Fast food restaurants have recognized that customers usually want as much as they can for their dollar – sometimes literally. With a sandwich, a drink, a side dish and maybe a toy, sometimes the draw isn’t what you get, it’s how MUCH you get.
Does quality suffer when convenience is most important?
When we talk about loaded strut assemblies, it’s easy to focus on the convenience factor. Loaded struts are popular because these preassembled parts include the coil spring, the strut mount and all the hardware needed to do the job. Like a value meal, they’re quick and easy to install, right out of the box.
It’ll fill the empty space – but are they giving your customers everything they need?
When your shop recommends a loaded strut, there’s something else you should remember – that’s the quality of the components within that assembly and especially the quality of the coil spring. A weak spring can cause problems with the vehicle’s steering and handling, and the electronic stability control.
Remember the role of springs in the suspension system. Struts and springs set the ride height of the vehicle, and they provide a comfortable, stable ride. When a wheel reacts to a bump or body motion, the spring is compressed and then releases the energy. The spring RATE is the amount of weight that’s needed to compress a spring one inch. A new vehicle has a SPECIFIC spring rate that helps provide the ride characteristics for that particular model. The rest of the suspension components and the electronic stability-control system are tuned to function properly in conjunction with that specific spring rate.
If a replacement loaded strut assembly has springs made of poor-quality steel, or springs that don’t match the rate of the OE springs it could have an adverse impact on ride height, which affects wheel alignment, tire wear and handling. Weak springs can affect both camber and caster, which could result in a steering pull, a change in steering effort or return or uneven tire wear. Poor-quality, uncoated steel springs are also at increased risk of breakage and spring failure.
Struts and springs are one of the most important suspension components, which is why this is NOT an area where your customer should cut corners. Your best recommendation is a replacement strut assembly that’s been designed to OE specifications, and one that’s been designed and TUNED specifically for that vehicle model.
Let your customers save at the drive thru, NOT by scrimping on what they drive. This video is sponsored by The Network Academy.