How to Change Rear Struts on a Nissan Altima

Written by alibaster smith
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The rear struts on your Nissan Altima help to dampen the shock from the road during normal driving. The strut assembly normally consists of a shock absorber and a metal spring, called a coil, that is mounted over the strut. While technically, most Nissans use shocks in the rear, the names "strut" and "shock" are often used interchangeably.

A simple test that you can do to tell if your rear struts need replacing is to push down as hard as you can on the rear bumper of your Altima and quickly let go. If the suspension bounces more than three times, it's a decent indication that your rear struts are finally starting to wear out.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Floor jack
  • 2 jack stands
  • Socket wrench
  • Socket set
  • Tire wrench
  • Wheel blocks

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  1. 1

    Place wheel blocks in front of the front wheels. You may also want to put your Altima in 1st gear if it has a manual transmission.

  2. 2

    Turn the lug nuts on the rear wheels 45 degrees with a tire wrench to loosen them. Do not unseat the wheel from the wheel hub, however. The lug nuts should be just loose enough so that it is possible to remove them completely when the weight is taken off the wheels.

  3. 3

    Jack up the rear of the Altima using the rear jack point. Locate the rear jack point on the Altima. The rear jack point is located near the boot and is an extension of the frame of the vehicle. Jack up on this part of the vehicle only.

  4. 4

    Place a jack stand under each of the rear pinch welds located directly underneath the rear passenger driver side doors and lower the vehicle onto the stands.

  5. 5

    Finish removing the wheel lug nuts and slide the wheels off.

  6. 6

    Support the rear strut with the floor jack. Make sure that you jack up on the strut to lower control arm joint enough that you compress the spring on the strut. Stop jacking up on the strut when the jack begins to lift the Altima off the jack stand.

  7. 7

    Open the boot and remove the strut tower nut with a socket wrench.

  8. 8

    Lower the jack slowly. As you do, the spring with decompress and come down out of the strut tower.

  9. 9

    Remove the lower control arm to strut bolt and pull the strut out from the wheel well.

  10. 10

    Install the new strut. Installation is the reverse of removal.

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