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Unread 07-13-2009, 10:33 AM
 
2 posts, read 16,697 times
Reputation: 12
Default Why change both struts when only one is broken

Hello, my (Ford windstar'01 minivan's) front driver side strut+spring assembly was broken which I replaced from canadiantire but they said I've to change passenger side assembly as well. My question is- is it necessary to replace unbroken strut+spring assembly. If yes, Can I drive Ottawa,ON to Chicago and get the repairing done there because repairing is very expensive here in Ottawa, thanks.
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Unread 07-13-2009, 12:28 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
8,710 posts, read 19,120,679 times
Reputation: 4577
It's best practice to change at least both shock absorbers, you don't have to replace the unbroken spring, but while things are apart it's not that much more work, then you have matching springs and shocks (dampers) on both sides of the car, which should lead to better handling charachteristics.

A down and dirty "ghetto" repair would be to get a used strut assembly, the whole thing, from a junkyard and just install that on the side that's broke. Although, even then, I would buy both struts from the junkyard, I'd want to know they came from the same vehicle, and would put the 2nd one in if the van didn't handle right after doing just one.

Unless you want something else from Chicago, you would really have to save *a lot* of money on the repair to pay for the gas, etc. to make the trip. I personally wouldn't do it.
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Unread 07-13-2009, 12:39 PM
 
Location: I think my user name clarifies that.
8,294 posts, read 12,576,354 times
Reputation: 3618
Quote:
Originally Posted by pkad001 View Post
Hello, my (Ford windstar'01 minivan's) front driver side strut+spring assembly was broken which I replaced from canadiantire but they said I've to change passenger side assembly as well. My question is- is it necessary to replace unbroken strut+spring assembly. If yes, Can I drive Ottawa,ON to Chicago and get the repairing done there because repairing is very expensive here in Ottawa, thanks.
You'll want to change both. Without doing that, your suspension just won't work as it should

I think it's probably okay to drive to Chicago to save the money. However, it could be a little difficult to match the struts, when getting them from two different places.
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Unread 07-13-2009, 07:48 PM
 
Location: Dixie's Sunny Shore
1,313 posts, read 1,665,804 times
Reputation: 693
I agree. I highly discourage my customers from only doing 1 shock or strut/spring on the same axle.
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Unread 07-13-2009, 07:52 PM
 
1,632 posts, read 1,982,871 times
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Because it is the right thing to do.
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Unread 07-13-2009, 08:00 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
8,710 posts, read 19,120,679 times
Reputation: 4577
I didn't really understand the OP's situation - you have had the broken strut replace by Canadian Tire, probably using their own shock absorber cartridge. If they used a name-brand cartridge like say Monroe, you could probably go somewhere else (cheaper) to get the other (unbroken) strut replaced to match, but if they used their own house brand, you can't match it unless you get the 2nd strut replaced at Canadian Tire as well.

If you get the 2nd one replaced somewhere in Chicago, you may save some money but of course Canadian Tire can always blame any further problems on the Chicago shop, and they won't be very convenient if you need it looked at again.

How much $ do you think you can save by going to Chicago?

Did you get a house brand or name brand shock (look on your receipt, usually the front shock can't be seen when the strut is assembled)

Do you have other shopping you want to do in Chicago?

What about a local, independent shop there in Canada, eh?
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Unread 07-13-2009, 10:27 PM
 
Location: Lafayette, Louisiana
14,099 posts, read 12,403,656 times
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Always replace either both front or both rear suspension components (shocks or struts). It balances out the suspension and makes for more even wear on the rest of the suspension components. I've seen cars riding around with one side of the front end or rear end slightly lower than the other. I don't want to imagine what that's doing to the rest of the car's suspension components. Sure, it'll be OK to replace one right now but it'll wear out your car down the road. Let me ask you something,...if you have a comfortable pair of shoes and one of them gets torn or worn,...do you just buy one shoe or do you replace both and notice a difference in the brand new cushioning and support right away? Your car will be the same way.
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