TECH TIP: REPLACE YOUR STRUTS

A very common repair for all Rabbits, Golfs, Jettas and Sciroccos is replacing the front struts, springs and/or bearings.
Don't be Suckered In! 

"Discount" muffler shops advertise "New Struts for $149.95," but when you finally drive out the door, the bill is $800.00. If your car has any miles on it, particularly over 75,000 miles, you'll need more than strut inserts. 

 

The inserts are listed for a low price but if you're charged $200.00 for springs and $187.00 for a top bearing, more for snubbers, etc. Your $149.00 strut job is now $657.00 or more. Your car's apart, what can you do! CALL US FIRST! 

You can buy these items by the piece, in sets or in assemblies. May we suggest assemblies? 


If your steering is shimmying or shaking and giving you a hard time or your VW is rattling in the front- end or clunking, we've got the solution for you. First check your tire pressure, then change your front struts, they are easy to change, only four bolts per strut, maybe an hour or two tops. 

Here's How to Do It: 

All you need is a 17mm socket, 17mm box wrench and 13mm box wrench. That's all there is to it, no kidding. Loosen the nuts that hold the wheel on. Then raise the front end of the car so that you can get at the strut's bottom end. You'll also need to get at the top of the strut, so don't raise the car too high. Do not raise the car where the strut attaches to the lower control arm. Let the control arm fall to its fully relaxed position and then put a lock under it or wire it in position without compressing it. This will keep it from falling and stretching the brake line when the strut is removed. Take off the wheel. 

On the bottom of the strut you'll find two 17mm bolts. The top bolt has an off-center attached washer (an eccentric washer) on it. This washer pushes against a shoulder on the strut to adjust the wheel's camber setting. So before you remove the bolts mark the washer and strut with a metal scribe, punches or white paint so you can match them up later.


Remove the nuts off the 17mm bolts first, then the washers and push through the bolts holding the strut to the control arm. Stick one bolt back through either hole. This will stop the control arm from falling when you take off the strut's top bolts. Now open the hood and remove the plastic cover on top of the strut by prying it off. You'll see two 13mm nuts and one large nut in the center (leave the large center nut alone). Take off the two 13mm nuts. 

Pull out the lone bolt on the bottom holding the strut on and take the strut out. Carefully transfer the alignment mark you made on the old strut to the new one so the camber angles will be the same. Put the replacement strut in by aligning the two top bolts into the holes in the fender and put the nuts on. Torque the nuts. Twist and pull down the strut so that it aligns with the bottom holes. You may have to move the control arm for proper alignment. Put the 17mm bolts in (make sure the eccentric one is on top and that the washer is aligned with the mark you transferred from the old strut) then torque the nuts. Replace the brake line into the strut and replace your wheel. It's that simple and you're done.

 

If your tires show any abnormal wear (like on one side or the other) or you're putting new tires on, have the front end aligned (they'll automatically do this and charge you for it a shop even if you don't need it.) 

Click here to download and print the Replace Your Struts PDF 

WARNING: While our customers have found this information useful, these articles/links are not from technical publications.  Information presented here is to give you a general idea of what to do and how to do it. Auto repair, while fun and economical, can be dangerous.  There is no way we can warn you of each and every hazard.  How can we tell you that when installing a hub cap, don’t smoke and have a bucket of gas nearby?  If you have no common sense, ignore these articles.  Otherwise, read the warnings in the front of the Robert Bentley manual before you proceeded to follow any advice given here.