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


How long can you drive after you are told that the struts need replacing?

As they say; that depends. Struts can last the life of the car if driven only on smooth pavement. We sold a 1994 Nissan last year with the original struts. The car still rode well. We were told at least 3 times by various shops that “we needed struts”.

How old is your car? How many miles on it? Who told you you need new struts and why? The reason for these questions is that many drivers get talked into new struts by service techs (salesmen) on commission.

If the car does not bounce all over, or if the struts don’t leak, you could just keep driving until the ride becomes rough and uneven. They do gradually wear out. In other words, don’t worry, but get a second opinion.

Due to recent advertisement by KYB, a major strut seller, now almost every mechanic you go to would tell you that you need new struts every 50K miles. I have seen them do this even without looking at the car or testing it. So as mentioned above, we need to know what is this advise based on.

@galant I don’t tell my customers that they need struts every 50K.

If they need them, I recommend replacement.
If the ride is fine and they’re not bent or leaking profusely, keep driving.

Are you referring to mechanics working for those big name franchised shops?

There are plenty of honest mechanics out there who don’t work for those guys.
And not every mechanic working for those guys is shady.
I think a lot depends on the attitude of the shop manager/owner.

@db4690; What I said was “now almost every mechanic”, sorry to offend you.
But my quote obviously includes all the chains. The indy shops around where I live could be hit or miss too. Has been very difficult for me to find a good one and I am still looking. You could look in one of my posts ranting about them.

I think you, along with a lot of nice/honest folks we have on this forum, are in the minority.

@galant sorry to hear you’ve had some bad experiences.

To be fair, though, I know plenty of mechanics that have some “strange ideas.”

There is a guy that believes at EVERY brake job, this is what’s needed.
Mind you, this is NOT my philosophy

Machine/replace ALL rotors/drums
Overhaul ALL calipers/wheel cylinders
No exceptions

I am no fool and know that cars in general have gotten more reliable over the years.
Perhaps that philosophy was good a few decades ago.
But no more.
Unless you’re ONLY working on vintage vehicles EVERY day.
How can you justify selling all this work if there are no leaks, no runout, no scored/grooved rotors and drums, the rotors and drums are well within specs and all the guy needs are pads/shoes?

Strut wear is gradual and it’s a matter of how picky the driver is.
Every car I’ve owned I could notice the change in ride by 50k miles and replaced the shocks/struts ~60k miles.
The bumpy roads in my area are a major factor.
I remember getting a ride with the elderly neighbor of a friend and his vehicle was bouncing like a pogo stick.
When I mentioned I think it’s time for new shocks he took offense.
He insisted the car is supposed to bounce over bumps.