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Toyota Camry Suspension Questions

hallagehallage Posts: 24
I have 113,000mi. Thinking about replacing the struts. Do you think I should replace the front only? Or would I notice a big difference replacing the rear also. Also would the KYB GR-2 give a stiffer ride compared to genuine Toyota replacements?




  • loucapriloucapri Posts: 214
    is there any leak from the struts or you just think it's about time to replace them since it has over 110K miles?


    I have a 97 with 103K miles, no leak from the struts and didn't really give me a reason why I should replace them.


    Unless you want a stiffer ride? If you decided to replace them, I think you should replace them all (4). Please let us know the outcome too.
  • I have a 97 also with 80K miles and it rides ok when I am alone but when I have a car full of people, I bottom out over speed bumps and driveways.


    Do you think new struts would help?
  • loucapriloucapri Posts: 214
    I usually drive by myself (once a while with my baby and wife) but don't have the buttom out issue but I do see other carmys riding "low" on the rear end when there are people in the back.


    i don't know if a new set of struts will help when riding with 4-5 adults but it probably might help.


    I just notice this morning when I made a big loop turn to get into the freeway ramp, my 97 felt a little lose and bumpy. lot's of body roll. I should chk my struts too, I guess :-)
  • Felt that ride is softer than it used to be. The car bounces a couple of times after going over railroad tracks or a speed bump. And not as definite a feeling cornering, than it used to. I just had some work done on the engine - replaced the front seals, engine mount, etc. and now the engine feels like new. Just thought if I replaced the struts I'd feel like I had a new car again and ready for keeping it another 10 years.
  • peterpanpeterpan Posts: 120
    Struts are worn by about 100K -120K miles.


    If any tire has unusual wear, that's the sign of bad struts. The shop can inspect and determine which struts are bad and need replacement, usually by finding oil leaks.


    Bad struts can cause loss control of cars in emergency lane changes or tight turns, esp. in FWD cars. Can be very dangerous.


    New struts prevents unusual tire wear and improve both tire and gas mileage. Some brands offer lifetime warranty.
  • Are you saying that there wouldn't be a deterioration of function in a strut even though there was no leak?


    Do you know if the KYB GR-2 gives a much stiffer ride compared to genuine Toyota replacements? I think it would be best if I tried to match the original ride quality. What would you recommend?
  • peterpanpeterpan Posts: 120
    Hi Hallage,


    If there is no leak, the struts should work OK.


    You should not rely on your feels to determine whether the struts are working properly or not. Chances are you cannot feel it. You should rely on hard evidences, such as oil leaks or unusual tire wear patterns, i.e. scalloping or feathering etc...


    I has 2 bad front struts that wore out tires prematurely but the ride was OK. When replaced with new Japanese gas struts with lifetime warr (forgot the brand), I felt no difference in the ride and handling of the car, but the tires stopped wearing unevenly and made less noise.


    With the bad struts, I got into a very scary loss of control of the car on freeway when I did a quick lane change to avoid merging traffic while cruising at about 65MPH. The car wobbled very hard from left to right and careened on 2 highway lane for about 30 sec. I really thought it would roll over. Luckily there was no traffic at night or I would have wiped out many cars, or crushed in a big multi-car accident. I am not easily scared but was very scared in that incident.


    Dealer said bad struts are known for causing lateral instability in FWD cars.
  • If you are replacing your struts with KYB , you'll need new strut mounts too. These are wear & tear items. It cost $55 to $65 for both front s. mounts (KYB mounts).


      I have 2001 Solara with new KYB struts with old mounts, and there was struts rubber fiction noise coming from the back. I replaced it, and problem is gone.


     Now the front strut mounts are giving me problem.

    I have 215 55 16 tires not OEM 205 60 16 with 4 KYB GR2 struts. It handles good, and ride good with Michelin Pilot.


     Most European & Japanese touring (coupe)cars have 55 aspect ratio, and there's more tire options.
  • loucapriloucapri Posts: 214
    I read and replied a few msgs about struts but what is KYB stands for? I have no idea.


    For those who replaced their struts, I want to know the general cost for parts and labor so I or others can get an idea about the cost.
  • KYB is the brand. Check TIRERACK.COM for cost. I got quotes for installation only $200-$250 for all 4 struts.
  • Stupid question:


    Can struts for a 2003 Toyota Solara SLEv6 be replaced by a "normal" guy like me, or will I need any special tools?
  • loucapriloucapri Posts: 214
    I tried it once about 10 yrs ago on a Ford Mustang. Big mistake!


    You do need to have special tool to compress the spring so you can remove/install the struts.


    Loosen the top nuts can be difficult too because they are very tight.


    For me, I ended up returning the struts to the store and went to SEARS auto center to get that job done.


    I would not recomment replacing struts yourself.
  • Around three months ago I had the struts and mounts replaced on my sister's 1993 Geo Prizm (Corolla clone) for just over $800. It shouldn't be any more than a Camry, so thought I'd share. Estimates ranged from $8-1,200. I dont have the paperwork, but it was maybe $200 for the mounts (they banged or thumped almost constantly!), and $250? for struts, plus alignment and Labor. I checked around pretty good, small shops were at the high end of the estimates, and the bigger, or chain shops, were by far the cheapest. It was a bit of an expense for a car with a book value of $400!! The car has just under 160,000 and now rides smoother, firmer, and quieter. If you can get 'em done for around half that, jump on it! The tire wear was ok before, but this is a very light car. Not to confuse the issue, but I also agree with the posts that say you end up with the same car and don't notice much. In this case it helped a bunch, but it was way overdue. Good luck!
  • If a '93 with 160,000 is 'way overdue', when whas it 'due'? like 3 years ago like my '96 with 114,000?
  • Right about that time, or not much later. My sister kept mentioning the bumping/thumping, and I heard it, too. That was the mounts, or bushings. All four bushings were bad. I know because I just had the struts done, had to get all four bushings replaced the next day to stop the banging/thumping. The left rear strut was leaking, right rear was broken. I put it off because I didn't want her to pay for it, and I didn't want to pay, either. Finally got worried about safety, did it as a Christmas and Birthday present.
  • Yes you can do it and it will save you lots of money. Enough to pay for the tools. Speaking of which, you WILL require the special spring compressors tools to squeeze the coil spring down to change the strut. You just turn the long bolt and squeeze the spring to release its tension. Harbor Freight has a cheapo model but I'd get this one from Sears, because you can use it for a lifetime. ical=TOOL&pid=00947057000

    It isn't really all that hard to change these, but you've gotta obey the tool instructions to the letter because you are dealing with a massively powerful coil spring, and if the tool isnt clamped right and the spring comes loose it'll half-kill ya. No need to be afraid of it as long as you are careful and not rushed though!
    And remember you will almost certainly need a wheel alignment after changing the struts (I could be wrong about this though, never done it on that kind of car)
  • savvy13savvy13 Posts: 2
    I have a 99 camry and for some days now I am hearing some strange noise from the front whenever the car hits the rough patch on the road. The mechanic told me that it is due to the front struts going bad. He told me that the rear struts are also going bad (although I don't feel anything strange from the rear) and he suggested me to change the struts, mounts and links for all the four wheels. Can any one tell me if I need to change all of them. Do all of them go bad at the same time?

    My car has approximately 60k on it.
  • n20087n20087 Posts: 1
    More than likely it is strut mounts and bearings in the front that are worn and in need of replacement. A replacement assembly will run $165 (each side) or a replacement bearing at $60-80 (each side) but requires dismantling of the strut.
  • buzz532buzz532 Posts: 1
    I have a 97 Camry that was making a lot of noise, it turned out to be the stabilizer bar bushings in both front and rear. Get the bushings from the dealer not the local parts store. Bushings will cost approx $36 a pair (a lot cheaper than struts). Fronts are different than rears so don't mix them up. If this doesn't solve your problem then you can get into the struts and mounts.
  • I bought a used car from one of the dealers here in Bellevue, WA. The car has 62K+ on it and I took it for granted that the 60K servicing has been done. I went for an oil change to MIDAS and the guy showed me the transmission oil that was completely black. He said it should be red. He suggested that the Camry needed the 60 K service and gave me a qoute of 300 bucks.
    Is there anyway I can find out if the car has undergone 60K servicing?
    Also what are the things to be taken care of in a 60K servicing for a Toyota Camry LE.
    All answers will be highly appreciated.

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