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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a bumper to bumper warranty through MOPAR till 118.500 miles and that includes struts / shocks. Mine are now feeling like they are not working........vibration, bumps hit hard just not smooth. I have new tires and that is not the issue at all.

If you have replaced the front struts why did you and at what milage ?

This is on my 2011 Chrysler Town and Country with 96K on her.
 

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Front struts rarely fail, if ever. @ 96K miles your struts should feel like new.
I agree. The strut guys, and auto parts places, would like to see you replace them every 50,000 miles but turn around and give you a lifetime warranty. Go figure on that "speaking with forked tongue".

On my 2002 GC, with over 350,000 kms, I replaced the struts at ............................... wait a minute .................... they haven't been replaced yet.

I would check out those new tires Damoncaravanman for comfort per https://www.tirerack.com/tires/reviews/MenuServlet?search=surveyComments What air pressure (cold) are you carrying?
 
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Struts do fail. The easiest way to tell is if the body of the strut looks wet when it should be dry. That's the fluid inside leaking out. What gets harder to determine is if the internal valving has gone bad or if the fluid has managed to overheat and the viscosity has permanently changed. Any failures can happen at any mileage. I saw an older core minivan the other day, all four wheels just a bouncing away undampened, the whole vehicle swaying each and every way. Bad struts can cause odd wear patterns on tires which you can find examples of on Google. I replaced the rear struts on my wife's Grand am because they were causing cupping. I've replaced all 4 struts on my Bonneville because it felt increasingly sloppy. I'm close to replacing them on my 80k mile G8 because it has gotten rough over bumps. The rear shocks on our old van started making weird skwook sounds. Like any other wear item, they go bad and/or wear out. It could be up to your comfort tolerances to decide when it is.
 

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Yes, struts as anything else do fail but, OEM struts often are replaced when not really need it, then replacement struts fail very soon. Here we are talking about Dodge-Chrysler minivans, not any other vehicle. Rear shocks on those vehicles do fail very quickly, but front struts don't.
 

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There isn't anything magical about our struts relative to others and we should not expect them to last forever.
 
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Yes, struts as anything else do fail but, OEM struts often are replaced when not really need it, then replacement struts fail very soon. Here we are talking about Dodge-Chrysler minivans, not any other vehicle. Rear shocks on those vehicles do fail very quickly, but front struts don't.
Yes, many expect strut or shock replacement will make a big difference even though the springs in the quick struts, or the struts themselves, are only mediocre aftermarket products. The dust caps for the rear shocks tend to rust out here and need replacement around about 10 years.

If a strut or shock isn't leaking, i.e. seals are still working wonderfully, what will cause it to not do its job? There isn't a whole lot going on inside a strut or shock, a lot less than what goes on inside a transmission, and one doesn't replace a transmission every 50,000 miles. Some never replace their transmission fluid for goodness sake. :)

As long as a wheel alignment shows camber staying within specs, the coil springs are doing their job.
 

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There isn't anything magical about our struts relative to others and we should not expect them to last forever.
My son replaced his good O.E. struts on his 2006 Mitsubishi just because he wanted Aftermarket struts. New struts lasted less than 5000 miles while the O.E. had over 200,000 miles and were still good.



For some reason, struts on some vehicles last a very long time, Chrysler minivan being one of those.
 

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I did not say replace them "just because." I'm saying to replace them if they are leaking or don't feel like they are performing like they should in your opinion. My main point was that obvious visual problems are not the only indicator of degradation and failure. Additionally, I did not mention the bounce test as a way to tell, because that test only shows an internal issue well after it has already developed.
 
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When it comes to degradation over time, you can't be 100% sure. It's a "feel" thing.
 

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Well I will be replacing my struts at 113k miles. Due to a front end noise that appears to be from the passenger rh strut. Will see if that was actually the cause soon.
 

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96GC 216K miles with original struts. Tire wear fine, no bouncing, no leaking but do get a slight clunk noise now and then that may or may not be a strut. Call me crazy but I may just change them for grins when I hit 250K in 5 years.

I changed a pair on a 98ish for a guy many moons ago who only wanted them changed because he hit 100K. Tried to talk him out of it but he insisted. Seemed a waste to me but walked away with a hundred bucks and a great fried chicken dinner so I wasn't too dejected.
 

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96GC 216K miles with original struts. Tire wear fine, no bouncing, no leaking but do get a slight clunk noise now and then that may or may not be a strut. Call me crazy but I may just change them for grins when I hit 250K in 5 years.

I changed a pair on a 98ish for a guy many moons ago who only wanted them changed because he hit 100K. Tried to talk him out of it but he insisted. Seemed a waste to me but walked away with a hundred bucks and a great fried chicken dinner so I wasn't too dejected.
There you go. Just think of all the fried chicken dinners one could have using money saved by not replacing fully functioning OE struts. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
This 2011 Town and Country pulled a 3100 lb. Casita trailer for about 85K miles, up all over the US, up through Canada a couple of times, a trip all the way into northern Alaska. It has 97K miles on it so the van has traveled and had some more harsh driving than most. The front feels UN smooth going down the road, has a vibration starting at about 50 and gets worse all the way up to 85, not a tire wheel unbalance issue, new tires were put on and still the same. Going dn the hwy and if a dip, it dips big time and to me it like a boat going over a wave. Does this help as the vibration is through the van, not the steering wheel, it is all. I feel as if the front tires are "bouncing" as driving over the speeds on the freeway and that is the vibrating. So, does this help?
 

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Any leaks and did you do the bounce test to see how quickly the bouncing stops?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
stupid me keeps the whole car clean, I even spray under, I have not seen leaks, yes did the bounce test parked and bounces 1 and a half. So, that confused me, but yes going down a hwy at 70 and a dip in the road it bounces more than any of the other 5th gens I had.
 

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If your camber is well within specs, your coil springs are holding up well. Your heavy loads would take a toll on the springs. Pot holes are likely the worse things for struts and shocks. There's no shortage of those here and the struts and shocks hold up well in spite of them.

Do your struts bottom out sometimes? I hit a large raccoon with the right wheel of my 2002 GC a couple years back. Made an awful mess of the raccoon and did some damage to my fascia and fog light too. But the strut ............... it's still there, doing its job even though it bottomed out hard, the wheel hit the raccoon dead on.

Any noise from your sway bar? I assume the bushings are using a "compression bond" with the sway bar and should be helping to dampen out pitch and roll.

What cold air pressure are you carrying in your tires? Any chance that a rim is bent? Have the wheels been "road force" balanced?

Since no vibration from the steering, perhaps you should be looking toward the back suspension for the problem. Do you have a rear sway bar?
 

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I'd probably start with new rear shocks after checking all the linkages in the rear.
 
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