $45k.

Here is a link to a photo of one from a few years ago:

Yep, I’ve had that happen. I had mega miles on my rear struts and when it was put on the lift for something else, they were rock solid and drove like 3 ton truck. I don’t think a fresh one will be bothered but if you had some miles on them, sure. The good news is they needed replacing anyway.

It is a 2004 with only 60K miles on it. But then reading other posts about struts that is a average lifetime for them… Think they could make em better.