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Summary
  • The struts are usually on top of the chassis at the front of most front-wheel drive (FWD) vehicles.
  • The MacPherson strut is the most common type of strut.
  • Replacing worn-out struts requires the right tools, such as sockets, a ball-peen hammer, and a strut compressor.

Q: Where Are Struts Typically Located?

A: The struts are usually mounted on top of the chassis at the front of most front-wheel drive (FWD) vehicles.

A strut is a suspension link and shock absorber in one structural component. It can have a removable cartridge for a damper or it can have the damper built into the assembly. Strut suspension lowers the vehicle center of gravity and makes it more stable on the road and less likely to roll over.

The MacPherson strut is the most common type of strut found in vehicles. It has a coil spring that surrounds the strut casing, which transfers the vehicle’s body weight to the wheels.

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leaking right rear strut on a 2007 ford expedition
This is the right rear strut on a 2007 Ford Expedition that is leaking and needs replacing. This strut isn’t connected to a steering knuckle like the front struts. it runs from the frame down to the lower control arm. | Image Source: Richard McCuistian

A MacPherson strut usually comes with an upper and lower spring seat, a shock absorber mount and dust cap, a dust cover for the piston rod, and a bump stop.

Some vehicles have modified struts, which don’t include a coil spring as part of the assembly.

Tips on How to Access the Struts

Replacing worn-out struts typically involves using a few tools, including sockets, a ball-peen hammer, and a strut compressor.

, Where Are the Struts Located on a Car?

Pro Tips are nuggets of information direct from ASE-certified automobile technicians working with CarParts.com, which may include unique, personal insights based on their years of experience working in the automotive industry. These can help you make more informed decisions about your car.

Pro Tip: It’s best to just replace the entire strut assembly rather than trying to disassemble the strut, which can be extremely dangerous for the inexperienced DIY person.

It’s also important to hoist the vehicle up to elbow height before removing the wheel assembly and strut retaining nuts. Make sure to thread the nut into the bolt backward before using a hammer to drive the retaining bolts from the steering knuckle.

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Once that’s done, you should be able to remove the strut from the steering knuckle. From there, you can lower the vehicle and remove the upper strut retaining fasteners. Make sure to hold the strut while removing the last upper retaining nut.

About The Authors
Written By Automotive and Tech Writers

The CarParts.com Research Team is composed of experienced automotive and tech writers working with (ASE)-certified automobile technicians and automotive journalists to bring up-to-date, helpful information to car owners in the US. Guided by CarParts.com's thorough editorial process, our team strives to produce guides and resources DIYers and casual car owners can trust.

Reviewed By Technical Reviewer at CarParts.com

Richard McCuistian has worked for nearly 50 years in the automotive field as a professional technician, an instructor, and a freelance automotive writer for Motor Age, ACtion magazine, Power Stroke Registry, and others. Richard is ASE certified for more than 30 years in 10 categories, including L1 Advanced Engine Performance and Light Vehicle Diesel.

Any information provided on this Website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a professional mechanic. The accuracy and timeliness of the information may change from the time of publication.

File Under : Suspension , DIY Tagged With :
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