Complete or Loaded struts refer to struts that arrive already pre-assembled and ready for installation. When used properly, these products can allow you complete your strut installation much quicker than replacing individual components. The appeal of complete struts is that they will return a car to like-new condition.
The Advantages of Loaded Strut Assemblies
Not only are loaded strut assemblies easier, and safer for technicians, but they also offer customers the advantages of entirely new components. A loaded strut consists of the following: the strut, the strut bumper and boot, the coil spring, the spring seat and insulators, and the upper strut mount.
Before loaded struts were available, technicians were forced to obtain all of these parts individually or reuse the parts if replacements were difficult to find. As you can imagine, reusing the components doesn’t do much to improve the handling or ride of a vehicle.
Upper strut mounts are responsible for carrying the vehicle’s weight. When upper strut mounts wear out, they can lead to major steering issues. The condition of the spring and ride height also have an impact on handling, steering, and tire wear. If the springs are weak, this can impact both the caster and camber. This may in turn lead to a steering pull, uneven tire wear, or a change in steering return or effort. If ride height is lower than the ride height specifications, any issues that a customer may be having with steering, handling, or tire wear is likely due to the springs. While it is possible to shim springs, the best option is performing a repair with new springs. Weak springs are especially prone to failure. New springs tend to be thinner to limit weight and have a plastic coating to prevent corrosion. However, if the plastic coating fails to protect the spring from corrosion, the springs can still break.
Therefore, reusing the components can lead to the dissatisfaction of your customers. Your customers may go back to your shop with a complaint about the ride control components when one of the components breaks down before the new struts have begun the age.
In general, technicians find it easy to communicate the benefits of pre-assembled struts when it comes to convenience and monetary value to customers. When talking to your customers about the advantages of loaded struts, you should note that while the initial costs of a loaded strut can be higher, but they will likely save money in the long run thanks to the longevity of loaded struts in comparison to traditional struts.