What is this auto part?

So, it’s a holiday and my mechanic is off doing holiday stuff (crazy) til next week.

Out of curiosity, though, I wondered if anyone knew what this part/problem was (and approximately how much it would cost to fix – which can be very general, because if the answer is anything other than “less than $300” the car’s getting junked or sold).

There is this disk on a really thick spring affixed to the top of the rear wheel well. It is supposed to sit a couple inches above the rear tire. It does not, anymore – I went over a bump a couple days ago and something broke, so now it’s pressed against the top of the tire. It’s “drivable” to the extent that the wheel still turns, but any distance and you get that lovely burning rubber smell, and I imagine eventually it would shred the tire.

What is this part? Can it be fixed cheaply? I’d be cool with a junkyard part, this car isn’t going to last much longer anyway. It’s a 1995 Geo Prizm.

(I’m pretty sure it’s going to be too expensive to be worth fixing, but thought I’d ask…)

It sounds like you broke the rear strut. Depending on what broke, you are talking probably somewhere between $300 to upwards of $1000 to fix it. Don’t drive the car around in its current condition.

That was fast. Thanks. Googling “strut” it looks like that’s exactly what it is (or some piece of the shock absorber/strut assembly, anyway).

Guess I’ll call him on Monday and see if it’s worth him looking at.