2002 Pontiac Sunfire Struts

Tiny
MTHWEATT_1020
  • MEMBER
  • 2002 PONTIAC SUNFIRE
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • MANUAL
  • 60,000 MILES
We are replacing the passenger front strut and coil spring which were damaged by hitting a nasty pothole. The coil springs come in pairs, so insurance is paying for both.
One estimate we have has suggested we replace the struts on the driver's side as well, but the insurance company says that is not required - but they will pay for the strut and the labor to replace it if I find information that suggests that both struts should be replaced to maintain safety, performance, etc.
Can you tell me if you would recommend replacing both struts, or are we fine with replacing just the passenger side?
Do you
have the same problem?
Yes
No
Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009 AT 4:36 PM

7 Replies

Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
I strongly recommend replacing both at the same time. If one strut is stronger than the used one, it could cause instability when driving. It is a common rule of thumb to replace both.

Joe
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009 AT 4:52 PM
Tiny
MTHWEATT_1020
  • MEMBER
The insurance adjuster says he needs support for replacing both struts from Pontiac. That mechanics and strut manufacturers would say replace both because they want to create sales & business.
I have worn out google trying to find info. Any suggestions on where to get such information? Would that be included in a manual?
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009 AT 5:22 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
I don't have anything in writing. What I recommend telling him is this. "Every mechanic that I have spoken with tells me the same thing, replace both. If I replace one and have an accident due to the fact the the front end of my vehicle is uneven and doesn't respond equally, I promise you will hear from my attorney and it will cost you a lot more than the cheap price of labor."

You can also have him contact me. I anm not going to benefit in any way financially if one or two are replaced. But I would be glad to speak with him. In fact, get me a phone number and I will call him for you.

Joe
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Thursday, April 23rd, 2009 AT 12:19 PM
Tiny
MTHWEATT_1020
  • MEMBER
That would be fantastic!

The adjuster's name is Al Douse, he works for Nationwide, and his cell phone no. Is 802-735-5992.

If you tell him it's in re. To the 2002 Sunfire he should know the car - my name is Mike Thweatt though.

Thank you again for the help - this is my wife's car, so I want to have both replaced anyway to be safe. And it will be a lot easier if it's paid for by insurance.

Mike
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Thursday, April 23rd, 2009 AT 12:53 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Mike, I didn't forget about you. I will call the guy on Monday. Please forwarn him that I will be calling so he doesn't think I'm some nut.

Joe
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Saturday, April 25th, 2009 AT 10:24 PM
Tiny
MTHWEATT_1020
  • MEMBER
Hi Joe - I talked to him on Friday and at the end of the conversation he thanked me for the investigation I had done. He said he was going to discuss with his manager as he felt it might be something that should become policy for Nationwide.
One point I made to him - I found a Pontiac service bulletin that said that the opposite strut should NOT be replaced for warranty service unless there are signs of damage or failure. It occurred to me that auto manufacturers do not warranty struts outside of the bumper to bumper (12K typically) coverage period. If a strut failed at 20K you would go the strut manufacturer for warranty service - just like you would if you had a tire fail.
I asked him if he knew if Pontiac had written information that said if you replaced a radial tire on the front end that you should replace both front tires? He said no he was not aware that info was given by anyone but tire manufacturers.
Long story short, I convinced him that the auto manufacturers have "no dog in the hunt", so they would not be prone to giving any advice on struts - just as they don't on tires.
I received a check in the mail Sat. For the 2nd strut and labor to replace it. I think the fact that you were willing to call him, and that you had no vested interest, helped considerably.
Thank you very much for your help - you went above and beyond! Your website has already received many recommendations from me - and will continue to do so!
Mike
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, April 27th, 2009 AT 7:31 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Mike:
You're going to laugh. I just got off the phone with Mr. Douse and explained why both should be replaced due to a stability concern. I sent him an email with my recommendations, and he said he already agreeded to replace both. Then I opened my email and saw the new one from you explaining that it would be taken care of. (LOL) He was very nice and understanding, and I'm glad you got what you needed and deserved.

Sorry it took me a few days, but I wanted to wait until Monday (today) to hit him with it.

If you have questions or concerns in the future, let me know and we'll do our best.

Have a great spring and summer,

Joe
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, April 27th, 2009 AT 12:20 PM

Please login or register to post a reply.

Recommended Guides