Maintaining any automobile is a challenge without the right help on your side. This is especially true of luxury European vehicles like Volvo. Volvo cars are widely-accepted as reliable, durable, and consistent vehicles across time; however, even the most well-designed, well-made vehicles on the market have their flaws.
One common issue that Volvo drivers experience is upper front strut mount failure. If you’re not sure what we’re referring to, you’re not alone – most drivers aren’t familiar with common automotive nomenclature, which is precisely the aim of this blog. We’ll go over what the upper strut mount does for your Volvo, how to recognize signs of failure, and what you can do to prevent or address the problem effectively.
What is the front upper strut mount?
As a critical part of the suspension in your Volvo, the front upper strut mounts are an essential feature in keeping your car stable and performing well. In a nutshell, the upper strut mounts are located at the top of the shocks or springs and holds the suspension system connected to the wheels. There are a few major components that make up the front upper strut mounts:
Upper strut bushing
Bushings absorb a lot of impact and force in this assembly; they often wear quickly – and prematurely if the driver isn’t aware of their individual driving habits and conditions. It’s important to keep in mind that if you replace any part of the front upper strut mount assembly, the bushings should usually be replaced too, otherwise they may wear out faster.
Upper strut bearing
Found usually only in the front strut mount assembly, this part is essential for steering performance. It gives the assembly the flexibility it needs in order to move with the movement of the vehicle. This part often takes the brunt of force while turning your vehicle.
It’s all in the name; this part is what holds, or mounts, the assembly to the vehicle and is often connected to the bushing. If the mounting plate is compromised, the security and stability of the entire system and assembly is too.
The most typical signs of strut assembly failure
It’s important to be aware of the signs that indicate your front upper strut mounts are failing. Of course, the signs of suspension wear in general don’t make it easy to isolate the source of the issue, so any of these symptoms should be followed up with by a Volvo specialist performing a differential diagnosis:
- Unusual tire wear patterns
- Less vehicle stability and security on the front end
- Diminished quality of driving experience and comfort
- Noticeable sounds while going over bumps or dips in the road
Common causes of failure
There are certainly more likely reasons for your suspension issues than others, and it almost always involves at least one worn out part that requires replacement. Usually it’s one of two issues: worn out bushings or worn out bearings. Though small pieces in the grand scheme of things, these elements of the front strut mounts are essential to overall suspension function and must be maintained or serviced over time.
What can happen if strut failure isn’t addressed quickly?
It’s unfortunate that Volvo drivers experience this issue more frequently than other drivers, and the exact cause is unknown; however, if the problem goes unaddressed for any extended period of time, it can lead to the following issues, which involve more repairs and expensive part replacements:
- Added strain on the engine and transmission components
- Premature tire wear
- Overall vehicle performance lowered
How to prevent strut mount failure
Since we know that Volvos are more susceptible to front upper strut mount failure, it’s important to take a preventive stance on your auto maintenance. Here at Cerrone’s European, we have helped Volvo drivers from all over the areas of Redwood City, Palo Alto, Atherton, and San Carlos, CA, attend to suspension problems with precision, accuracy, and honesty – in other words, we stand by our work and never offer repairs that aren’t absolutely necessary to our clients. If you’ve recently noticed a change in your Volvo’s suspension, it’s best to have the symptoms diagnosed by a Volvo specialist, and the Volvo experts at Cerrone’s European are always happy to help.
* Volvo XC90 image credit goes to: teddyleung.