WHat good is a shield on the front wheel strut?



Howdy. My wife has a 1999 Sable sedan which suddenly started making a tremendous racket that really scared her. Turns out, a shield on the right front strut , that is normally at the base of the spring, broke loose and was rattling on the strut due to the tire hitting it. At the shop, they first wanted to replace the entire strut ($550), when I said no, they agreed to just remove the loose shield. The car seem fine so my questions are:

1. What purpose does the shield serve?

2. Is the car fine to drive minus the shield?

3. Can the shield be replaced without replacing the strut?


That’s not a shield. It’s the spring retainer.

On that so called shield were two metal cleats bolted to the shield. These two cleats retains the bottom of the strut spring to the strut. With this removed the strut spring is no longer retained to the strut. The spring can now slip part way off the bottom of the strut and break.

You need to install another retainer on that strut. And your best source is the local auto recycler.



Tester: Thanks for the help. I kept the parts they took off. It is two parts, one nearly a complete disk and one a half disk. The two bolt like parts that were on the retainer were not given to me. Are those the parts I need? Would a dealer have those bolts? It sounds like the strut need not be replaced. If a retainer retains the spring, how can it fall off like this? Where can I find a picture of the retainer cleats to see if the ones I have are damaged?


One of those plates should have a bent tab with an elongated hole. This mounts to the inside of the strut and the bent tab is retained by the bolt that secures the stabilzer link to steering knuckle. The second plate is then bolted to that plate. Each of these plates should have one curved piece of formed steel bolted to them. These are what retain the bottom of the spring.