Yeah, New England roads fair no better. I drive my car pretty hard in a lot of turns and it still feels great as I've said.That's helpful, thanks! I've been wondering on this one. I've driven a couple vehicles well past 200K miles before, and I regretted not doing suspension earlier (while the vehicle was still worth the cost of struts). So I don't want to drive this into the ground, but the suspension definitely feels better at 100K than I expected.
Nearly all of my driving is freeway/highway. Michigan/Indiana roads are crap, but the suspension definitely hasn't been abused too badly.
^^ "He's right, you know." - RedHa! I'm that guy and I drive ALL OVER the country -- including up in the frozen north (but usually not when frozen) where "road" is not a very precise word for what cars travel on.
Check for play in tie rod ends, ball joints and suspension bushings, along with the dampers (bounce each corner, see if it keeps bouncing or stops immediately when you quit.) That which isn't working right replace. The usual cause of "loosey-goosey" feelings in the suspension are bushings and tie rod ends, none of which is expensive (but some are a pain in the butt to change.) This stuff should be checked when your rotate your tires as the wheel is off the ground. Takes a minute or two and a helper to shake the wheel strongly while you look for movement where there should be none. Pay attention to tie rod ends and ball joints; break one of those while driving and you will be VERY unhappy. They're not expensive or very hard to replace either but do NOT buy "Chineesium" parts for either.
Struts depend on the car. So far mine are ok. My Jetta went to about 150k before the fronts needed replaced, and I did all four at the same time just to save the hassle of doing the rear shocks later. The fronts were a pain in the butt, specifically, the pax side, which I engineered a way to get out without dropping the control arm (the official way to do it) which would have necessitated an alignment. Now, with 250k, they're getting a bit iffy again. Hmmm... maybe those aftermarket ones (Konis) weren't as good as the OEs eh? They certainly haven't lasted as long...
BTW I won't be buying that brand for the Mazda when the time comes. They look like crap (rusty); when the OE ones came out of the Jetta the OE paint and finish was still perfectly good. So much for "better" than OE eh?
Incidentally at 250k the tie rod ends and ball joints on the Jetta are just fine (!) The rear control arm bushings, however, are starting to show enough checking to be worth replacement although they're still tight and I've changed the strut tower bushings as well (when I did the struts.) Neither is serious at this point but the next time I have a reason to do anything with the suspension I'll change those and since there's a bit of checking on the CV boots I'll pull the axles, inspect the internals, replace what's showing signs of distress and re-boot them before the boots fail and destroy the joint itself.
Yeah, that when it actually works, it works amazing; but that's less than half the time :lol:Maybe there really IS something to that "German engineering" thing they talk about...
Yeah, that when it actually works, it works amazing; but that's less than half the time :lol:
Odds are the springs are perfectly fine. Unless you live in the rust zone, and likely even then -- at this age the odds of the springs being bad are near-zero. I'd probably buy the Bilstein's.
I'm surprised with that mileage and use pattern yours are trashed. Mine are still "ok" (not great, but ok) at 190k miles (!!) on my 2015. But much depends on the roads you drive on -- if you're in pothole city, well...... yeah, you're going to buy suspension parts on a MUCH more frequent basis.
It's not that hard to pull the struts and then move the springs. You need a set of compressors and you have to be careful, but it's not a difficult job. I haven't looked at the "6" closely enough yet to see if you have to do anything hinky to get the fronts out; on the VW it's a monkey show due to the strut going INTO the knuckle, and getting clearance to remove it can be trouble. If I remember correctly looking at the "6" the last time I rotated the tires a couple of months ago that's not a concern on these cars, which should make it easy to extract and replace them.
If the car feels "loose" check the control arm bushings and tie rod ends -- if they're deteriorated that'll DEFINITELY do that and that is also something you do not want to ignore as it will lead to abnormal tire wear as well. A tie rod end that fails will hose you HARD. It's a decent bet that the problem isn't the struts.
Thanks for the reply! I have gone back and checked again. The car does rock 2 or 3 more times when I give it a good bounce on the fronts. Rears seem a bit stiffer, but of course they have less weight over them.Bounce each corner. If the dampening is shot it's instantly apparent. There's no reason to change perfectly good shocks or struts.
However, there are plenty of other components that can be worn out, particularly suspension bushings. Much depends on the roads you drive on and the sort of climate you drive in.