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This page is taken directly from our digital online manual 42026 for the 2001-2011 Honda Civic and 2002-2011 Honda CR-V with 1.7L, 1.8L, 2.0L or 2.4L engines. There is schedule for when a strut or shock absorber will begin to go bad, but you should check them any time you have a front wheel off the car once they have 25,000 miles on them. Your periodic oil change and tire rotation is a great time to check for wear and a lack of damping. Here is a simple guide to checking them: Checking Your Car's Shocks/Struts.
Note: If both strut assemblies are going to be removed at the same time, mark the assemblies Right and Left so they will be reinstalled on the correct side.
Strut assembly (front) - removal, inspection and installation
Note: This video was made based on the Honda Civic, but the CR-V is largely the same. Any significant differences will be noted in the text instructions.
Loosen the wheel lug nuts, raise the vehicle and support it securely on jack stands. Remove the wheels.
Unbolt the brake hose bracket from the strut. If the vehicle is equipped with ABS, detach the speed sensor wiring harness from the strut by removing the clamp bracket bolt.
On 2005 and earlier Civic models and 2006 and earlier CR-V models, disconnect the tie-rod end from the steering arm on the strut (Full details for this are in Section 16 of your Haynes manual).
On 2007 and later CR-V models, detach the stabilizer bar link from the strut.
Mark the position of the strut to the steering knuckle (see illustration).
Note: This is only necessary if special camber adjusting bolts have been installed in place of the regular strut-to-knuckle bolts.
Remove the strut-to-knuckle nuts, then knock the bolts out with a hammer and punch.
- Separate the strut from the steering knuckle. Support the steering knuckle with a piece of rope or wire so as not to overextend the inner CV joint or fall outward and strain the brake hose.
- Support the strut and spring assembly with one hand and remove the three strut-to-body nuts (see illustration). Remove the assembly out from the fenderwell.
- Check the strut body for leaking fluid, dents, cracks and other obvious damage which would warrant repair or replacement.
- Check the coil spring for chips or cracks in the spring coating (this will cause premature spring failure due to corrosion). Inspect the spring seat for cuts, hardness and general deterioration.
- If any undesirable conditions exist, replace the entire unit with pre assembled strut and spring, or proceed to section 4 of Chapter 10 of your Haynes manual to disassemble the strut and spring.
- Guide the strut assembly up into the fenderwell and insert the upper mounting studs through the holes in the body (see illustration). Once the studs protrude, install the nuts so the strut won’t fall back through. This is most easily accomplished with the help of an assistant, as the strut is quite heavy and awkward.
- Slide the steering knuckle into the strut flange and insert the two bolts. Install the nuts, align the previously made matchmarks and tighten them to the proper torque:
Civic Coupe and Sedan models2002 and earlier 76 ft-lbs2003 to 2005 116 ft-lbs2006 and later 67 ft-lbsCivic Hatchback and all CR-V models 116 ft-lbs
- The remainder of installation is the reverse of removal. Tighten all fasteners to the torque values listed in your Haynes manual.
- Install the wheel and lug nuts, then lower the vehicle and tighten the lug nuts to the proper torque:
Wheel lug nuts 80 ft-lbs
- Do not reuse the upper mounting bolts. Install new bolts and tighten them to the proper torque:
Strut upper mounting nuts 33 ft-lbs
- Have the front end alignment checked and, if necessary, adjusted.