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OEM strut on a 2000 VW Beetle, 60,000km's. Just picked this car up in very good shape, has only seen one winter according to the previous owner. I had it inspected and I was told that the left front strut was starting to leak. I brought the car home, jacked it up and took a look myself. I can see a slight film below the brass part, but nothing on the cylinder at all. The right front strut actually had a bit more film than the left! I've got a bit of suspension work behind my belt and I cannot see anything wrong here, I also called my neighbour over who is a mechanic and he said that he couldn't see anything worth even mentioning. What do you guys think?

Left side(reported bad side):






Right side(reported good side):






Black film on cylinder is actually dirt from my fingers:

 

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You must have taken it somewhere like Midas or Car-X to have it inspected.. Most OEM struts are good for at least 75K or more, depending on the type driving done.
 

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75 K?:no: Geez no wonder half the industry is in the tank. I have driven over 1.5 million km in Toyota products averaging over 250k per vehicle and not replaced a strut except for 32 years ago after an accident.
 

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75 K?:no: Geez no wonder half the industry is in the tank. I have driven over 1.5 million km in Toyota products averaging over 250k per vehicle and not replaced a strut except for 32 years ago after an accident.
Had to replace the struts on my 1999 Toyota Corolla @ 120k and just replaced the rear springs at 142k (should have replaced ALL the spring with the struts).

I see nothing wrong in those pictures, but the truth is in the ride and/or how you want the vehicle to ride. If you do replace them, do lots of shopping online first. The name brands are usually made by the same basic manufacturer, rebadged, and sent down the line for a price inflation. I could say the same about oil filters and other parts. I would upgrade, if possible, and replace all 4 at the same time. If the springs are too soft, you could blow the new struts, so keep that in mind too. Just because the spring rate is within specs doesn't mean they aren't bad (ask me about Toyota's cheapskate warranty company...).

If you DIY, there really isn't anything hard to installing them. Just be careful with the spring compressors (get GOOD ones).
 
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