It's a common scenario: You notice your vehicle riding unevenly, and upon inspection, you find that one corner of your air suspension system has a leaking strut. The straightforward solution might seem to be replacing just the problematic strut. However, this approach might only offer a temporary fix and could lead to more hassle and expenditure in the long run. In this blog post, we'll discuss why it's crucial to replace both sides of an air suspension strut, drawing parallels with the more familiar concept of replacing tires and even shoes.
The Composition of Air Struts
An air suspension strut is not a single component but an assembly consisting of multiple parts, with the air bag being the key element. These air bags are usually made of rubber, and like any other rubber-based component, they degrade over time. The degradation is generally uniform, meaning that if one side is showing wear, the other is likely in a similar condition, even if it hasn’t failed yet.
The Rubber Analogy: Tires and Shoes
Think about the last time you had to replace a tire on your car. Would you have considered replacing just one? Probably not. Tires wear down at approximately the same rate, and it's almost a given that you'll replace them in pairs, if not all four at once. The same goes for shoes. Wearing one new shoe and one worn-out shoe doesn't just feel awkward; it's not practical. So why should air struts be any different?
The Domino Effect: One Fails, the Other Follows
Practical experience shows that when one strut fails and is replaced, it’s usually not long before the other one gives out too. In many cases, customers who opted to replace only one strut found themselves back in the repair shop as early as a week later to replace the second one. This "domino effect" is not only inconvenient but also ends up being more labor-intensive and possibly more expensive in the long run.
Labor and Time Efficiency
When you're already investing time and money to have one corner of your vehicle’s suspension system worked on, it makes logistical sense to replace both struts. The labor cost for replacing both at the same time is often not much more than for replacing one, since the vehicle is already on the lift and partially disassembled. Doing both at once is not just a sales gimmick; it’s a sensible approach to save both time and money.
Peace of Mind
By replacing both sides at the same time, you eliminate the lingering concern that the other strut could fail at any moment. This proactive approach offers peace of mind and a more balanced, stable, and safer driving experience.
Changing both sides of an air suspension strut is not about upselling but about practicality, efficiency, and long-term savings. The logic behind this advice is rooted in the uniform wear and tear that these components experience. So, the next time you find yourself with a leaking air strut, remember: two is better than one.