The Volvo Parts, Accessories &
Performance Specialists Since 1963

Premature Front Strut Spring Seat Failure?

2022-01-05 - IPD Staff

Did your replacement strut spring seats fail prematurely?

Did your spring seats suddenly fail after some recent front suspension work?

A quality replacement Spring Seat will last for years and tens of thousands of miles if installed properly.

The most common reason for failed replacement spring seat is failure to install the stop washer under the spring seat.

Without the washer, the strut is putting extreme stress on the center sleeve of the spring seat and will either tear the rubber or break the bond between the sleeve and the rubber. Once that happens, the strut can freely push upward through the spring seat and strut bearing.

If the stop washer is installed properly, it is physically impossible for the strut to push through the spring seat.

If your strut is hitting the inside of your hood, the washer is most definitely missing because this cannot happen if the washer is installed.  

Sudden, catastrophic failure of a spring seat is a good indication that the bottom stop washer is missing.

Were the spring seats you originally replaced completely failed?  Was the center sleeve separated from the rubber?  Did they cause the strut to bump your hood?  Then why would the replacements?

Spring seats wear out slowly.  The rubber will eventually degrade and the bond with the sleeve will fail but if the washers are installed, this will only cause increased horizontal movement and wear out the rubber even further.  It will not cause a big change in  the vertical movement. since the washers on the bottom and top are limiting it.

The washer sits on the top of the strut shaft and has a wider diameter than the opening in the spring seat and the strut bearing.  There is no way during any imaginably normal operation that the washer could get damaged enough to let the strut push through it.  In such a case, there should be catastrophic damage to other parts of the suspension and/or the car body.

It is fine to re-use these washers if they are still in good condition but you should replace them if they have serious rust damage.


It is unfortunately common for technicians to leave out the bump stop when reassembling the strut and it is easy to overlook the stop washer attached to it.  A Volvo specialist should know better, but the mechanic at your corner import repair garage may not. 

Many times a technician will leave out the washer then claim the parts you brought them failed only to discover during the "warranty" replacement that they left out the stop washers. They will then fix it correctly without admitting to it being a shop warranty.  So the parts end up looking like the problem instead of the real cause. Many times the customer ends up paying labor for the second replacement since they supplied the parts to the shop for the original repair.