How Much Does It Cost To Replace Struts? (2024 Update)
Every vehicle has struts as part of the suspension system, but most drivers don’t think about them until something goes wrong. Struts do not fail as often as other parts of a car, but when they do go bad, it is hard not to notice. Strut replacement sounds expensive, but how much does it cost to replace struts these days? You can expect to pay between $250-$500 per strut.
This article will cover the parts costs, the labor costs as well as some additional costs that might arise when replacing your struts. The cost of a strut replacement can vary greatly depending on a number of factors. Let’s dig into the details.
The Importance of Struts
Struts are an invaluable part of your car’s suspension system. Struts work in concert with the shocks to provide a smooth and safe ride. A car with bad struts will not run properly and can cause undue wear as well as an extremely uncomfortable driving experience. Struts help to keep a car level and balanced during driving, and bad struts can seriously hamper the performance of a vehicle.
Struts vs Shocks
It is important to note that struts are not the same thing as shocks. Shocks and struts work together, but they are very different parts. Shocks are the large coils that help absorb shock, while struts are parts that move in and out to help keep the car balanced. Together, these parts help make up a car’s suspension system which is what prevents cars from being too rough on the road.
One important distinction between struts and shocks is that struts are fused to the car’s suspension system while shocks are not. Struts serve more than one purpose, including shock absorption. However, struts also work to keep a car level and balanced at all times.
The Cost of Strut Replacements
Strut replacement costs can vary depending on a number of factors. One of the largest determining factors is the make and model of the vehicle. Some cars have a much higher cost for struts than others. Typical economy cars will usually fall on the low end, while high-performance vehicles and trucks will usually come in on the high end.
For example, the cost to replace a pair of struts on a Chevy Malibu is about $400 for a pair. The cost to replace a pair of struts on an F150 truck is around $550. The cost to replace a pair of struts on a Lexus RX 350 is nearly $2,000. The type of vehicle plays a huge role in the overall cost of the strut replacement.
Also, note that in most cases the vehicle will need to have both struts replaced at the same time. Most cars have two struts, one on either side of the vehicle. If one side goes bad, you will likely need both sides replaced either way. This will double your parts costs for your estimates.
Using the table provided, if you need to have both struts replaced on a truck, the cost for parts would be $700, not $350. Take that into account when you are doing your estimates.
Replacement Cost Per Strut
|Cost Of Parts (per strut)
|Cost Of Labor
The outcome is that replacing a pair of struts usually costs closer to $1000 but that price can be lower for some vehicles. The labor cost to replace two struts compared to one is not that much different. The majority of the cost for strut replacement comes from the cost of the parts themselves rather than the labor.
The most common thing to be replaced alongside struts are the shocks. Shocks work with the struts in the suspension system. If struts go bad, they can cause shocks to also go bad and vice versa. Since these two parts work so closely together to ensure your car is running smoothly it is a good idea to get your shocks looked at and possibly replaced while the struts are being done. It would be no good to replace the struts only to have the shocks go bad in the near future. Bad shocks can put additional wear on the struts, which can cause more degradation to your brand new struts. It can quickly become a vicious cycle.
Replacing shocks is not cheap. Replacing a pair of shocks on a typical vehicle will run anywhere from $400 to $900 depending on the make and model. However, in most cases, the money is well worth it.
Sometimes, bad shocks and poor suspension can cause damage to your tires. If your car is getting repaired and tire wear or damage is found, the shop might suggest getting the tires replaced at the same time. If the wear is bad enough, some shops won’t release the car until the tires are replaced as a matter of safety. It is not uncommon for cars with bad struts to cause uneven wear on tires, and that wear can quickly advance to damage. This is especially the case if you drove with bad struts for any amount of time.
The extra bumpiness and discomfort on the road can also transfer to your tires. Replacing a full set of tires usually costs around $400. Sometimes, if the wear is localized to one area of your car, you might only have to pay for a single tire or a pair.
Tire Rotation and Alignment
Since bad struts can cause wear on your tires. You might be prompted to get the tires rotated at the same time. This will help even out any wear that could have occurred in a specific spot due to the struts being bad. It is a good idea to have your tires rotated and have your wheels aligned after a strut replacement job. A tire rotation costs around $100 at most shops, so it won’t break the bank. It is good to be prepared ahead of time to deal with tire issues when getting your shocks replaced.
How Often Do Struts Have To Be Replaced?
Struts can last upwards of 100,000 miles for most vehicles. However, driving conditions greatly impact the average lifespan of a pair of struts. If you drive in very bumpy conditions with bad roads or take your car on dirt roads more often than average, your struts will have a shorter lifespan than on smooth paved roads.
The low end of a strut’s lifespan can be as short as 50,000 miles if the roads are particularly rough. Most people who like to go offroading or have strenuous driving conditions often choose to upgrade their struts to a better grade using aftermarket parts to avoid this issue.
Can You Drive With Bad Struts?
In many cases, yes, you can drive with bad struts. While you can drive on bad struts, it is inadvisable to do so. Bad struts can cause a lot of wear on the vehicle, and they can also cause the car to behave unpredictably while driving, which can be extremely dangerous in certain situations. The car will run with bad struts, but you will notice that something is seriously amiss. If you need to drive the car to the shop with bad struts, it is usually safe to do so.
In extreme cases, damaged struts can cause the car to sit too low or become so off-balance that the vehicle won’t drive. This is rare, but it can happen. Struts that have catastrophically failed will cause the car to rest on the wheels and make it impossible to drive. This can happen depending on the make and model of the vehicle as well as the type of break that occurred within the suspension system.
Signs of Bad Struts
Signs of struts that are bad or going bad are numerous. The car will start to feel rougher over the road. Bumps will be bumpier, and the car will not bounce and sway in the way that you are used to. In some situations, bad struts can cause a car to sway or even fishtail during braking. Bad struts can also cause a car to pull to one side. This can be very dangerous when you are on the road.
Bad struts can cause your car to have a tilted and uneven appearance. If one side of the car is sitting lower than the other, it could be a sign of a strut that has gone bad. Bad struts can also lead to uneven tire wear. If a car is sitting lower on one side, even if you can’t see it, it could start to cause wear on that side’s tires faster than the other.
If you feel like something is wrong with your car, you should always take it in to be looked at. Bad struts are often very noticeable, and they are hard to miss when they start to fail.
You will immediately notice the difference when your car’s struts and shocks get replaced. Brand new suspension parts create a super smooth driving experience. As the suspension wears down over time, the ride gets gradually rougher over time. Most of the time, you won’t notice, but you will definitely notice when you get new parts installed. It might cost a decent chunk of change to redo both the struts and the shocks, but the smooth ride is well worth the money.
Featured Image Credit: happycreator, Shutterstock