Strut Mount Bushing Buyer’s Guide
- The strut mount bushing needs to be in good condition to ensure that the strut mount would function well.
- A strut mount bushing helps minimize the noise and vibration caused by strut movement.
- Symptoms of a bad strut mount bushing includes uneven tire wear, excessive vibrations, excessive strut movement, tire alignment issues, steering issues, clunking noises, corrosion, and damage to other suspension components.
- A replacement strut mount bushing is available per piece, as a kit, and in sets of two, four, and six. Prices range from $5 to $270.
Whether you are driving a compact car or a full-size truck, you can enjoy a noise and vibration-free ride because of important suspension components like the strut mount. The strut mount connects the vehicle to the strut. Whenever the car goes over a road bump, the strut mount serves as a cushion that minimizes vibration and noise.
However, the strut mount won’t be able to function properly if its parts are failing. One of the parts that need to be in tip-top condition to ensure that the strut mount would perform well is the strut mount bushing.
What is a strut mount bushing?
A strut mount bushing is used to reduce the noise and vibration caused by strut movement. Usually made of rubber, it can be a part of the upper or lower strut mount. It contains a metal insert or shell where a bolt can pass through.
When should you replace your strut mount bushing?
Much like in your strut mount, always look for signs of wear and tear in your strut mount bushing. If one strut bushing is bad, experts typically recommend replacing all of them. Since these strut mount components are subjected to the same amount of abuse, they tend to wear out at the same time. Replacing them by pairs, for example, can save you from problems that may recur.
Symptoms of a bad strut mount bushing
Similar to other bushings or rubber parts in your vehicle, the strut mount bushing can get worn out over time. Aside from the daily wear and tear, factors such as extreme heat can also inflict damage to the rubber part of the bushing. Once the strut mount bushing fails, you may notice the following symptoms from your strut mount or strut assembly.
Clunking noises coming from the suspension system
The metal parts of the strut and the strut mount are not supposed to come in contact. That’s why the strut mount bushing serves a barrier between these two parts. However, if the bushing is worn out, the metal parts will have no cushion between them, allowing the metal-on-metal contact. This produces the clunking noise that comes from the suspension system. Typically, strut mount noise gets worse whenever the vehicle goes over road bumps.
If the strut mount bushing is not in good condition, the strut mount’s performance will also be affected. In this case, you might experience excessive vibrations whenever you drive over bumps or rough terrain.
A strut mount bushing in bad shape can lead to a poor-performing strut mount. Moreover, it can result in several steering issues as well. For instance, you might notice that your steering has become too stiff or too loose. To fix this, you need to replace your faulty strut mount components.
Excessive strut mount movement
If you open your vehicle’s hood, you can easily spot your strut mount and check if it is moving excessively by pressing on the car. Too much strut movement can be caused by a damaged strut mount bushing.
If you are seeing signs of corrosion on your strut mount bushing, it means that it is about to reach its breaking point. It may still be able to function, but it’s likely to catch you off-guard when it finally breaks down. This can potentially put you at risk when you are on the road. Be sure to avoid this kind of scenario by doing the necessary replacement as soon as you can.
Premature/uneven tire wear
With a bad strut mount and strut mount bushing, your tires are susceptible to premature or uneven wear. You can do a visual inspection to verify this. See if your tires are wearing out evenly or if they are wearing out unreasonably fast. If they do, check your strut mount and strut mount bushing for any signs of damage.
Tire alignment issues
Tire alignment issues can also be a problem caused by a faulty strut mount and strut mount bushing. If your vehicle has a tendency to pull to one side when you are driving, you might want to replace your old strut mount components before it leads to other suspension system issues.
Damage on other suspension components
Since the whole suspension system is composed of several parts that move as one, a failing strut mount bushing can create a domino effect, causing damage to other suspension components. That said, you might want to check parts like the shock absorbers to see if they are wearing out faster than usual.
What kind of strut mount bushing replacement should you get?
This usually depends on what you need. If you simply want to replace a single strut mount bushing, you can get one that is sold per piece. But if you are planning to replace more than one strut mount bushing in your car, you can purchase replacement bushings sold in sets of two or more.
How much does a strut mount bushing replacement cost?
The price of a replacement strut mount bushing depends on several factors like the brand of the aftermarket part that you are going to buy as well as your vehicle’s year, make, and model. A single OE replacement strut mount bushing at CarParts.com can cost anywhere between $5 and $110. The ones sold in kits or sets of two, four, and six have prices ranging from $5 to $270. All the strut mount bushings in each product are designed to be a direct fit to your vehicle’s strut assembly.
Finding the right fit
With the help of our vehicle selector, you can make your search for a replacement part at CarParts.com as easy as one-two-three. You simply need to select the year, make, and model of your car in the vehicle selector to get the full list of parts and accessories that will fit your ride. To further help you out on your search, you can filter the search results by brand, price range, location, series, and per quantity sold. This will surely give you a customized list of options best suited to your needs.
Choosing the Right Strut Mount Bushing for Your Vehicle
The strut helps your car survive long drives through bumpy trails. It is placed on a mount that functions as a pivot-whenever you drive your car on rough roads, the strut mount holds the strut in place and, at the same time, lets it freely move around to absorb shock or vibration. But perhaps what is equally as important as the strut and its mount is a very tiny part called the strut mount bushing. It lessens noise and friction caused by excessive movement of the strut and its mount, minimizing the wear and tear from the rigorous activity.
Things to look for in a strut mount bushing
If you hear even the slightest clanking or squeaking noise whenever your vehicle bounces, as it rolls over potholes and dips in the road, it's time to check if your strut mount bushing has given up and needs a replacement.
One good thing about selecting a new bushing is that you're not required to make any changes to either your strut mount or any other suspension components. It is designed to match the specifications of most vehicle makes and models. There are, however, a few factors to consider when choosing the right one:
- The material it is made of-rubber or polyurethane
- Service life
- Resistance to oil, road salt, and other corrosive elements
Rubber or polyurethane
Most brands boast of durable bushings, ones that are not easily corroded. There is, however, an ongoing debate amongst car owners whether the rubber or polyurethane material is the better choice. Polyurethane, many have observed, is more durable than rubber but makes the car ride slightly hard. Rubber, on the other hand, provides for a smoother ride but wears out more quickly.
This tiny thing takes care of a bigger part of your car-your strut assembly-so at the first signs of trouble with your suspension, check if you need to buy a new strut mount bushing.
How to Replace Your Strut Mount Bushings
Driving down a bumpy highway or an off-road trail can put pressure on your car due to the added vibration it takes. The strut assembly takes the stress off of your car by absorbing these vibrations. The strut itself, the strut mount, and the strut mount bushing all play large roles in achieving this task. The smallest of them all, the strut mount bushing, probably gets the most amount of pressure of the three.
Given this scenario, one should expect that the bushing will wear out as it ages eventually. A slight rattling sound coming from underneath the hood, as if the struts have come loose, is a telltale sign of a bad bushing. Once this happens, a replacement is necessary. Here are the steps to help you in replacing your strut mount bushing.
Difficulty level: Difficult
Tools that you'll need:
- Two spring compressors (most auto-part shops will loan you these)
- Torx bits
- Jack stands
- A bench-mounted vise
Step 1: Jack up the car and remove the tires. Install the spring compressors securely. Make sure to tighten them down so that the springs move freely.
Step 2: Use a screwdriver to remove the caps on top of the strut mounts. Loosen the top three nuts on the strut fender wall, but don't remove the bolts just yet. Remove the bracket holding the brake line in place.
Step 3: Take careful note of how the bolts were inserted; they will need to be put back in place correctly later on. Disconnect the two strut mounting bolts that attach the strut to the wheel spindle mount. Slowly pull the strut away from the mount. Be careful not to drop the wheel spindle mount.
Step 4: Slide the brake line under the freed strut. Remove the strut from the car by freeing the three nuts at the top of the strut.
Step 5: Place the torx bit on a bench vise pointing upward. Turn the strut assembly upside down and have it sit on top of this setup. Loosen the first six-sided nut using a wrench. Locate the second four-sided nut and remove it.
Step 6: You should then see the damaged strut mount bushing. Simply pull this out and replace it with the new one you purchased. Put everything back in reverse order.
You will save a lot of money by replacing the bushings yourself. A DIY would cost around $35, whereas you will have to pay several hundred dollars when you take it to the shop.