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Shocks, Springs And Suspension Support


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One of the aspects I love most about Lexus automobiles is the smooth ride. How often should the shocks be replaced? and the springs? My RX has 51,000 miles on it. It still rides smooth, but I want to be on the lookout for any signs of wear and tear.

Also, there was another forum where someone had problems with a suspension support piece for their shocks. This caused a "thud" whenver they went over bumps. I too have a "thud" sound from driver's side only whenever I hit bumps a certain way. It doesn't happen often, but it does happen repeatedly. Any advice?

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Somewhere around 60,000 miles on my wife's 1999 RX300, she began complaining about a "thunk" sound when on bumpy streets and similar situations. Turned out to be the top suspension support -- the round, black plate at the top of the strut. There is a big rubber ring in there that gives out over time, so lets the top of the shock absorber (strut) bang around.

I was told they redesigned that support from the original, to make the center hole round instead of oblong. That may reduce the noise, some, but it doesn't keep the ring from wearing out, so "thunk" results.

In my xase, the driver's side strut was leaking oil as well, so I had to replace the strut. I replaced the top support at the same time.

I actually got the support and the associated bearing from O'Reilly's. AutoZone has them (or can get them) as well. The strut I got from www.pickproparts.com for around $95 plus shipping. I got a second one from them later for the passenger site. Wasn't hard to replace, but read the other posts on this site on how to do it and what to watch for. Biggest pain is the need for spring compressors.

The replacements were KYB shocks. Seemed to ride like the originals. In fact, I believ the originals were made by KYB as well.

Hope that helps.

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I am having the same problem but from the passengers side. I had reported a problem while the vehicle was under warranty....and they didn't find anything wrong with it. I took it to another dealer 2 years later to do some other service and they told me it was the suspension support. I have tried to get Lexus to replace it under warranty as it is out of warranty now...seeing as how I reported the problem under warranty. All they will do is pay for the parts...not the install costs. There is actually a TSIB that was put out in december of 99....the number is su002199...it details the problem & can be accessed on the clublexus.com web site. They have remanufactured the part due to the problems. I am lucky & have a 3rd party aftermarket warranty and they are covering the cost to get it replaced. So, I have the problem too....and that sounds exactly like what is happening in my vehicle.

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  • 6 months later...

SGriffith - I am following back up on this topic as the problem seems to have spread to the front suspension as well as the back on my '99 RX. Any idea what the cost would have been without the warranty? It doesn't sound like parts are too bad, but I'm concerned about labor.

Any other follow up on this topic in terms of what has happened to you since then?



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Thanks for the attachment. It came through fine. What exactly is a TSIB and who publishes them? Where can they be found? I followed links before to Edmonds.com and the NHTSA (?), but didn't find anything.

And sorry to sound ignorant here, but what exactly is a strut? The picture here looks like it's a part of the shock absorber?

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  • 3 weeks later...

Sorry about the delay in response -- I'm not always watching posts for replies.

TSB is a Technical Service Bulletin. I'm not sure if "TSIB" is a misprint or just another term for TSB.

I believe it's always the manufacturer that issues TSBs. Some are advisory, some are probably more significant. They usually describe a problem, followed by the available fix (new part perhaps, or a procedure that negates the issue). I'm uncertain if all TSBs are published, as they sometimes advise the dealer to fix something for free IF the customer brings up the issue.

As far as accessing them, I use ALLDATA, a company that provides service information to repair centers and mechanics. For about $25 the first year, and $15 each year thereafter, you can get the same information the mechanics get for a single vehicle. TSBs are included in the subscription, and I wind up using the subscription MANY times through the year. It's good for understand the car, researching issues AND making repairs, plus I frequently get the part number of an item I need that helps me search the Internet for pricing.

If you have a buddy in the mechanic business, you might also consider buying the 2-volume factory workshop manuals through him at a discount. I paid $150 for mine -- well below what the dealers want. Alldata has most of the same info, plus is kept current whereas manuals get somewhat out of date.

I hope that helps.

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