If you've never experienced worn struts in your car, you may not be able to identify the signs of wear easily. Understanding the symptoms of worn struts may help you to spot a problem before the struts are severely damaged. Here's a look at a few of the things that you can do to determine if your car's struts are still working as they should or if they need to be replaced.
Test the Suspension's Bounce Response
Find a level patch of ground to park your car on. You want it to be flat so that you get a true response from the suspension. Put one of your knees on the front bumper, then lean as much of your body weight as you can onto that knee. Push down with your hands on the hood, then bounce a bit on the bumper so that the car bounces with you.
As you push down on the bumper, quickly move backward so that you're no longer touching the car. Count the number of times the car bounces before it settles down. If you get more than a bounce or two before it stops, your struts are starting to wear. The more it bounces, the more worn the struts are likely to be.
Inspect the Car's Stance
Another indication of worn struts is your car's stance. While the car is parked on level ground, look at it from the front. It should be even. If one side of the front bumper appears lower than the other, it may be because of the struts. The strut on the side that sits lower may be worn, so it's not supporting the suspension the way that it should.
Evaluate the Ride
A car with worn struts isn't going to give you the same smooth ride that you might get otherwise. If you're suspecting that the struts are worn out, find a rough, bumpy road to travel down. Listen for any sounds of clunking that might indicate that the struts are not supporting the suspension. Feel the way that the car rides – if it's bouncy, that's also a sign that your struts aren't holding up.
If you want to make sure that your car is giving you the best possible ride, you should be attentive to issues like these. As with any malfunction or unusual behavior in your car, talk to your mechanic right away if you notice something. He or she can replace the struts for you if necessary. For more information, contact a professional at companies like August European.