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Car suspension advise

Posted 3rd Dec 2022

I have a Vauxhal Astra and have been experiencing some suspension issues. It’s quite high mileage 125k and I have not done suspension work ever to it.

Got it checked out and they recommended I change the below
Rear springs (slight damage on one)
Rear shock absorbers (leaking fluid)
Front drop links (makes a rattle sound)
Left outer track rod end (play in left tyre)

Took it to 2 garages and they diagnosed the same thing. Would you recommend I change anything else? Such a ball joint etc before I give the car in? Or brake pads which are due soon?

I don’t really understand much about suspensions. Have also been advised tracking/ wheel alignment needs to be done after the tie rod end change.

Thank you
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  1. slimy31's avatar
    For springs, shock absorbers and drop links you should replace them in pairs, but I'm guessing by the way you used the plural that you were going to do that anyway?

    I also agree with the alignment after the track rod end change. There's not much point combining the brake pad change, there's no common work (apart from taking the wheels off) so there won't be any saving. Just do them if/when they need doing.

    I would normally say make sure you get decent suspension parts, but at that mileage I would question how much longer you plan to keep it. Monroe or Bilstein are decent brands at a good price and are sold by Euro Car Parts (which a lot of garages seem to use for their parts, at least round here).
    killerz's avatar
    killerz Author
    Hi I’m changing it in pairs. The engine is in good condition, drives smooth with a few motorway miles on it. I service it with mobile oil twice a year. Use fuel additive once in a while if i use supermarket fuel.

    I have negotiated a really good deal of £160 on the labour for the above with a mechanic I have used for years. Normally he would charge £250 to others he said.

    Parts have added up to about £100. He advised it should take up to 2 hours to complete.

    Drop link and shock absorber from eBay. 2 years warranty and oe quality.

    Tie rod end from gsf

    With the springs what would you say about AMTEX COIL SPRING - REAR from gsf? I’m not sure if these are a good company/ reliable. The euro car parts one are a bit expensive starlines would cost £80 for the pair.

    Or this from eBay? Brand continental direct OE spec.

    Thank you- I appreciate all your advise. (edited)
  2. mas99's avatar
    I'd just say be prepared to find that it needs bushes/balljoints that only becomes clear when they take it apart. If you're keeping the car it would be daft not to sort anything else that is on the way out.
    I assume the bump stops will be falling to bits and might need top mounts.
  3. Gingerdan's avatar
    So two separate garages have given you the same advice yet you now want to ask on here if there’s anything else needed doing?

    Surely if both garages have given you the same advice on what you need doing then just go with what they have said, why look for extra work if the garages haven’t flagged anything else up?
  4. airbus330's avatar
    Seems like fair wear and tear on an Astra with 125k. Not really worth changing anything not on the list, but since the wheels will be off, you may as well have the pads done for a small additional outlay. Depending on the bill and assuming it has a current MOT, maybe its time for a change of car.
  5. hubcms's avatar
    Over the years I've changed many TREs and yes in an ideal world I would have got the tracking done after everyone, however I didn't. So if you're doing the work yourself make a note of how many turns it takes to remove the old one, and screw the new one in the same amount.
    mas99's avatar
    Make sure that they are the same length tho. some aftermarket ones can differ in thread length.
  6. .MUFC.'s avatar
    Has the cambelt been done? If it hasn't then you'll likely be on borrowed time
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