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I have a car that is 7 years old and unfortunately hit a curb which bent the front strut on the drivers side. Do I need to replace both struts? Or just the damaged strut?

It is similar to this question and this question, but the difference is this was not caused by normal wear-and-tear. The strut on the other side is perfectly fine and shouldn't be in danger of failing anytime soon.

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  • Honestly, I think the answer will be the same. It might not be in danger of failing, but it is still more worn than a new one. Commented Jan 27, 2016 at 8:05

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The key assumption in the OP's question was that replacement in pairs was because if one failed then the other must be close.

It's actually about making them the same.

Unless the car has a tiny number of miles on it, the two struts will always be in different parts of their lives. That means the original one will always be more worn than the replacement will be. That leads to all the things the other answer here mentioned.

If the car has any value and you want to drive it for a while, you're better off to replace them in pairs.

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  • OK so it is about them needing to be the same. That was kind of what I was dreading anyway. I hate throwing away perfectly good stuff Commented Jan 29, 2016 at 2:28
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Brakes and suspension should always be done in pairs.

If you REALLY don't care about the car, you could just replace the one, but it could lead to alignment/tire wear/vehicle stability issues down the road.

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If one strut is good and the other one needs replacement you don't need to change both. The most common side is the driver's side. While replacing both gives you a much more even ride the weight of the vehicle will not change the actual ride. As one person posted you will most likely be changing the opposite side at some point just due to wear. After you change the strut and while it is not required I would recommend an alignment to make sure the car runs "true". If you opt to change both then you will not require an alignment providing your car is not pulling to one side or the other. It may also be a good idea to change your tie rod end. Warn struts put undue stress on other parts.

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Chiming in very late, but the post about making them the same is correct. Not about wear although more than likely as a side note if one wore out the other will likely wear out as well but that isn't the main point. The main point is that the main basis of suspension is that they work in pairs, so if you replace one and the other isn't replaced you will have vehicle stability issues. Personally I have bought two brand new struts TODAY and replaced only one and test drove my car and noticed my car is very bumpy on one side of the car and whenever I go over a bump the car would lean to the weak strut. It feels very odd and I imagine it is easier to lose control of your car in different situations. I say all that to say it is best and more safe to change them in pairs, BUT it is down to the person and their wallet to decide what is best.

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