Topping It Up
Safety critical and integral in a vehicle’s suspension system, febi sheds some light on the importance of checking strut top mounts regularly.
Often overlooked until it is obviously worn out, the strut top mount is a small but integral part to a car’s suspension system. If they are not changed in time, a faulty strut top mount can affect the other parts of the car and impact the overall vehicular safety.
The strut top mount contributes to a car’s suspension system, its ability to absorb shocks and road vibrations. As the strut’s upper centre of rotation, the strut top mount links the shock absorber with the chassis that affects the front axle’s camber and castor settings.
In modern vehicles, the strut top mount is constructed from a rubber-metal element that is extremely sturdy. It is imperative that the rubber used for strut top mount construction fits the specific hardness to ensure driver comfort and safety. If the rubber is too hard, the vehicle’s comfort is compromised; too soft and it wears faster.
MECHANICS OF WEAR
As a rebound stop, the strut top mount limits the shock absorber’s rebound path and must absorb the substantial forces over a short distance. These parts wear until they fail completely due to the constantly changing stresses that increase because of poor road conditions. Every pothole, bump and kerb strike places stress on the microcellular foam of the buffer that becomes increasingly softer and shorter.
CHECKING & REPLACEMENT
A strut top mount should be checked at least every 12,000 miles and replaced every 60,000 miles to ensure safe driving and performance. When replacements are needed, strut top mounts should always be renewed in pairs. This can also be done when replacing the shock absorbers as it does not require additional steps and labour costs to the process.
febi strut top mountings adhere strictly to the OE specifications in their construction and materials used. The ball bearing in a strut mount allows the strut to rotate in relation to the chassis. febi supplies individual rubber-metal mounts and ball bearings separately as well as repair kits within febi’s ProKit range.
Dust caps, buffers and rubber blocks are important chassis components that are often overlooked. Wear and tear of these rubber components have similar adverse effects on driver safety. Furthermore, the rubber block’s function is to absorb vibrations from the road surface. As the rubber becomes less elastic, the vibrations are transmitted to the car’s interior.
Protection kits should also be checked during an inspection and replaced whenever the shock absorbers are replaced, or no later than every 60,000 miles. febi supplies kits to fit most common European car makes in OE matching quality.