Every vehicle today has at least one shock absorber for each wheel. Shocks and struts do not require replacement after specific mileage intervals, thus getting to know various warning signs that are associated with failing struts or shocks are integral for safety.
Struts and shocks wear out over time, and the impacts could be dangerous. Brittle or torn seals in struts cause leaking struts, which in turn affects the struts’ ability to absorb energy. On today’s topic, we will look at what causes leaking struts, its effects, and what you ought to do in case of the same.
Reasons for Leaking Struts
A leaking strut either stops functioning soon, or it may have already stopped working. It is often considered a handing and safety issue and hence should be replaced as quickly as possible.
One of the most common causes of leaking struts is aging. Modern shock absorbers and struts are made to last over 50,000 miles, but with time, the seals may wear out and start leaking. Most struts tend to weep a little but still work typically.
Your vehicle owner’s manual may specify the specific mileage or time for struts replacement, but this is often just but a guideline, not an accurate account. Once you start hearing a leaking strut noise, have them inspected.
Your driving style, road conditions, and also how much dirt the shock encounters could also affect. Poor maintenance as well might have a hand inleaking struts. Once you take your vehicle for servicing, have them check if your shocks are still in good condition. Chances are, they would still be working optimally, but it doesn’t do any harm to be sure about it. Deterioration leads to increased chances for your struts to start leaking.
An accident that affects suspension may damage shock absorbers. A dented or bent strut almost always requires to be replaced. After a major accident, your repair shop examines your vehicle’s struts to determine whether they need replacement and the strut replacement cost.
It is essential to, however, understand that for this purpose, the term “accident” includes not only serious crashes but also anything that may jar the suspension really hard, such as hitting large rocks, curbs, and deep potholes. A rock may as well be kicked up against the shocks while you drive on a dirt road causing further damage to the shocks.
When any of these go wrong, you have to replace the shocks because they cannot be repaired or just refilled. Also, shocks should be replaced soon after you diagnose the problem because a car with a faulty shock absorber may be tough to control in case of an emergency because of excessive wheel bounce.
How Long Struts Last
For most modern vehicles, the life span of struts or shocks is not explicitly known. Most of them are designed to last for many years, and they do not need to be replaced regularly. The life span of your struts mostly depends on how well you maintain and take care of our vehicle.
Some vehicle manuals say that struts have to be replaced after a specified mile range, but this is often used as a guide as to when you should start checking if the struts are still in good condition. A rough estimate of more than 50,000 miles is often how long struts could begin issues.
Experts recommend that you watch out for warning signs and symptoms for damaged car suspension, such as leaking shock absorber noise. Only these can tell you that your struts are worn out and that they need replacement.
What to Do If Struts Are Already Leaking
Leaking shocks are a cause for concern. When they start leaking, it’s often a telltale sign of suspension issues. Here is what you ought to do if any of the struts are leaking:
Diagnose the Problem
If your question is “will leaking struts pass inspection?” then yes, they can. This is why it is recommended that you do a thorough inspection to determine the cause of the leak. Aging parts often cause leaking struts. With time, seals on the struts may become brittle, thus preventing them from keeping the hydraulic fluid within the system. Therefore, you should inspect the struts for any deterioration or broken seals.
If the struts are still new and in great shape, then the reason for leaking may be an accident that affected your vehicle’s suspension system. If you cannot still seem to find out the problem that led to your vehicle’s leaking struts, you should consult a specialist, and they would inspect the car accurately to diagnose the problem for you. It is the only sure way to avoid leaking shock absorber noise.
Replace Leaking Struts Immediately
After you determine the reason behind the leak, you should have the struts replaced immediately. In case you are wondering, “is it ok o drive with a leaking strut,” then the answer is no. Driving with leaking struts may make your ride uncomfortable and dangerous.
Damaged or worn-out struts cannot prevent your car from bouncing in rough roads. Moreover, tires will have a harder time trying to maintain contact with the road while you are driving with leaking struts. Chances you might skid, rollover, or get into a fatal accident are therefore increased.
Most importantly, worn out or damaged struts may increase the wear and tear on your tires. This causes reduced control, traction, and overall safety, especially if the roads are slippery.
Leaking Struts and Shocks (FAQs)
Q: Are Leaking Struts Dangerous?
Leaking struts are potentially dangerous because they increase the workload on tires, which causes wear and tear. Consequently, worn-out tires lead to reduced overall safety, traction as well as control. Damaged or leaking struts cannot also prevent your car from bouncing in rough roads. Whether you believe it or not, most of the time, a leaking strut appears to be perfectly normal, and it may look like just a small wet spot which is on an otherwise dry strut.
Q: How Much Does It Cost to Fix a Leaking Strut?
If the passenger side strut is damage o worn out, you should replace both sides to make sure that both sides handle the same. Struts often cost between the range of $725 and $750 for a full set, including installation. A shock is priced lower than struts, usually between $100 and $150 per piece, as experts say. The struts that come as assemblies are way easier to replace. However, the cost of replacing struts may vary depending on their condition and your vehicle. Replacing struts also helps take care of some of the knocking noises and oil leaks.
Q: Do Leaking Struts Need to Be Replaced?
A leaking strut ought to be replaced as soon as possible because they are potentially dangerous. Leaking struts do not have to be replaced unless your car bottoms out in potholes or bounces as if it were on a pogo stick. They may also need to be replaced if your mechanic finds that they are damaged, or they are leaking fluid. In certain climates, they may also rust. A little leakage on a strut appears to be healthy because it only seems to be a small wet spot.
Q: Can Struts Leak Fluid?
In every strut and shock, there is a hydraulic fluid and a piston. While driving over a bump or on a rough stretch of road, the struts compress, making the piston to push against the fluid. The fluid then absorbs the force of the piston. Sometimes, the hydraulic fluid may leak out of a strut or shock. A little leakage is normal, but what you need to worry about is a leakage that makes most of the strut dry, thus reducing its ability to absorb shock.
Q: Can You Drive with Bad Struts?
Yes, you can drive even if struts are damaged. However, leaking struts take away the balance that is essential for safe driving. The struts may seem dump from a little leaking, which is normal. It is the same as you having a deteriorating liquid or cartilage in your knees that absorb the shock of running or walking. This affects your balancing and ability to run or walk well. You may easily lose control of the vehicle while driving. Hence, it is highly recommended that you have the struts replaced as soon as possible.
At times you will not be able to notice any leaking signs until it is too late. You should, therefore, watch out for warning signs that tell you that struts may be leaking. A vibrating steer wheel, increased tire wear, or bouncier rides are some of the symptoms for leaking struts. Also, if you are to replace a strut due to leakage, it is often recommended that you replace the pair. This is because a new shock works differently than the old one, which may cause imbalance.
Struts should be treated as an integral part of your vehicle as they help ensure your safety and that of other road users. If neglected, leaking struts may not be good for you. Better safe than sorry!