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How to Replace Struts

Amruta Deshpande
Is your car giving you a bouncy or bumpy ride? Are you facing problems in handling the car? It's time to change the struts and shocks. This story gives you a step by step guide to replacing the same.
The suspension system plays an important role in the balance and safety of a car. It influences the control and handling characteristics. The suspension system consists of various parts. Shocks and struts control the speed of the suspension, which is important for keeping the tires in contact with the ground.
So when you experience a rough ride with your car, it may be time to replace the struts. Worn out struts will cause the wheels to bounce unnecessarily while driving or when you apply the brakes.
It is recommended by most car manufacturers to get your struts replaced every 40,000 miles. However, it is always better to get them changed whenever they show signs of going bad.

Replacing Struts on a Car

It is possible to replace struts on your own. All you need is some basic mechanical skills and the right tools. These are some simple steps to guide you through the process of changing struts.
Step 1: Lift your car from the front using a car jack.

Step 2: Spray a penetrating fluid on all the nuts and bolts on the wheels to loosen them up. Then carefully remove the wheel and place blocks under the control arm.
Step 3: Open the hood of the car and locate the strut towers which look like cylinders. In most assemblies, they are held by three small bolts. Loosen these bolts and remove them. Now hold the strut assembly as it becomes loose and may fall.
Step 4: The struts are held by three large bolts to the steering knuckle. Carefully remove these bolts to set the strut free. They may have to be hammered out as they are tightly fixed. Now that the strut assembly is free, pull it out from the car and place it on the ground.
Step 5: The large nut that looks like a disc on top of the strut is the strut bearing. Remove this nut with the help of a strut spring compressor, and hold the strut rod with a wrench below the bearing. The strut bearing and spring is now completely free from the old strut.
Step 6: Assemble the new strut by putting the spring over it and installing the strut bearing on the spring. Replace the large strut rod nut as per the instructions given by the manufacturer.
Step 7: Now install the new strut assembly back into the steering knuckle. Replace all the nuts and bolts and tighten them, but make sure the assembly moves freely. You just have to do the reverse of removing the strut assembly.
Step 8: Once the new strut assembly is in its place, examine all the parts and check the torque specifications.

Step 9: Put the wheels back carefully. Tighten all the bolts properly. Now you can lower your car and remove the jack.

Step 10: Your car is all set to hit the roads.
You can get the struts replaced by a professional, but the replacement costs they quote can be quite heavy on your pocket. It would be better to get the job done yourself if you want to save some money or if you are the 'do it yourself' type.