What Happens When Struts Go Bad?

Did you know that the performance of your vehicle’s wheel system is basically dependent on the condition of the struts (some cars have shocks) and the CV (constant velocity) joints and axles? These components are involved in the steering, driving, and braking of the vehicle, linking the power from the engine to the wheels, plus carrying the whole weight of the vehicle including passengers and cargo. If undamaged, these components can last up to 100,000 miles. However, because these components are constantly rotating and flexing to accommodate different road conditions, they can wear out and fail, resulting in possibly replacing the struts as well as CV joint repair.

So what happens when struts go bad?

  • Takes longer to come to a stop. Poorly functioning shocks have a drastically reduced ability to absorb the force of a vehicle coming to a stop.
  • Lose Control of your vehicle. Once a car’s shocks are bad, they lose the ability to effectively distribute the force of torque throughout the car. The rear wheels could potentially lose contact with the road.
  • Poor Handling. A car’s suspension absorbs the stresses of the road and reacts to the driver in terms of steering, acceleration, and braking. Bad struts not only diminish your comfort and driving pleasure, it seriously impacts the ability to navigate the car. A car with reduced handling ability will not be able to respond as quickly to a need to change direction to avoid a potential collision or an object in the road.
  • Flip Over. A car turning a corner at high speeds means a tremendous amount of weight is shifted to one side of the car. As the struts get older and the suspension can no longer effectively redistribute the weight of a vehicle going into a turn, a car could potentially flip over much more easily.
  • Serving. Although swerving can be caused by a number of external conditions–ice, wet surfaces, debris—a car driving on deteriorated struts are more likely to lose contact with the road. This loss of contact can cause the car to go into a swerving action without warning.

Replacing your struts is essential to keeping your car driving as safe as possible. Taking care of the struts and shocks before they fail completely will help prevent a costly cv joint repair.

Wondering what happens when struts go bad? Contact our ASE Certified technicians at Dependable Car Care for more information about replacing shock and struts and cv joint repair and to schedule an appointment. Our auto shop proudly serves residents in the community of Ventura, CA, and the surrounding area.