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All right, let’s get the blatantly obvious out of the way, shall we? Front strut mounts are mounts. For your front struts. Okay then, moving on. Struts are a key part of your car’s suspension. They move up and down, absorbing some of the shock from the road, and keeping it from damaging your car, or making its way back to you. You might take the importance of your struts for granted, until they stop working. And then you’ll realize very quickly just how vital they are. Not all cars have front struts. Presumably yours does. Otherwise, you’re kind of wasting your time reading this article. Now, onto the mounts. The front strut mounts are what attach the struts to the body of the car. One end of each mount bolts to the car’s body , while the other end of each mount bolts directly to the strut, holding it in place. But the mounts serve to do more than just act as a component to hold the struts in place. They also play a role in the shock absorption process. In between the two ends of the strut mount is a material that provides insulation. Your car bounces up and down as you drive over things like speed bumps, potholes, and other road imperfections. As that happens, the strut mounts are pulled and pushed on. All the while, the insulating mounts absorb that impact, as well as the noise that accompanies it. As a result of these insulating strut mounts, your car doesn’t bounce as much as it otherwise would, or make too much noise. That keeps many parts of the car from being damaged, and it also makes for a much nicer driving experience. Trust me. Strut mounts usually have a very long life, and it’s possible that you’ll never need to replace any of yours. But occasionally they do need to be replaced. And any time the front struts are replaced, the front strut mounts should be, too.
Quiz time: what do you think happens when you remove a key element of shock absorption from your car? Would you guess that the car won’t be able to absorb shock quite as well? Well, you just guessed correctly. If one of your front strut mounts starts to give out, then the car will vibrate like you’re driving over a rickety wooden bridge. And guess what? It’s only going to get worse if ignored.
If your car’s suspension system isn’t working properly, then the steering system will probably suffer some consequences. So, if one of the front strut mounts calls in sick, then you’ll end up with a car that doesn’t drive quite right. The steering of your car might feel a little loose, like you don’t have as much control as you would like to have. Or it might feel a little bit tight and be a little more responsive than you’re used to. Always pay attention when your car isn’t driving right. It means something important, every time.
Car noises are not good. I shouldn’t need to tell you that, but here we are. If one of your front strut mounts starts to give out, then the strut will not be held properly and securely in place. It will move around, resulting in a clunking noise that should get your antenna up.
A damaged front strut mount can cause issues to both your suspension and your steering, which, in turn, will cause alignment problems in your car. If your car isn’t properly aligned, you’ll experience uneven wear on your tires, with some of the tires having a little more wear than others. Here’s a piece of advice: Every week or so, go look at your tires for ten seconds. Look for excessive wear, or bubbles sticking out. Look for wear patterns that are uneven. It’s a great and easy way to spot a small issue with your car before it becomes a big issue. If you notice uneven wear on your tires, you may have an alignment issue, which could be due to a front strut mount problem.
It’s safe to drive your car short distances even if you need a strut mount replaced. But the more you drive on it, the more it will put excess pressure on your suspension, steering system, and tires. Problems are only going to get worse, and more expensive, so do the smart thing here.
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