Your vehicle has many different moving parts and all of them are affected by wear and tear over time. So, when your car starts making a noise, it usually means something needs to be fixed. Today, we want to discuss strut mount noise and how to quiet noisy strut mounts.
The good news is that diagnosing is not difficult once you know what the bad strut mount symptoms are. We will help with that and also provide a few solutions to your bad strut mount noise. But before we get to that, let’s see what the strut mount is and understand its purpose.
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What Is a Strut Mount and What Does It Do?
The strut mount is a component and its purpose is to attach the suspension strut to your car. Additionally, it insulates tire noise and vibrations as well. One side of the strut mount is bolted to the vehicle while the other is bolted to the strut.
In between, there’s an insulating material that’s similar to rubber, so when the vehicle moves the impact will push and pull at the strut mount. In other words, the strut mount cushions the impact to reduce shock, vibration, and noise that would otherwise be transmitted into the car.
Strut mounts are simple and they keep the suspension attached in the proper position. It’s an essential part of the suspension system of your vehicle, which is why it’s important to pay attention if you notice bad strut mount symptoms or strut mount noise.
What Does a Bad Strut Mount Sound Like?
Some worn-out strut mounts will make certain noises to alert you, though not all of them make noises. A bad strut mount noise is often a rattling, hollow clinking, or banging noise, which is easier to hear when you’re driving on road irregularities.
Clunking or creaking sounds when turning the wheel is also strut mount noise. Bad strut mount noises are rather annoying and they are most obvious when driving over bumps, potholes, etc., so you need to pay attention.
Bad Strut Mount Symptoms
There are many different bad strut mount symptoms you should be aware of. This way, you’ll be able to make sure the issue is truly the strut mount. Here’s a list of the most common bad strut mount symptoms you need to look out for!
Strut Mount Noises
One of the easiest bad strut mount symptoms to recognize is strut mount noise. In the section above, we described the kind of noises a bad strut mount can make. Including hollow clinking, rattling, and banging noises while driving on road irregularities. Clunking or creaking sounds when turning the wheel are also common.
If your car is vibrating intensely, to the point your teeth chatter when you’re driving, it means something’s going on with your suspension. This is another bad strut mount symptom, so you need to check the upper strut mount. If it’s in bad shape, it will need replacement.
Difficulty Steering the Vehicle
Among the bad strut mount symptoms, difficulty steering is easy to diagnose. If your steering wheel feels too stiff or too loose or it’s making a noise that didn’t exist before, you should check the strut mount. It might be unrelated, but steering issues are often related to suspension, so it’s worth checking out.
Trouble With Tire Alignment
Issues with tire alignment are another of the bad strut mount symptoms to look out for. If you feel like your car is pulling to one side, it means the tires are not aligning correctly. This could mean a strut mount is not working as it should, so the vehicle pulls to the side that’s working properly. Go on a test drive to make sure and if the car is pulling to one side, check your strut mount.
Uneven Tire Wear
When it comes to bad strut mount symptoms, uneven tire wear is one that often gets overlooked. If your tyres are not wearing evenly, it could mean one of the strut mounts is not working properly. You’ll have to check to make sure and it may need replacement.
If you want to determine whether or not you’re dealing with a bad strut mount, you can open the hood. Once you locate the mount, press down on the car. If the strut mount moves a lot, you need to check it out. A little motion is okay, but too much of it is a bad strut mount symptom.
Car Parts Are Constantly Getting Damaged
When the strut mount is functioning properly, it protects your vehicle and its other parts from shock. That means it reduces wear and tear. So, if suddenly your car parts are constantly getting damaged or you have to tighten things more often, it means the strut mount needs to be checked.
Inside the strut mount, there’s a rubber-like material that serves as insulating material. You should be able to see this rubber without having to unscrew the strut mount. Check it out and if you see it’s cracking or disintegrating, you need to get it replaced.
Corroded Strut Mount Parts
Last but not least, corroded strut mount parts are an obvious sign that you’re dealing with bad struts. Corrosion is quite serious, so you should get your strut mount replaced right away. Otherwise, your safety on the road will be at risk every time you go on the road with bad struts.
All the bad strut mount symptoms discussed here are very easy to identify and once you do, you should take action immediately. It’s not safe to continue driving on a bad strut mount. Not only because strut mount noise is maddening, but also because the parts can give out at any moment.
How to Fix Noisy Struts: 5 Solutions
If you’re dealing with a bad strut mount noise like clunking, creaking, knocking, or grinding, there are several solutions you can apply.
Lubricate the Binding Strut Spring
A strut mount doesn’t have many lubrication points, but you can lubricate the binding spring on the strut mount to reduce noise. When strut springs compress, they rotate slightly on the set insulator of the springs.
If the insulator seat is not properly lubricated, the spring will clunk and/or jerk when it rotates. You can spray the seat and the top of the spring with a dry silicone spray like this one and let it dry for 24 hours.
Avoid getting any of the lubricants on the rotors and don’t use WD-40 because it won’t have a beneficial effect on the coil springs. You also don’t want to spray the bearings because they will wear faster. If they are the issue, the best thing you can do is replace them.
Tighten the Rubber Vibration Insulator
This part of the strut mount dampens sound and absorbs shock as we mentioned before. So, if you’re hearing a clunking strut mount noise, it may be because the insulating material is separating from the metal plates.
You can solve this very easily with Urethane Windshield Adhesive, which you can apply between the metal plates and the rubber. Apply as much as necessary to cover all the nooks and crannies on both sides. Then, leave it to dry for 24 to 48 hours.
To do this, you will have to take out the strut mount so you can be thorough. There’s no way to apply the adhesive on the entire circumference of the rubber vibration insulator if it’s still on the vehicle. So, make sure to remove it and put it back in once the adhesive is fully dry. Here’s a video guide to help you with removal if you want to DIY.
Secure the Strut Mount Nuts
Struts usually feature 3 bolts or threaded studs. It’s not uncommon for the nuts holding the strut mount in place to come loose. That will lead to clunking strut mount noise.
The good news is that often the nuts are easy to access, so it won’t be too much trouble to check them. You’ll need a torque wrench, so make sure to check the owner’s manual or go to the website of your car’s manufacturer. There, you’ll find the right amount of torque necessary for this.
Once you have tightened the strut mount nuts, the noise should disappear. After that, make sure you check the nuts regularly to tighten them whenever necessary. Maintenance is very important!
Secure the Shock Mounting Nut
It’s not often that the chock mounting nut will come loose. However, if you’re dealing with a strut mount noise, you should check it out. The shock absorber part of the strut mount is bolted to the center and a nut at the end of the shaft is what keeps it in place.
If it comes loose, you will need two different torque wrenches for this job. One to use on the shaft and one to tighten the loose nut. You can also purchase a shock absorber strut nut kit, like this one, so you can always rely on it.
If you need a little help, this video guide can be of help. It’s not too difficult to apply this solution. You can DIY this or get a professional to do it for you. Either way, it may eliminate the strut mount noise.
Replace the Strut Mount
Sometimes, when you ask how to quiet noisy strut mounts, the only answer is to replace them. If you are sure that you have bad struts, you should replace them ASAP. Even if only one of the struts is bad, you should replace them both.
Whether you can replace them on your own or not will depend on your skills. It will also depend on how much free time you have and the availability of tools and strut mount replacement. You will have to take out the entire assembly of the strut, replace the mount, and install the strut again.
This job will take a couple of hours, maybe more, depending on your abilities. If you feel like you can do this yourself, make sure to get the right tools for the job. If not, there’s no shame in going to a professional.
To help you understand the process of strut mount replacement, here’s a video guide on how to replace the top strut mount.
And one for rear strut mount.
If you want to DIY this, make sure to become familiar with the process and get the right strut mount replacement.
Strut Mount Replacement Cost
On average, replacing your strut mount will cost between $200 and $500. Of course, the strut mount replacement costs will depend on the model of your vehicle. Whether or not you pay labor costs will also make a difference. If you DIY this, you can save some money.
The average cost of one strut mount is between $150 and $300, while labor costs can be $50 to $200. As mentioned before, it’s better to replace both struts even if only one of them is bad. Otherwise, you may deal with stability issues, which is not ideal.
You can find strut mount replacements for $40 to $100 on the more inexpensive side, and $300 to $350 on the more expensive end of the spectrum. Labor will take an hour or an hour and a half, so you can expect to pay up to $200.
Of course, doing this yourself will save you money, but you need to be realistic. If you don’t think you can do it well, you should hand this replacement over to a professional.
You need to be careful when removing the struts because they are under a ton of pressure. If you release the pressure too quickly, it can be dangerous or even deadly. That’s why we recommend paying a professional unless you are an expert yourself.
Doing something yourself is very rewarding and we are supportive of that. However, if DIY is not the safest option, it’s important to be aware of that. So, assess your skills honestly and prioritize your safety.
Plus, paying a professional to replace your struts will save you time. What may take a professional an hour or an hour and a half may take you two hours or more.
Additionally, you’ll have to purchase whatever tools you’re missing and if you don’t do your own repairs often, you won’t get much use out of them. Carefully consider both options and do what’s best for you and your vehicle.
Can You Drive With a Broken Strut Mount?
Technically, you can drive your car with a broken strut mount or a compromised suspension. However, the drive won’t be enjoyable at all because the vehicle will be noisy and it will vibrate excessively. Additionally, the vehicle won’t be protected on uneven roads, which means the parts can wear out a lot quicker.
You will feel every vibration and so will your car parts, which means there’s a higher chance of damaged and worn-out parts. Driving with a broken strut mount is technically possible because the vehicle will be able to keep going. However, the car won’t be as responsible and it could get you in an accident.
If you have a bad strut mount, you should drive to the mechanic as soon as possible. Bad strut mount symptoms are not something you should ignore. That’s why we have explained them all here today. Struts are important because they have a direct effect on smoothness and responsiveness.
If your strut mount is damaged, it will impact your steering, which means your driving will be compromised. It can also increase braking distances, cause tracking issues, and increase uneven tire wear. As soon as you hear a strut mount noise, check for symptoms and take action!
What Happens If I Don’t Replace My Struts?
If you don’t replace your struts, you are putting your safety at risk on the road. You will have super uncomfortable rides due to the sound and vibration. What’s more, you’ll have to deal with many safety issues.
Additionally, failing to replace your strut mounts will lead to greater wear on other parts. That means you’ll spend more money fixing different issues, such as replacing tires, tightening nuts, repairing components, etc.
If something is not right with your struts, you need to check your vehicle and do whatever’s necessary. You won’t always have to replace the struts; sometimes all they need is a little lubrication or other easy repairs. However, if you do need to replace the struts, make sure you do it quickly so you can have peace of mind while driving.
Diagnosing a bad strut mount is not difficult once you know what to look for. Bad strut mount symptoms are easy to spot and it’s not difficult to solve the issue. You may have to invest in strut mount replacement, but it will be worth it if you value your safety and comfort on the road!