How to tell if your strut mounts have gone bad.
If you've noticed a noisy, bumpy ride with some slight alignment issues, then you have deduced that your suspension or steering linkage is causing the problem. A visual inspection can sometimes be a good determinant of where this is coming from. The easiest way to identify a bad strut mount is by looking at the mount itself and how the strut behaves with some manipulation. When you see cracked rubber and/or rusted strut mount bushings, you'll also likely find too much play at the top where the strut rod installs into the mount. This means that the strut assembly is moving very slightly in all directions when it should be completely stable. The results are the steering knuckle will wobble when you attempt to drive in a straight line and the strut will make too much noise when the spring compresses after driving over a bump. This will reduce your ability to corner effectively in cases of emergencies. A worn out strut mount needs replacing as soon as possible, because the safety of you and your passengers should be your first priority.
Why does your car have strut mounts?
The MacPherson strut assembly was one of the most significant automotive innovations of the 20th century. Prior to 1950, suspensions were composed of a system of shocks, leaf springs, and control arms. But the strut assembly combined the shock with a coil spring, mounted it directly to the steering knuckle at the bottom and to a strut mount
at the top. This eliminated the need for an upper control arm, reducing vehicle weights by hundreds of pounds and greatly improving fuel economy. The strut mount is a simple bushing bolted to the top of your wheelhouse or strut tower with a bearing in the center. It provided a full 360 degrees of potential range of motion, which offered much better handling during cornering than the older style. On some vehicles, strut mounts are susceptible to rust since the tops can collect rain water under the hood.
For the Do-It-Yourself-er inside you.
In order to change your strut mounts, you must remove other components such as your brakes, strut assemblies, wheel hubs, etc. If you have never done this before or don't know how, we recommend professional installation. But here is a quick how-to for the capable DIY-er.
- First, you have to lift the car, put it on jack stands, and take the wheels off.
- Next, remove your brake caliper from the steering knuckle and rotor. Hang it or rest it so that there is no pressure on the brake line.
- Now, unbolt the rotor from the wheel hub. This may not be necessary on every application, but will make your job easier. You should have the strut assembly fully exposed now.
- Unbolt the bottom of the strut from the steering knuckle, and remove the nuts holding the strut mount to the upper tower. The strut will then come free.
- Using a spring compressor, you can pull the top of the spring away from the mount and shim.
- Making sure that it is completely safe, you can remove the nut that fastens the strut rod to the mount. If done correctly, you will be able to drop the strut mount and replace it with a new one. Once it is torqued into place, you can slowly release the pressure on the spring.
- Lastly, perform all the steps in reverse and observe factory torque specifications. It is best to do both sides of your car, so perform the same job on the other side and you are done.
We've got what you need.
When you've made the decision to buy a replacement strut mount, you want to get the highest quality part possible. At Car Parts Discount, we carry top name brand suspension components from the industry's biggest and best manufacturers. Whether you are looking for original equipment or an aftermarket replacement, we have new strut mounts at amazing low prices. Plus, our shipping is lightning fast. Why buy anywhere else?