There’s a potential problem lurking somewhere under the hood even though you probably did the strut replacement correctly. Maybe the customer returned saying that there’s a new noise, clunking or vibration that wasn’t there before you replaced the struts. Maybe the vehicle doesn’t track well even after checking the front end alignment or the steering feels different. That’s why we call the subject about replacing Strut Mounts as Avoiding The Grimace.
An insulator that doesn’t insulate and a pivot that binds or moves off center while driving is going to cause a problem and it could become your shop’s problem if you fail to consider replacing the strut mount whenever you replace a strut.
Imagine taking a square brick of rubber and just letting it sit outside in the elements for a few years. What would it look like? Dry, shrunk, cracked? If you tapped it on the ground would it feel hard like a rock? Although the insulating material in a strut mount isn’t just rubber, it’s still going to become much denser over time. That means it will transmit more noise and vibrations into the vehicle than when it was newer and softer.
Then there is the front mount bearing or bearing plate. The entire front of a vehicle’s weight sits on these two bearings and they act as the upper steering pivots. Obviously any wear or unusual movement is going to affect how the tires wear, tire performance, front end alignment and potential noise. If the bearings bind or fail to turn smoothly, steering memory occurs, it may not return to center and the steering can feel rough. Be aware that there’s a vehicle manufacturer torque specification for the mount to strut shaft nut. A mistake here causes rattles and a very unhappy motorist.
Take a good look the service counter Strut Mount brochure that KYB created to help you explain all of this to the motorist. You can obtain them through your KYB parts supplier. Just ask for the KYB part# SF-1 or ask a KYB representative for a supply of them. We also have a great video about mounts at www.kyb.com/mounts.