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secretzone

Rusty Struts

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Hi,

 

The other day I went for an oil change and the mechanics told me that struts are rusty and should be replaced. When I asked him if there is any immediate safety issue, he said there is none, except that it will wear tires out faster. I live in Northeast region and can understand that maybe the rust are coming from salt each winter. Should I replace four struts as suggested? Based on the quote, it will cost me $1000, which is 1/5 of the car value now. Do struts always this costly?

 

Thanks in advance for your time and help.

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trap

How well do you trust the place you took it to?

 

If you trust them then it might be a good idea. Especially if you plan on keeping the car for any period longer then 9 months. Severely rusted struts can be a danger as the spring plate can let loose sometimes rendering the vehicle inoperable.

 

As far as value of the car you will lose more then 1/5 the value at trade in or at time of sale due to an issue like a bad strut. If you have mechanical ability it is fairly easy to install what they call a loaded strut. Meaning one where the bearing plate, strut and spring are preassembled for you. That's what I did for a 93 Corolla. It ran me around $300 an axle.

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How well do you trust the place you took it to?

 

If you trust them then it might be a good idea. Especially if you plan on keeping the car for any period longer then 9 months. Severely rusted struts can be a danger as the spring plate can let loose sometimes rendering the vehicle inoperable.

 

As far as value of the car you will lose more then 1/5 the value at trade in or at time of sale due to an issue like a bad strut. If you have mechanical ability it is fairly easy to install what they call a loaded strut. Meaning one where the bearing plate, strut and spring are preassembled for you. That's what I did for a 93 Corolla. It ran me around $300 an axle.

 

That's pretty good price. Everywhere I looked, a loaded strut costs $230 or so, where did you find them for $150?

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Struts rarely rust to the point of being unsafe before they fail to damp suspension movement properly. You don't need to take anyone's word for anything. Take a look at the struts yourself. If the rust is just surface rust, and they still perform adequately, you don't need to replace them.

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After 10yrs, the suspension on my 98 (4runner) was pretty much shot. Michigan winters are not very friendly to cars.

When i jacked the rear up to rotate the tires, i saw something fall. upon insepction, i found that the top bolt holding the shock onto the frame had rusted off. I changed the rear shocks that weekend.

I left the front end, a while longer, until I found that the vehicle handles like crap (vs our other rides). When I took off the driver side wheel, found that the tie-rod had rusted and broke off - there was nothing holding the sway bar.

 

Several years ago, had a friend with a 2nd gen Integra. she took it in to acura to have them tell her what needs to be repaired. one of the things they recommended was the struts (i repaired everything else - rotors, filters, tires, muffler, etc. )

if she was to keep it, my suggestion was also to change the suspension. it handled like a turd, but due to funding issues, she did/could not. several years later, she finally bought a new car (vibe), and gave her car to a friend.

her friend also never changed the suspension. it got her from point a to b, until 2 or 3 accidents later when the vehicle was totalled.

 

so, whether you change the suspension or not is ultimately up to you.

if the vehicle has more than 50k, you should feel a great improvement to your ride.

 

 

As for pricing,

To have a shop do it, that sounds "normal".

I did mine myself. it was around

$80-100/corner for each shock/strut,

$70 for the tie-rod,

$40 for a top plate (mount?) - only needed one,

$20 for some saw blade/dremmel bits to cut off the rusted parts, &

3hrs crawling under the vehicle.

(i already had a spring compressor)

 

good luck!

tdk.

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Guest Service Manager

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA- the tie rod had rusted and broke off!!!😂

If that had happened, your car wouldn't have handled poorly. Your car would have crashed. The tie rod controls the steering.

 

If, on the other hand, it was the sway bar links that had rusted and broken off, it would make sense, but you seem pretty sure that it was a tie rod...  with the price and all....

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