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Toyota Camry Suspension Questions

hallagehallage Posts: 24
edited April 2016 in Toyota
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.

  • loucapriloucapri Posts: 214
    what year is your LE? I have a 97 with 106K miles on it.
    I don't think you can tell whether your car has a 60K miles service or not by just looking at it. But I will assume it didn't have one otherwise, I think the dealer who sold you the car would use it as a selling point to make this car more valuable to you. Don't you think so?

    $300 for a 60K service, I WILL NOT go to MIDAS. Just had some bad experience myself. I took my car to TOYOTA dealer and it's about the same price, maybe a less more. BUT I will not take it to Kirkland because it's over price in my opinion. The one in Everett is very good, service manager will not ask you to do this or do that. I have 2 TOYOTA myself and been to both dealership, by far, the one in Everett is way better.

    For 60K miles, you should have your cooling flush, replace transmission fluid and air fliter.
  • beto3beto3 Posts: 3
    How many miles did the car have when you bought it? 62,00 miles or 50,000 miles! NEVER assume work has been done on a use car!!!
    When the oil is BLACK it show POOR vehicle maintance. I agree with MIDAS. It is ovious that you did not get the vehicle past history, so the 60K is RECOMMENDED.

    I had a 60K on my 1992 Camry. My car has 185,100 and I have NOT done a major service. I will do a mayor service when it reaches 200,000 miles.
  • Hi Gurus
    I bought a used 1998 Camry with 85000 miles. The front struts , had a clanking noise, so I had them replaced the brand was Monroe Sensamatic.

    But still when I pass over bumps or , passing over man holes etc on the road, I hear a small clanking noise. When I took it back to the mechanic who replaced the struts he says its normal, but I have a gut feeling that the noise shouldnt come. I had a Corolla before this and was 5 yrs old, it didnt give any noise.

    So I would like have your advice what can be done t fix the issue.
  • Hi Shiv,

    Although I don't own a Camry, in general it sounds like you need sway bar bushings. Many of the people at Midas, only know about installing struts, and brake pads. Unfortunately, they probably won't be able to help you with this.

  • I have a 96 Camry, and the A/C has been broken for probably several months (atleast 7). I never did get it checked out but I did notice that the belt on the compressor was torn slightly, not majorly, but still... And just yesterday, I was driving and I felt some air blowing and I was wondering why my A/C was on since i always keep it off (Before when I turned it on, the compressor squeled loudly, the air is hott and once smoke came out of the vents.). But I turned my air to all the way to hi to check it out and like a miracle in like 5 seconds the air blowing out was cold. I don't know what could of happened or why it did this. But I noticed when the car is stopped and the motor is running, the air seems to lose it's coldness. But when I was driving down the highway home, the cold really kicked in, almost freezing. Does anyone have a guess at what happened?
  • This is because the mechanic who installed these did not tighten down the spring cover nut enough. The Monroe's are not made exactly stock, so when you try to tighten the nut on top of the strut, the entire strut shaft turns with it so that you cannot tighten it properly. This causes it to clank around because it's loose. You can confirm this by opening the hood, and looking at the strut cover. There is a little cap over the nut. Remove that cap and then bounce the car up and down a few times. If that nut is moving around in there, that's the problem. It should not move at all.
  • My 98 camry needs new struts and mounts. Dealer price is 1600 Sears is 1000. Has anyone had good luck with Sears Auto service?
  • I had two 94 camrys and traded in the first one but the second needed struts (right front bounced in the bounce test and was leaking fluid). Note: the front right and backs were fine but I had to change both fronts together. Went to midas and it cost about 350 bucks or so. What a difference. My point is the backs were fine (at least in the bounce test) and didn't get them done. Are your backs shot??? There isn't a load there like the front engine so I'm wondering if you're wasting money?? My mileage for the first camry was 196.5K and didn't need new struts. The one I changed it on was about high 190'sK or so. When I asked message boars, they said sears was better than midas and to go there I believe.
  • conradnconradn Posts: 1
    Recently we've seen several 1992-1996 Toyota Camrys where the front Gabriel strut has failed and gone up through the hood! Has anyone else seen this? Any ideas why? Thanks
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,570
    You get what you pay for.

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