How to Buy Struts on eBay

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How to Buy Struts on eBay

Car and truck owners who enjoy working on and restoring their own vehicles are often on the lookout for items like tools, parts, and accessories that help them in the restoration process. One of the more popular of these options is struts. However, struts are often misunderstood amongst buyers who confuse them with shocks, and they fail to recognise when their replacement is necessary.

Therefore, when looking to buy struts on eBay, buyers need to first review all of these important facts about struts and compare them to their particular situation. Doing so saves time, money, and hassle. As a key component in a car's suspension, struts are vital to get right and eBay is a great place to buy them.

Defining Struts in Automobiles

Struts in general are part of a vehicle's suspension system. Basically, the strut provides reinforcement to the vehicle's chassis and acts as a shock absorption unit. However, a strut is distinctly different from what is commonly known as a shock. In order to make sure that the right part is purchased on eBay, buyers should start by reviewing the basic function of a car's suspension as well as the distinction between these two main suspension components, struts and shocks.

Understanding the Suspension

The suspension of a vehicle, whether it is a car, truck, or piece of farming equipment, is designed to act as a connection between the body of the vehicle and its wheels. The main job of the suspension is twofold. First, the suspension minimises the impact of movement on the passengers in the car, absorbing the shock that results from the normal noises, bumps, and jumps that happen while travelling at high speeds along rough roadways. Second, the suspension's role as a connector between the body of a car and its means of movement, the wheels, ensures that the vehicle maintains safe and optimal contact with the road surface and impacts its relative handling on the road.

Struts vs. Shocks

When it comes to the safe and smooth handling of a vehicle's suspension, the shocks and struts both serve the same basic function which is to absorb the shock of the road in order to smooth out the passengers' ride. However, the means through which they achieve this goal varies substantially, and are compared in the table below.

Part

Location

Relative Cost

Main Function

Shocks

Front of vehicle

Inexpensive

Absorb bumps in the road and dampen vibrations in order to provide a smoother passenger experience

Struts

Rear of vehicle

Expensive

Integral part of the suspension that replace upper arm control and serve as steering rack pivots

The point is that while both shocks and struts serve the same blanket purpose of dissipating the kinetic energy that is generated as cars drive along uneven roadways, the relative utility and expense of one vs. the other is markedly different. Shocks, though important for comfort, are minor additions to the vehicle's suspension while struts are essential. Also, while the terms are used interchangeably by many laymen, they are clearly different, which is important to know when shopping for struts on eBay.

Knowing When to Replace Struts

The struts are an important part of any vehicle's suspension and serve an integral purpose in terms of both passenger comfort and safety. Yet, before going through the process of buying struts on eBay, buyers need to make sure that it is, in fact, the struts that need to be replaced.

The Lifespan of Struts

Struts are considered a 'wear' repair rather than a 'maintenance' repair. This means that, like brakes, the lifespan of a car's struts depends on a number of factors including individual driving habits and the terrain on which the car is generally driven. There is no set mileage to look out for when determining when to replace a vehicle's struts.

Knowing about the lifespan of struts helps buyers save money when shopping on eBay since the site often offers used auto parts as well as brand new ones. Cars that were in a wreck, for example, and sustained only front end damage can have perfectly viable struts. As long as buyers are able to discover the history of the used struts in question in their current vehicle, there is a huge savings available.

Checking a Vehicle's Struts

The only way that buyers can determine if they need to replace their vehicle's struts is through specific testing of their function and a resulting visual check. This constitutes two specific testing methods that buyers can employ prior to looking for replacement parts on eBay.

Visual Inspection

The first test is a simple visual inspection. Struts can either be filled with oil or air. If this fill product is leaking, they need to be replaced. Oil leaks are easy to spot through simply looking at the struts for any signs of leakage. However, air tests are harder to conduct without special tools.

Bounce Test

The second test that buyers can use to check if their struts need to be replaced is known as a 'bounce test'. Since the purpose of struts is to help manage the movement of the vehicle when on the road, their relative function can be discerned by noting this in a controlled environment.

Begin by putting all your weight into the back of the vehicle, where the struts are located. Then remove that weight quickly and see if the vehicle bounces or quickly settles. Bouncing is a sign that the struts are not working optimally and need to be replaced. It is also important to listen for a squeaking sound when releasing the vehicle. This squeak indicates that the struts are worn even if the bounce test passes. Worn struts need to be replaced sooner rather than later.

Choosing OEM or Aftermarket Struts

One of the biggest benefits of buying any sort of car part on eBay is that buyers have a lot of options in terms of the type and quality of those parts. This includes both OEM and aftermarket car parts.

A part that is labelled OEM, short for original equipment manufacturer, is one that is designed by the same manufacturer who designed the car and is made to the exact specifications of the original part. OEM struts may be made by the car manufacturer itself or an agent contracted by the manufacturer. Either way, buyers are assured that the struts they buy were made for their car specifically and are the same as the original struts that they are replacing.

Aftermarket parts, on the other hand, are not made according to the exact specifications of the car's manufacturer. Many companies who manufacture auto parts like struts, however, are able to make parts that fit well and perform optimally for a lower price than OEM parts.

The eBay Buying Process

Buying struts on eBay is easy. Like most auto parts, struts are designed for a specific make and model of vehicle, which means that searching on eBay should include those specifics. This saves time in the long run. Begin with a basic search term like "Nissan struts", and then use the limiters in the results to choose the best, most appropriate option.

One really nice aspect of the eBay buying process is the ability for buyers to quickly complete purchases through the use of an existing account, including PayPal, which speeds up payment and allows buyers to protect personal financial information. In addition, savvy buyers can search for local sellers to avoid post costs through the limiters eBay provides in its search results.

Conclusion

The importance of a car's struts cannot be denied. As a key component of the suspension system, maintaining struts is important if drivers want to be safe and comfortable in their cars. However, knowledge about struts and how they function is important to have before going through the process of buying them on eBay, and allows buyers to take advantage of the site's many great deals.

Struts and shocks, though part of the same system, are two different suspension components. Understanding these differences helps to save money since shocks are cheaper and easier to replace. In addition, knowing how to test the viability of struts also helps save time and money, as is using the proper search and evaluation methods on eBay.

struts|shocks|brakes|used auto parts|OEM struts

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