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  • actualsize 04/21/08 6:40 pm PST

    I am always suspicious of this one, but I guess I shouldn't be. Before I met her, my wife and her well-meaning dad once got ripped off for four new struts, brake calipers, etc. The car was a Toyota with 25,000 miles on it. I still have the receipt. Pure B.S. at that mileage.

    No doubt about it, front struts do need replacement at some point. Mileage, history and condition factor into it.

    How many miles on your truck? If you have front struts, I'm sure it is 2004 or older, because 2005 and later Pathfinders do not have struts--they have shock absorbers and a double wishbone front suspension.

    Does the front end "float" or bob (more than it used to) over bridge expansion joints or after going through dips? Do the front tires dribble like a basketball after hitting sharp bumps and railroad tracks? (Have someone you know drive next to you and watch when you cross this sort of surface--you might not feel it yourself.) Any unusual cupped tire wear on the front tires?

    Is there evidence of an old oil leak on the outside of the struts? I say old because some unscrupulous outfits will smear fresh engine oil on the struts and say: look, I found a leak! See?

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