The strut assembly for a car, truck or SUV is a critical member for the suspension family that impacts the overall drivability of the vehicle. While driving any vehicle, hitting bumps and dips along the way is normal and are absorbed by several suspension components to produce a smooth ride.Clunking Noise When Driving Your Car, SUV or Truck Over Bumps?
Within the inner suspension assembly on all four wheels is the strut assembly, which is attached to the vehicle chassis and wheel assembly in the front and back of the vehicle. When the strut assembly begins to show signs of wear and tear or fails completely, it not only impacts vehicle comfort, but can lead to additional damage to other suspension components and potentially unsafe driving conditions.
The struts on a vehicle have a huge impact on other components on your car. Thus, when you experience any of the symptoms or warning signs noted below, it's critical to take proactive measures to have them inspected or replace the failing strut assembly as soon as possible.
Here are some common signs to watch for if you suspect your strut assembly may be failing. The struts are solid units that allow the chassis, wheel assembly and body to move cohesively when a bump is hit while driving.
When the strut begins to wear out, it will produce a knocking or clunking sound that can be very noticeable. The strut is filled with an inner shock, bushings, and supporting components that eventually wear out over time. When compressed, the knocking sound that is often heard is caused by the strut "bottoming out" or metal-to-metal contact. If you notice a knocking or clunking sound coming from an area near the front or rear tires, it's most likely due to worn out or broken struts.
Contact a local ASE Certified mechanic as soon as possible to correctly diagnose and replace the struts if needed. Similar in cause to the above symptom, a rough or bumpy ride can also be an indicator of worn out or broken struts. It can also be a symptom of other parts of the strut assembly such as bushings, shocks or mounting hardware associated with the struts. Either way, when the strut is worn out or broken, one of the first things you'll notice is a much rougher ride.
In fact, you'll most likely feel every bump and crack in the road when your struts have failed completely. If your overall ride is becoming bumpy or rough, contact YourMechanic so they can road test, diagnose, and replace the strut assembly if needed. Like most suspension jobs, it's important to replace both sides of the vehicle at the same time.
You don't have to replace front and rear at the same time, but make sure the same axle is replaced together. Another symptom of a bad strut assembly is a floating front end, or when it pulls to one side. Typically this is an indication of front end alignment that is faulty, however the issue is typically caused by a strut assembly that has worn out.
If you take your vehicle to the local ASE certified mechanic to have the front end alignment checked, the majority of the time a broken strut will be the cause.
As indicated earlier, extensive tire wear is common when the struts are worn out. It's recommended to have the suspension fixed first before replacing new tires, have the suspension aligned, and finally have new tires installed.Are you hearing rattling, clunking, or ringing noises coming from the front of your vehicle when going over a bump? If so, you likely have an issue with your suspension. If left unattended, a suspension problem could cause significant damage to your vehicle, or worse — it could turn into a major safety hazard, endangering yourself and others on the road.
The good news is that this is typically an issue that can be fixed by an experienced mechanic. When you bring in your car for an appointment, our automotive team will diagnose the problem and get it fixed the right way so that you can get back out on the road.
Most drivers can hear that something is wrong, but they are rarely sure of what exactly is the problem. While most modern vehicles tend to have relatively similar types of suspensions, there are many different implementation and component parts.
For the untrained person, it can be difficult to figure out what is causing that annoying and potentially dangerous suspension rattle. Certain types of noises tend to indicate certain types of problems. By listening to the problem, or your description of the sound, an experienced mechanic will often have a solid idea of what needs to be repaired or replaced. Though, to be certain, a visual inspection and subsequent testing will usually also be required. For reference, some common sounds and problems include:.
Notably, this sound often goes away when a vehicle reaches higher speeds. However, that does not mean that there is no problem.
How To Fix Those Annoying Suspension Clunks and Rattles
Alternatively, this sound could also indicate worn-out shock absorbers. Though, it could also suggest other issues, such as a damage to the suspension arm bearings. Ultimately, the only way to be sure that you have figured out the specific source of the problem in your vehicle is to bring it in to one of our experienced mechanics for an inspection.
There is no reason to wait, since the rattle is unlikely to go away on its own. By taking action now, you could save a lot of money in the long run. To set up an immediate appointment, please contact us today at We are friendly, professional, and always offer fair prices. CC image courtesy of Deborah Fitchett at Flickr.
Oil Changes in Diesel Trucks December 23, Texas Law: Tire Disposal views.It's the proverbial twenty miles of bad road. The potholes are worth it, however, for the great weekend of backwoods hiking and exploring. Then you hit the pavement and the rattling starts. Maybe you couldn't hear it on the unpaved road, but every expansion strip on the Interstate makes your car sound like a tin can full of bolts.
What Does a Car Strut Do When It Goes Bad?
Something's loose in your suspension. While there's little chance that your car is going to lose something essential as it goes down the road, chassis and suspension noises definitely have to be checked out for safety's sake. Plus, who wants to drive a vehicle that sounds like it's about to drop to the pavement? If your car has lots of miles on it don't be surprised if some portion of the heavy metal supporting it over terra firma starts complaining.
Unfortunately, finding the cause of the noise isn't so easy. The dynamics of a rolling vehicle, the complex nature of modern suspensions, and the way sounds echo through the chassis and body make it hard to pinpoint the location of a problem.
If you hear a clunk when the suspension works over bumps, you may have excessive clearance in a joint due to wear. It might be as simple as a loose nut on the strut, or something more subtle such as a shrunken, dried-out rubber bushing.
These bulletins are issued by automakers for known problems and often include options to fix your car, such as redesigned suspension parts.
Alternately, you can always call your dealership as they should have all of the up-to-date TSBs for the marques they sell. Suspension clatter is a common problem which generates quite a few TSBs. Some of these entitle you to get the clunk fixed for free, while others may say that the noise is simply a characteristic of the vehicle and should be accepted as normal. Regardless, this is a good place to start.
If no clues are forthcoming, it's time to go hands-on. Rope in the strongest friend you can to assist. For frontend noises, pop the hood and have your comrade press down on the bumper or fender.
Release and lift repeatedly until the suspension is really working. While doing this, listen carefully and use a good light to examine the upper strut or shock mounts and the control arm joints. If you hear anything strange, but can't pinpoint the source, place the end of a broomstick or long screwdriver against your ear and touch the other end to suspected areas.
This works almost as well as a mechanic's stethoscope. Nothing obvious? Then lie down and look underneath with your light. The "dry park check," which checks for free play in the steering mechanism, is less physically challenging. Have your helper sit in the driver's seat, turn the key to unlock the column, then rock the steering wheel vigorously from side to side while you watch the steering components.
There should be next to no visible play.
By the way, if you raise the car by the frame, the suspension and steering parts will be hanging at an unnatural angle, which may hide the looseness you're looking for. So, place your jack and jackstands under the control arms or the rear axle to keep the weight on the suspension components. You can pinpoint bad upper A-frame or control arm bushings by having a helper hold the brakes firmly with the engine idling while shifting from Drive through Neutral to Reverse repeatedly.
Look down over the fender as your helper does this. Some vehicles have substantial horizontal struts that position the lower control arms fore and aft. These are mounted in large rubber bushings, and you can hear these bushings move around if they have any extra clearance here. Mounting points on the frame can rust away, but this causes steering symptoms far more noticeable and worrisome than a mere noise. Older rear-wheel-drive vehicles with a live rear axle and coil springs may have what's called a panhard rod that runs diagonally from the chassis to one side of the axle housing.
The rod's bushings are a likely source of a clunking noise. Worn-out shocks or struts are also common culprits here.Doesn't make any noise on the regular road unless it's a big bump at lower speeds to be heard clearly, but on dirt roads you can hear it rattle a lot.
What else could cause a rattle in the front suspension like this? Hi Cory. In some cases when you drive on rough roads, a rattling sound will not come from a suspension component, but perhaps a loose exhaust bracket or perhaps a loose bushing somewhere.
Q: Rattle sound coming from the front suspension over bumps? My car has an automatic transmission. Tim Charlet Automotive Mechanic. Thank Tim. Was this answer helpful? Thank you for your feedback! Sorry about that. Why wasn't this information helpful? Recommended Services. The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified.
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What others are asking Not enough power when accelerator pushed. A lack of acceleration could be caused by multiple issues. Such as failing spark plugs, failing spark plug wires, failing ignition coils, clogged fuel filter, failing fuel pump, clogged injectors, or possibly even a mechanical issue such as damaged valvesCar struts, like shock absorbers, support and stabilize a vehicle's frame and body. When struts fail, they exhibit a wide range of common symptoms that are easily noticed and identified.
A bad car strut reduces a vehicle's suspension strength and function considerably. A car strut, which is basically a shock absorber with slightly more structural support, typically starts to sag and droop as it goes bad and loses its natural tension properties. The area of a car that a bad strut supports will start to droop and become less stable. A bad strut usually makes a sound--normally, a rattling, loose sound--that's especially noticeable when driving over bumps or rough patches in the road.
This type of rattling is caused by the inner strut assembly smacking against the outer strut assembly as overall strut tension reduces and the bad strut starts to shift and move. Like standard shock absorbers, struts often leak when they go bad. Most struts use various types of hydraulic-type fluid to produce the necessary tension and force required to provide adequate vehicle suspension.
A bad strut often develops cracks in its body or around the strut seals that enable its inner hydraulic fluid to leak out. A bad strut often shakes uncontrollably in response to severely bumpy or uneven terrain. Because of a bad strut's loss of tension and support capabilities, rough terrain causes a bad or weakened strut to bounce and shake uncontrollably as vehicle's weight is forced up and down in response to road conditions, conditions a bad strut can no longer handle.
In severe cases, a bad strut can break, leaving that area of a vehicle with virtually no structural support. Broken struts tend to happen to severely depleted or neglected struts that have shown several warning signs of impending failure or dysfunction.
Leaks Like standard shock absorbers, struts often leak when they go bad. Shakes A bad strut often shakes uncontrollably in response to severely bumpy or uneven terrain. Breaks In severe cases, a bad strut can break, leaving that area of a vehicle with virtually no structural support.The market must be fully determined for bets to stand For example, first player to score or time of the first goal bets will stand provided a goal has been scored at the time of abandonment.
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Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Strut Assembly
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