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Old 01-21-2011, 07:01 AM   #1
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How to tell if the struts need replaced?

I have had so many issues with my 2006 Pontiac G6. Just had to have ALL of the brakes replaced in December of 2010. Intermediate shaft had to be replaced in Spring of 2010; the car was making a horrible loud clunking/popping noise in the front end. Then just this month (January 2011) I took my G6 in for shaking above 60mph and a loud rattling/clunking noise coming from the front end yet again. I was told I needed to replace the steering column, have 2 tie rods replaced, the tires & alignment needed balanced and rotated, and I need 2 new front struts. Of course, the struts aren't covered under warranty and are the most expensive part! The balance & rotation wasn't under warranty either and cost around $70 at the dealership. They wanted to charge me $600 for the struts so I will be contacting an independent mechanic for a price quote from him.

The shop had my car for an entire week and the noise is still there. It's the same loud popping and clunking noise. Would it be the bad struts making the noise? It is making a similar sound as it did when I took it in to have the intermediate shaft replaced.
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Old 02-14-2011, 07:41 AM   #2
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The struts themselves could be OK, it might be worn bushings that are causing the pop/clunk noise.

Am good rule of thumb is when you replace the rear shocks, the front struts should be replaced as well. If the rear shocks are shot (the car won't settle after you push on it, it'll continue to bounce u & down) then the front struts are due for replacement as well.

With all your front end work it could be something as simple as bad sway bar bushings making the noise. If you have over 100K the work seems to be reasonable. If you don't have 100K, I'd suspect that one part has slowly worn another one out without you fully realizing it, thus is why you have so much work on your hands....

If its any consolation, I had some play in my '06 G6 GT within 6 months after I bought it new. I took it in as I had thought a tie rod was shot already which gave me the extra steering wheel play. It wouldn't track properly on ANY road and was very annoying as I could move the wheel a good inch before the wheels would react.

Needless to say the dealer took 3 days and replaced the steering rack itself. Tie rods were apparently OK. I fought with the dealer to replace the tie rod ends as well since they were removing the steering rack and I didn't want to have more problems in 6 months. The GM warranty rep agreed on the matter and sure enough, a week later when I brought it in for the appointment, one of the tie rods showed some play after the new rack was installed!

I found a good local mechanic/shop here in K-W, Ontario. You should look around in your area as dealers are overpriced if you no longer require warranty work or plan on trading it in anytime soon, as most dealers will give you a higher trade in value (if ever so slight) providing you get your maintenance done at the dealer. F- that. Take it to a shop that charges $30 less per hour and to quote the ING Direct guy "save your money".
'11 Ram SXT 4x4 quad cab - 5.7L V8; 75,500kms
'06 Pontiac G6 GT - 3.5L V6; 113,000kms
'12 Chrysler 200 - 3.6L V6; 58,000kms
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