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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-11-2018, 11:01 AM Thread Starter
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When to replace suspension components

I've got a 2016 touring with just over 100K miles, and wondering when people have have replaced struts/shocks. The car definitely doesn't feel bad, but it also doesn't feel brand-new.

Planning on keeping this thing for another 125K at least.

2016 Mazda 6 Touring (MT)
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-11-2018, 11:19 AM
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Depends on what kind of roads you've been driving on.

80% of my 140k+ miles and almost 6 years have been on the highway which, obviously, won't be doing as much damage as side roads or some of the unpaved ones in my area. There's a notorious couple of private streets in my city that people who live on them have to replace struts every couple of years.

I still feel like mine are doing fantastic, but I'm expecting something to go wrong sooner rather than later.

That being said....my wife's Mazda 3 had a strut MOUNT break before the actual strut thanks to our winters up here - so you never know.

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-11-2018, 02:16 PM Thread Starter
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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.

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-11-2018, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by hunter186 View Post
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.
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.

I know of a couple other people on this forum who have similar milage (one around 150k and one over 160k) and so far as I know, neither of them have had any suspension issues yet - though one of them is in Florida where the roads are pristine haha.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-11-2018, 04:56 PM
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Ha! 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.

Maybe there really IS something to that "German engineering" thing they talk about...
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-12-2018, 10:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tickerguy View Post
Ha! 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.
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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

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-12-2018, 10:50 AM
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Yeah, that when it actually works, it works amazing; but that's less than half the time

I can confirm this lol, I had an 01 Audi A4 1.8T Quattro and it was an AMAZING car...when it was running right I think in the two years I had it, it single handedly paid for my fathers car trailer

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-12-2018, 10:55 AM
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Well, fair point except.....

That Jetta has never once stranded anyone. Of course I do the maintenance that's supposed to be done, which might have something to do with it.

It and my "6" are the pair of lowest TCO vehicles I've ever owned. The Jetta loses now only because diesel is so damned expensive here in the US comparatively; when it was comparable the mileage boost made it a huge win over long periods of time. Now, not so much -- you can't overcome a 30% difference in fuel price (and sometimes more depending on where you are!)

The grunt of the turbo down low on a diesel is nice too. Oh by the way the turbo and clutch on that car are OE -- with 250,000 miles on the clock, and the cam looked fine the last time I had the valve cover off (to do the timing belt.) I'll change cam and lifters, plus the oil pump and its drive chain next time I have it apart at 300k -- I fully expect the car to be on the road then, assuming it doesn't get hit.
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