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New Struts?


boznian2
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Wondering if we really need new struts all around. Dealer has recommended new front and rear struts and "strut tops" to correct various noises, although some of those noises turned out to be from loose lug nuts :angry: on one wheel. The car is surely showing its age (2000, with 165,000 miles) as far as ride quality and handling, but $2,400 for struts, tops and alignment?? :o

Anybody do aftermarket struts?

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Struts are not a difficult replacement. The key tool to have is a spring compressor. You'll need an alignment when you're done, though, to ensure everything is back on track properly.

As to whether you really need struts, I've heard you only truly need struts if they are leaking. Otherwise they are probably still functioning properly (none of mine are leaking and they work well, but one of the rear struts squeaks in cold weather, so I'll probably replace it because I don't like the sound). The strut mount is the more likely culprit to ride quality, for they take all the load of the springs and integrate the springs with the strut's damping mechanism... that's a lot of load and wear-n-tear. You have to take out the entire strut and compress the spring to replace the strut mount, so if you are in question with struts or want new ones, I would replace them at that time.

I believe KYB struts are factory OEM replacements, so you can just pick up some KYB struts from another vendor and should have eqivalent ride quality. Conservatively, the struts are $100/each from online vendors and same for the strut mounts, so you're looking at just under $800 for all parts (autopartswarehouse.com has free shipping for orders over $50). Install should only be no more than $400, for it's not a difficult job. So, total cost for all new struts, towers, and alignment will be ~$1000. $2400 is ridiculous. I wouldn't take the vehicle to the dealer for this job either, for it's a straight forward repair. Here in the Northwest, I would take the vehicle to Les Schwab with my own parts for something like this (or I'd just do the replacement myself and have Schwab do the alignment).

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I had what was thought to be rear strut noises on my 2002 ES and it turned out to be two $10 rear sway bar bushings and I was able to do it myself so no labor costs. All the noise was gone. The noise I had from the front left strut was actually the strut nut being 1/2 loose. Tightening took that noise away.

Are you sure the struts are bad?, does the car bounce more than 1x or 2x when you jump/push down on the bumper forcefully?

Lexus/Toyota struts are KYB struts. I would get a second opinion from an independent mechanic that is not trying to push parts.

steviej

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Wondering if we really need new struts all around. Dealer has recommended new front and rear struts and "strut tops" to correct various noises, although some of those noises turned out to be from loose lug nuts :angry: on one wheel. The car is surely showing its age (2000, with 165,000 miles) as far as ride quality and handling, but $2,400 for struts, tops and alignment?? :o

Anybody do aftermarket struts?

I just spent (literally today) a little over $1000 on all four new struts because they were causing the steering wheels to shimmy. The last time I had them replaced was when my 1998 ES300 had about 50K. It was covered by warranty then. I was told that we need to have them replaced every 60K. Mine has 160K miles on it.

I do have a question about Yokohama tires. Any opinion on the YK520?

Thanks.

JS

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Wondering if we really need new struts all around. Dealer has recommended new front and rear struts and "strut tops" to correct various noises, although some of those noises turned out to be from loose lug nuts :angry: on one wheel. The car is surely showing its age (2000, with 165,000 miles) as far as ride quality and handling, but $2,400 for struts, tops and alignment?? :o

Anybody do aftermarket struts?

I just spent (literally today) a little over $1000 on all four new struts because they were causing the steering wheels to shimmy. The last time I had them replaced was when my 1998 ES300 had about 50K. It was covered by warranty then. I was told that we need to have them replaced every 60K. Mine has 160K miles on it.

I do have a question about Yokohama tires. Any opinion on the YK520?

Thanks.

JS

Had 4 new Yokahama Avid tires put on my '97 ES 300 last November for $85 each (installed $415). The tires seem to be doing fine. Need struts as well and had a quote for $605 (front) and $740 (rear) - not a dealer. Should the guy include the alignment? I only have 83K on this car.

I signed in to see who might have had struts put on lately and for what price. My guy says these struts are the "real" thing, not some after-market stuff, claims there is a difference. Any thoughts?

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Just got a quote from Sears Automotive (not my first choice of shops though) for all 4 struts (Monroe SensaTrac) and strut mounts for $950.91 with the alignment. Sounds like a pretty good deal, if they can be trusted.

Never dealt with Sears before, but I remember Dateline having a show some time back that did not speak very well of their work.

I had the following quotes today:

Lexus dealer: $1,830 (including alignment)

My independent Lexus repair shop $1,345 (claims to be the same product as dealer and says the ride will be better than using after-market product)

These guys quoted after-market product:

Local tire and auto repair (AAA): $1,150 (alignment extra)

Goodyear: $980 plus tax (alignment included) - cheap, eh?

I think I talked myself into going with my independent Lexus repair shop. Just wish I knew if the extra bucks are worth the difference in the ride… :unsure:

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