Nipping the Problem in the Bud: Troubleshooting Your Mazda Protege Strut Assembly
A bad strut assembly can make any trip go from enjoyable to uncomfortable the minute those potholes and bumps start assaulting your ride. You can't avoid difficult, harsh, and uneven roads-they're everywhere. So instead of trying to stay on the smooth side of the road all the time, you should take some time off and check on your Mazda Protege strut assembly. If you're lucky, you can still remedy and nip some problems in the bud before your strut assembly breaks down completely. All it takes is a bit of troubleshooting, and we're here to help you out on this task. Here's a quick guide to finding the common causes behind strut assembly problems:
If your Protege's bouncing and rocking more than usual, then it means your strut assembly is already losing its ability to absorb road impacts. Loss of dampening capacity is a sign that you need to replace your struts. Try driving over a speed bump or pothole slowly as you monitor your vehicle's movement. Focus your attention on the front or rear wheels. If you notice excessive bouncing, say, more than two or three times, then it's time for you to get a new strut assembly.
Struts usually leak out hydraulic fluid when their bodies become cracked or worn out. This also happens when the strut seals crack or break. Inspect your Protege's wheel wells for leaking fluid or grease buildup. You may use a hydraulic jack to raise your vehicle if you're having a difficult time checking the struts. If there's fluid leaking from the wheel wells or a significant amount of grease building up on the struts, then it means your strut assembly is losing the hydraulic fluid necessary to maintain adequate vehicle support and stability. You should have the entire assembly replaced as soon as possible.
A bad strut assembly will usually make loose rattling sounds when the vehicle goes over rough patches or speed bumps on the road. This indicates a decrease in overall strut tension, as struts tend to shift and move when they're severely damaged. Observe the sounds your struts make when driving over road obstacles. Grinding, knocking, and scraping noises indicate worn-out struts. Replace your old Mazda Protege strut assembly right away to eliminate these noises.