Do I really need Struts?

I took my 91 CRX HF to get it Emmission tested and when the guy handed me my money back, I knew I was in trouble. especially when he said "sweetheart, there's no exhaust coming out of your tailpipe at all" ok,
long story short and $500 later (every pipe from the manifold back was rusted through and there was NO bottom left to the muffler) Anyway, the shop said that my rt frt strut was gone, and the other three are barely holding on. So are struts really that important???? $800 important??? I just put in a new clutch for $400 and now the exhaust. the car has 206,000 miles on it and truthfully is in great running condition. still get 45-50 miles to the gallon, but I don't know if I can justify spending $800 on struts, again, how important are they really? I know I'm being such a girl, sorry...
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Elizabeth Kennedy via CarKB.com wrote:

Yep that is a strong clue that you may want a second opinion.

Your car isn't a very safe car by today's standards -- but it is economical as hell. I'd get it fixed, if it truly does need to be... again, get a second opinion. Struts are critical. And, CRX is a great little car. Unless you are going for the status or just like to spend a lot of money on new cars, fix it!

Need not say any more.
I have a 92 Accord with 208,000 and its still a good strong running car. I've spent about $3000 on it over the past three years, but believe me its worth it.
Richard ------- www.xdnc.com
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First, I'm not sure you've actually got "struts" (anyone...?). I suspect they're just shock absorbers. Struts are a particular type of suspension component that happens to incorporate a shock absorber.
Second, ask this guy exactly what he means by "gone".
If he means it's just that it's not damping as well as it used to, you can live with that. They're just old.
If he means it's leaking, you can live with that too, but eventually you'll really hate the rubbery, bouncy ride. You may have trouble controlling the car in emergency maneuvers as well.
If he means the strut body is rotted and the spring is in danger of falling down, this is very serious, and pretty scary if it does break.
If he means the shock absorber mounting points on the body are rusted, then you've got serious trouble and you need to pull the car off the road right away.
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TeGGeR

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"TeGGer" ( snipped-for-privacy@tegger.cm) writes:

"Gone" can also mean seized (or getting that way). Again, this can have a negative affect on handling and braking. (Could cause the car to pull strongly in one direction under heavy braking. Not the only thing that could do this.) Can also cause premature wear of other suspension components and tires.
It would be worthwhile getting a second opinion, from a reputable Honda dealer or garage that specializes in Hondas.
Dan
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get it fixed

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On Wed, 06 Apr 2005 16:15:22 -0700, halo2 guy wrote:

;)
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Why didn't you ask him to -explain- what he means about "the struts are gone"? Then you could decide on how much repair is "worth it".
"gone" could be that they don't damp out up/down body movement anymore,or that the strut mounts have rusted thru or nearly rusted thru. Rusted thru could mean loss of steering control if they break,it could kill you. Worn struts will decrease tire life,I believe,and make good steering control harder on rough roads,but not a killer. When you go over bumps or dips in the road,does your car keep bouncing for awhile or settle down quickly?

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Wow, thanks for all the responses, lets see, they said that it has struts, not shocks... that the struts and mounts need to be replaced, and when I brake (soft or hard) the car shakes (as well as the steering wheel and the brake pedal) and when I go over bumps, well, it doesn't bounce at all. But hey on a good note... my car is so quiet now, I didn;t even realize how loud it really was until I had the exhaust replaced. I'm getting a second opinion. But I think I'm going to have to spend the money and at least get the two front ones replaced. Of course, I live in a rural area and probably won't drive the car for a few weeks until the amount of deer I see while coming home from work early in the morning gets smaller. Since they are bigger than me, I usually opt to drive one of my other cars.
Beth
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Wrong.
Proof please.
The fronts are upper A-arm, lower control arm, radius rod, and coil-over shock assemblies with fork beneath to get around the driveshafts.
Rears are trailing arm, lower control arm, upper arm, compensator arm, and coil-over shock assembly.
Honda suspensions in 1991 were complicated, part of their sales pitch then, along with references to Honda's Formula-1 racing involvement.

Brake rotors are first culprits here, tires next, shocks last. Worn/torn bushings can also cause vibration.
Please let us know what your guy says.
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It has struts and I recommend you go to an autoparts store and buy Monroe Sensatrac for the front. Then call around for the cheapest price on getting them installed. Your old car will be riding great with them. :)

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Well, I finally got my guy to look at my car... I need both front rotors replaced. He said you can call them shocks or struts, they're really not either and they are both. He said that they are more complicated than that and have been known to be called shocks by some and struts by others, either way, my right front whatever is completely damaged, when you push on it it doesn't bounce at ALL - just kind of hits bottom. The other three are leaking. He is going to replace the two front whatever they are and leave the back two for later either when I can afford them, or they get worse. But thanks for all the advice, I'm glad I waited for him to look at the car for me :)
Beth
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Whatever they're called, you established that they're actually bad, so that's settled.
As far as terminology goes, he's still wrong.
A superb link for those interested: http://tinyurl.com/4mzwo (Will take you to The Suspension Bible)
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A shock absorber is part of any suspension of any design. This is the part that is bad on your car. (We could get pedantic here and point out that "shock absorber" is an incorrect term for what is functionally a rebound damper, but that's another subject).
Shock absorbers can be stand-alone, as they are on most pickup trucks, and on many older rear-wheel-drive cars, or they may be incorporated with other components.
If the shock is a stand-alone, it has no structural role in keeping the wheels pointed in the correct direction. (Not counting axle-tramp here.)
Your car has the shock absorber placed into a tube that also incorporates the spring seat. This is often called a "coil-over-shock" assembly. Like the stand-alone shock, it also has no structural role in keeping the wheels pointed in the correct direction.
A MacPherson (or a Chapman) strut is a type of suspension component that combines a structural member, a spring seat, and a shock absorber in one unit. It has two of the structural points in the suspension's geometry that keep the wheels pointed in the correct direction.
You cannot call something a "strut" which is not responsible for location of the wheels.
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