Are you suspecting your vehicle may have bad struts?
If your vehicle’s struts go wrong, you should consider it a safety risk because your car is not stable anymore. You’re going to experience poor handling, excessive body roll, a wobbly steering wheel, and poor traction.
Maybe you’re already experiencing those problems and asking yourself the obvious question.
So, How long can you drive with bad struts, before fixing or replacing the bad struts?
We’re going to answer that. Okay, do you want to grasp the full extent of the answer?
Then, you also need to know a few crucial things like what to avoid, the dangers of driving a car with struts, and how to solve the problem.
Bear with us. We’re going to find out what to do with your vehicles’ bad struts and how long can you drive with bad struts.
You can not drive longer with bad struts. Besides, you can't ignore the brake line kit when taking every precaution and being safe while driving! So we recommended you check the article for more details!
How Long Can You Drive with Bad Struts?
If your struts go wrong, take your vehicle to the repair shop as soon as possible. If towing your vehicle is not possible, drive your car carefully to the repair shop and have the struts replaced.
Driving with bad struts always raises safety concerns. Bad struts will make your vehicle bouncy as you hit a speak breaker or bumper on the road.
Typically, a vehicle with good struts does go through a couple of bounces after hitting a bump or speed breaker. And, then it quickly stabilizes because the struts create resistance to forces created by the vertical motion of the suspension. But the bad struts can’t generate enough resistance soon, and that’s why your vehicle will bounce a lot of times after hitting a bumpy surface.
However, the most significant safety concern of bad struts is increasing the braking distance. Your vehicle will nose dive with bad struts, which leaves the vehicle's back tires up in the air. So, back brakes don’t contribute to the necessity of an immediate stop if needed.
Now, you’re going to know what damage bad struts do to essential parts of your vehicle.
1. The effect of bad struts on your car:
The struts are solid components of a car. These tall suspension assemblies are placed in all of the four wheels of your car. Attaching to the wheel assembly and the vehicle chassis, it supports the vehicle’s weight. When the struts are in a bad or wear-out condition, they won’t function properly. Malfunctioned struts not only affect other parts of your car but also result in unsafe driving conditions if wholly ignored. For example, the following car components can suffer from driving on a lousy strut:
When your strut assembly fails, it causes misaligned suspension. As a result, it produces more pressure and stress on the internal engine and can damage severely.
Your car’s struts help the tires of the wheels keep in constant contact with the road, which reduces bounciness. But if your suspension is malfunctioning, the tires will bounce more frequently and wear down more quickly. So, you might end up needing frequent replacement of the tires.
The joints of your car are more prone to vibration. While driving on bad struts, the number of vibrations increases and the joint and bearings wear down rapidly. Again, it makes the need for replacement more frequent.
When your car is about to stop, the struts hold it back by working against the car's weight. In that process, it absorbs a vast opposing force. Bad struts aren’t so vital to do that. It creates an extra strain on the brake parts and can damage your vehicle's brake pads or brake rotors. A car with such a faulty braking system needs to cover a longer distance before stopping, even if there is an emergency. It can lead to severe accidents and fatal injuries.
Your car’s suspension keeps the steering part stable. A bad strut assembly means you need more force to steer the car. It creates extra pressure on the steering components and causes them to wear down fast. Such a weak steering system combined with bad strut assembly can lead to unsafe situations.
You’re probably thinking ‘" okay, now I'm convinced bad struts are more than bad news. But how am I going to detect bad struts?"
Let's go to the next section.
2. Signs of Having a Bad Strut:
Most of the time, faulty and worn struts produce unpleasant noises, which can serve as an alert that your strut needs repairing. The noises may be like banging, rattling, or clunking sounds when the car passes over some irregularities on the road. You can also hear such noises while turning the steering wheel or even during steady driving. Though noises are the most common signals, there can be some other signs as well.
Knocking sounds that come from an area near the tires are most likely due to broken struts. It usually happens due to shocking issues or leakage of your car.
If you hear a knocking sound while pressing the brake, there might be issues with brake linings. You may find these sounds even if you are driving at a steady pace. If this is the case, the reason might be loose strut components. For example, you may find stabilizer links or bar bushings that are somehow out of place.
While driving over potholes, metal-to-metal noises are every day if your control arm bushing is faulty. Therefore, this is because the control arm bushings generally wear down over time. But a defective strut assembly can make it worse and can cause harsh noises.
Bumpiness, while your car is in motion, can also be an indicator of damaged struts. This is one of the first things you will notice when driving with a faulty strut. In the worst case, your strut assembly failed, and you'll most likely feel every bump and crack in the road. In any case, you should contact a mechanic to check and replace the strut assembly if needed.
Floating front end
Another sign can be a floating front end. It is an indication of a faulty front-end alignment. The majority of times, the reason is a slut assembly that is broken. You’ve got to fix your vehicle’s strut as soon as possible.
Uneven tire wear
Extensive tire wear is another common symptom when you have worn-out struts. As the car can't absorb the force like before, your tires will face it more often. Also, the load isn't absorbing energy uniformly as it used to be. For a lasting solution, you first need to fix the suspension and then install new tires. Combinedly, they will extend car life and ensure safe driving.
As you may notice, riding is always possible even if your car has broken struts. But you only make it worse if you keep doing it. Therefore, we recommend going for a checkup as soon as you notice any of the signs. Early checkups can save you from hazardous driving conditions. You can also take care of some minor issues if you have a tool kit with some essential repair tools. However, in case of replacements, you should give a call to your mechanic.