Strut Mounts Vital to Vehicle Safety
An important part of checking a vehicle’s suspension is the condition of the strut mounts when replacing shock absorber struts.
Strut mounts are subjected to heavy vibration during their lifespan and like any rubber to metal bonded parts, they are susceptible to wear over time. Worn strut mounts or bearing plates can adversely affect vehicle handling and safety as they are an important component of the suspension system. Worn strut mounts and bearing plates can cause noise, steering binding or even be the cause of steering pull. In the worst cases, worn strut mounts can allow the upper end of the strut to change position which directly affects wheel alignment angles. If such wear is not detected properly at the time of replacing shock absorber struts, it almost always results in customer returns, premature tyre wear and suspension component fatigue.
To increase the lifespan of any vehicle strut, replacing a worn strut mount and bearing plate is essential. These integral suspension components work together with the strut to isolate road vibrations and to provide smooth and safe steering response. Monroe provides complete Strut-Mate Mounting Kits for repairers which are easy to install.
To check for worn or defective strut mounts, automotive technicians should first do a road test, checking for unusual noise, pulling or steering binding. Then with the car parked in the workshop and on the ground, rotate the steering from stop to stop while listening for noise or the effects of binding, which are indicative of a defective bearing.
The rubber portions of the strut mount also need to be checked for cracks or separation from the metal before raising the vehicle. Also before activating the hoist, the technician needs to take note of the position of the strut piston rod. Then once the vehicle is raised note any change in the position of the strut mount assembly. A slight downward movement is normal, but any side to side movement more than likely indicates a worn strut mount.
The next step once the vehicle is raised, is to grip the coil spring as close to the upper strut mount as possible, then push in and out on the strut while watching for movement of the upper end of the piston rod. There should be no free movement, if there is movement, the strut mount needs to be replaced. The inspection is completed by checking the steering pivot to ensure smooth and free rotation, while also checking all rubber components for breaking away from the metal, visual signs of cracking and general wear.
Monroe has produced an informative YouTube video that outlines all of this technical information and more for repairers. This can be viewed via the Monroe website, www.monroe.com.au
Monroe Strut-Mate Mounting Kits feature Original Equipment style bearings, SAE grade nuts and bolts, superior rubber to metal bonding and plated steel for longer wear. A majority of Monroe Strut- Mate Mounting Kits also include spring isolators, spring seats and bearings.