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1995 quest front suspension problems

I have a 1995 Quest with various problems with the front end. right now the issue is a groaning sound from (i guess) the front shocks or suspension when I go over larger bumps like speed humps or dips in the road. also can occur when turning. recently i've noticed i'll go over a dip in the road and then hear a delayed "POP" sound from the left fron side, delayed like it's happening when the vehicle rises back up after pressuring down on the shocks.

My mechanic (whom I do trust) said it is the struts.

does this sound right? What exactly are the struts, how do they fit in with teh rest of the suspension system, are they expensive, are they easy to fix by myself, does it require many special tools? On other cars have done brakes, a starter, a radiator, but that's about it. how complicated would this be. Anyone else have a similar problem?

Great discussion group, hope to hear from others, Thanks!

Comments

  • let me rephrase: the groaning in the suspension might be more of a low-pitched creaking, and is not related to speed or rpm.
  • rockmobilerockmobile Posts: 109
    Specially when vehicles get older. I had a Toyota that did it for many years and I never changed them. Now my 99 Quest is beginning to do it. The noise is more pronounced during the winter months.
    Ask your mechanic about any safety issues, there may be more to it than just the struts and you do not want to lose a tire at any speed. If there is NOT any I would not worry about it.
    As for replacement, I myself would leave it to a competent person, and I would advise you to do the same if you don't even know what or where they are. The task can become really hazardous to your health.
    If the estimate for the job is higher than what the van is worth I would start looking for a trade.
    Do a google on struts and suspensions. The explanation would be too long for this thread.
    Hope this helps.
  • How many miles? On my wife's 97 Quest we've replaced the struts and strut mounts twice in 142,000 miles. The OE parts lasted about 65,000 miles and the strut mounts were evidently worn out after a round trip from Dallas to western NY on some of the worst interstate highways I've ever driven on.
    Our alignment shop told us the strut mounts were worn out, but because you have to take it all apart anyway it was a good time to replace both the struts and strut mounts. I priced everything at our local auto parts stores and ended up buying Gabriel mounts and struts at Auto Zone.
    The new struts came with a lifetime warranty and A/Z loaned me the strut spring compressor for the repair. Get a good manual and you can probably do it yourself if you're inclined to. After the repair have your front end alignment checked and corrected as necessary.
    Just recently I did the second strut and strut mount replacement. Because the struts were warrantied I just paid for the new strut mounts which now come with a lifetime warranty as well. So hopefully we won't have to do it again, but if we do and A/Z is still in business all of the replacement parts will be covered and I'll just have to borrow the spring compressor. I suspect my Gabriel struts weren't completely worn out, but the strut mounts certainly were and A/Z didn't seem to mind replacing them after 77,000 miles.
    The strut mounts have a bearing that holds the top of the strut and the mount attaches to the chassis. When that connection gets worn out you can get some of the front end noise you mentioned. You might want to get a second opinion before you proceed and occasionally in our market Sears, Pep Boys, etc. advertise they'll install struts free if you buy them there.
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