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How Long Can You Drive with Bad Struts: A Quick Guide

Last updated on February 1st, 2024

You can drive with the bad struts for about one to two weeks. However, this distance depends on factors like the road condition and the load on the car. But it’s not wise to drive with them. Driving with bad struts causes several issues. The bad struts have an impact on the handling and braking.

This is only the beginning. Many more details on the bad struts are yet to be unveiled. So keep scrolling to know how long you can drive with bad struts.

How Long Can You Drive With Bad Struts?

The bad strut can go for about 2 weeks if the roads are nice. But the bad strut will only last for 1 week or less if the road is muddy and unpaved.

Also, overloading the vehicle and bad weather will decrease the lifespan of the bad strut.

However, first, you have to be sure about the condition of the strut. Because this is the major factor that decides whether you should use the strut.

So you must have a clear idea about the different states of the bad strut. I have prepared the following table to clear up all your doubts. Check it out!

Bad Strut ConditionRequired Action
Near to Service LifeDrive The Vehicle Until Further Problem 
Worn OutDrive with Extreme Caution 
Failed And Blown SealReplace The Strut Immediately 
Bent Strut Replace The Strut Immediately 
Broken Strut Replace The Strut Immediately 

You can decide if you should drive with the bad strut after observing its state.

Follow the above table to make the right decision. Driving with bad struts can cause various issues. I will present some of these issues in the next section.

Is it Safe to Drive with Bad Struts?

No, it is not safe to drive with bad struts because bad struts can lead your car to a number of big problems. Firstly, the car becomes uncontrollable. Secondly, bad struts decrease the braking power and increase tire wear. And finally, the damaged struts compromise the engine’s functionalities.

What happens if You Don’t Replace Your Struts?

A functional strut is very necessary for a safe drive. If a strut is bad, it can break while driving and cause accidents.

Here are some other risks of driving with a bad strut.

Bad Struts Compromise Vehicle Stability 

The stability of the vehicle is hugely dependent on the struts. They bear the load of the car during rides. If the struts are bad, the stability of the car is compromised. Then the car looks uneven and leans towards any one side.

Bad Struts Increase Braking Distance

The bad struts are affecting the vehicle’s weight distribution. This adversely affects the braking mechanism. The weight will shift to the front part of the car upon braking because of bad struts. This will prevent the car from stopping instantly.

Bad Struts Cause More Tire Wear

The main function of the struts is to ensure a smooth ride. But bad struts cannot do that, and the car jumps and bounces more than normal. As a result, the tires of the cars get more pressure. And thus, tire wear increases.

Bad Struts Can Make Handling Difficult

The damaged struts also interfere with the car’s handling. The steering of the vehicle becomes hard with a bad strut. Also, stability is compromised, and stopping the car becomes difficult. Driving becomes quite hard because of these issues.

So bad struts are always a no-go. They will change the overall experience of driving and cause accidents. Now let’s see how to tell if struts are bad.

How to Inspect Struts?

It is recommended to check the struts annually. You can also check the struts after every 20,000 miles of driving. Also, make sure to inspect the struts whenever you get a wheel alignment or brake and tire adjustments.

The steps for inspecting the struts are discussed below.

  • Jack up the front axle of your car. Then use jack stands to secure the position.
  • Check for oil leakage and rust on the struts. 
  • Observe if the struts are bent or broken.
  • Also, check the tires to find wear marks.
  • Finally, inquire about the piston rod and see if it’s wet or dry.  A wet piston indicates issues with the struts.

If you find the above signs in your struts, you have to replace them. 

How Much Does it Cost to Replace Struts?

The cost to replace the struts depends on the car model and labor costs. Usually, small cars require cheaper struts, and vice versa. However, here is a quick guideline for you.

The front struts are costlier than the rear ones. A front strut for a small car will cost around $250 to $350. And the price for front struts of a larger car is around $400 to $600.

The rear struts of bigger cars are around $100. Whereas small cars need cheaper rear struts, and their price is about $40. The labor cost for the strut replacement is between $120 and $350. 

FAQs 

How Many Miles Do Struts Last?

On average, struts last for about 100,000 miles. Anyway, this distance is not fixed. The road condition, weather, load carried by car, and other factors affect the distance. Struts last for a short time in cold weather. Also, more load on the car and bad roads will decrease the lifespan of the strut. 

What do bad struts sound like?

The bad struts produce a banging or clucking sound while driving the vehicle. This happens due to the improper movement of the damaged struts. But the sounds are not heard all the time. Bad and bumpy roads produce more sounds than normal roads.

Last words

This is all on your query: how long can you drive with bad struts. I hope that you are clear on the topic and take the necessary steps accordingly.

Bad struts have several disadvantages and long-term effects. So it is better to replace them as soon as possible.

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