Driving a new car is a pleasant experience, you do not have to worry about vehicle handling or even the suspensions because everything is still new and in the correct place. Car chassis may start to flex after your mileage meter has a noticeable figure on it and suddenly the car becomes difficult to handle especially when taking corners or when you happen to hit a bump.
You will need a permanent fix to this problem by installing a strut bar. Strut bars have many other aliases such as strut brace, body braces, suspension braces, and fender braces.
Does this solution against car body flex work? What does a strut bar do, or how does it work?
What is a Strut Bar
Simply put this is a metal bar made of carbon fiber, steel or aluminium connected to the left and the right strut tower of your vehicle. This bar plays a significant role in reinforcing the frame of your car thereby reducing the chances of your vehicle flexing. The exact point where you need to place the strut bar should be at that point where the body of your car suffers the most stress.
Every time you are driving your car around corners, or over speed bumps, at high speed, different sets of forces will try to push your car in the opposite direction to prevent the car from falling. The resistance that your car offers is what makes the frame of your car weaker with time. With a strut bar installed all these forces will be absorbed by the bar and therefore less flex will be felt.
Choosing the Right Strut Bar
Getting it right the first time will save you a lot of money, and you will see lots of differences in vehicle handling especially when you are used to driving at high speeds or live in an area with lots of corners. Always make sure to install the front strut bar if you intend to get one at a time. The front wheel suffers the most stress when driving. Look at the flexibility of the strut bar; a stiffer bar will do a better job in strengthening the chassis.
Types of Strut Bars
When choosing the correct one, you need to know about the different types that are in the market.
1. Triangulated Style Front Strut Bar
This enables the strut bar to be tied on three points to keep everything in place especially when getting through hard corners or when applying hard brakes.
2. Separated two point-shaped Strut Bar
The main shaft is separated from the main bracket; this is good for those who may have difficulties in installing the standard strut bar.
3. The triangular three-point strut bar
More or less the same as the triangulated strut bar, it ties the strut towers together and gives your car better handling when driving.
Materials Used for Manufacture
Other than the type of strut bar you want for your vehicle, another thing to look at is the material used to make the bar. There is the steel, aluminium, and carbon fiber options each with their advantages and disadvantages.
The amount of weight that is likely to be supported by the three different materials is, of course, different. If you want to get the same weight supported, you will need a larger piece of aluminium or carbon fiber compared to steel which may be heavier but handy when it comes to fixing it in smaller areas.
All the three materials are best placed for different stress points for instance aluminium, and carbon fiber is well placed to be in places with less stress like body panels. Carbon fiber, on the other hand, is a perfect replacement of steel but the cost may turn you away.
What Does a Strut Bar do
- Strut bars will increase your ability to handle your car when experiencing G-force. This increases the speed at which your car changes direction to counter the forces against tipping over.
- A stiffer chassis as a result of a strut bar makes it easier for one to diagnose a suspension problem. This keeps the tires in check and always in the intended factory position.
- Strut Bars will make your car predictable, especially when driving fast around corners. You will be able to tell what direction the car will take on every turn.
- Strut Bars acts like a suspension bridge by absorbing the tension the chassis is undergoing, therefore, reducing the force of compression on the body of the car.
Having a strut bar installed gives you a peace of mind and better feel in car handling. If you love speed, then you will see the need of having a strut bar installed. It is the simplest way to add rigidity and predictability of your car when driving.
It is a very tricky affair when it comes to installing strut bars; you may not want to have a bar that has less stiffness than what your car chassis is made of. Ideally, many car chassis are made of steel, the best option to go for would be carbon fiber if you can afford or a steel strut bar.