Leaking shock absorber - should I replace now or wait?

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Old 12 Aug 2003, 04:10 am   #1 (permalink)
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Default Leaking shock absorber - should I replace now or wait?

A few months ago I bought a 1997 Camry, which has now done 152,000km
(about 95,000 miles).

I decided to have the suspension inspected since I expected it would
be fairly worn. Part of the inspection included a shock absorber test,
which uses a drive-on machine to test the ground contact rate of each
wheel. These were the results:

Front left: 72%
Front right: 71%

Rear left: 42%
Rear right: 48%

The shop told me that anything above 50% is considered acceptable.

I'm definitely going to replace the rear shocks because they're worn
to the point where the ride is "jittery" at highway speeds due to the
rear wheels being under damped.

The thing is, they also pointed out that the front right shock is
starting to leak. Since the front shocks are still performing well and
I don't want to throw money at this car, I think I'll leave them for
now. The shop said not to worry about it yet, but the question is, how
much longer can I leave it before the leak becomes a problem? I guess
it's not something you can really predict?
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Old 12 Aug 2003, 07:11 am   #2 (permalink)
mark Ransley
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Default Re: Leaking shock absorber - should I replace now or wait?

replace struts the ride will be better and safer, you will be suprised
at the difference,

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Old 12 Aug 2003, 10:22 am   #3 (permalink)
Daniel M. Dreifus
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Default Re: Leaking shock absorber - should I replace now or wait?

googler@alias.inet.net.nz (Googler) wrote in message news:<bb178492.0308120110.10b25d65@posting.google. com>...

> I don't want to throw money at this car, I think I'll leave them for
> now.


If you have a Toyota dealer replace the front struts, they include a
lifetime warranty for labor and materials. I'm not certain, but I
think if someone else does the labor you still have a lifetime
warranty on the parts.
Since roughly 60% of the weight is in front, the front struts affect
ride, tire wear, handling and braking much more than the rear.
Throwing money would be doing work that is unnecessary.
When you can afford to do the work, just go ahead and get it done.
In purchasing a used car it seems there are always additional expenses
intially, then you're done apart from normal wear and routine
maintenance.
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Old 12 Aug 2003, 05:30 pm   #4 (permalink)
Wolfgang
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Default Re: Leaking shock absorber - should I replace now or wait?

Yeah but disn't someone quote $1200 at the dealer for crappy
Tokico OEM shocks? Monroe gas struts (among others) offer
lifetime warranty on their struts (the parts). Parts are
more like $360 and couple hundred labor - so 1/2 the dealer
cost.


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Old 12 Aug 2003, 07:45 pm   #5 (permalink)
Chuck
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Default Re: Leaking shock absorber - should I replace now or wait?

Hey I need struts as well on my 2000 LE with 48K miles. Any suggestions?
Iwas going to order some KYB GR2's and have them installed. I was hoping
someone who has had their struts done could give me some feedback.

Thanks
"Wolfgang" <spamxseitzg@cox.net> wrote in message
news:vUd_a.10162$qf.2197@lakeread06...
> Yeah but disn't someone quote $1200 at the dealer for crappy
> Tokico OEM shocks? Monroe gas struts (among others) offer
> lifetime warranty on their struts (the parts). Parts are
> more like $360 and couple hundred labor - so 1/2 the dealer
> cost.
>
>


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Old 12 Aug 2003, 08:31 pm   #6 (permalink)
Wolfgang
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Default Re: Leaking shock absorber - should I replace now or wait?

KYBs are stiffer than OEM and Monroe's --- just depends on
how sporty a reide you;re looking for. They are a good
shock.


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Old 13 Aug 2003, 01:25 am   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Leaking shock absorber - should I replace now or wait?

ransley@webtv.net (mark Ransley) wrote in message news:<5581-3F38D987-350@storefull-2175.public.lawson.webtv.net>...
> replace struts the ride will be better and safer, you will be suprised
> at the difference,


I'll probably just get all four done at once, it's just that with the
front struts still rated at 72% they don't really need replacing. I
guess what I was originally driving at is how quickly will the leaky
shock decrease in performance?

As for replacements, the price I was quoted for a single Toyota strut
would pay for parts and labour on a PAIR of Monroe gas struts. The
factory struts are also gas charged (my Camry is a New Zealand model,
assembled in Australia, which has different shocks and spring rates to
Camrys sold in other countries).

Also as a result of the suspension check I replaced the sway bar
bushes (the Toyota dealer was cheaper than after market for these -
just $8.50 each) and the rear trailing arm bushes. Toyota could only
supply the entire trailing arm as one assembly (at huge cost), but I
was able to get just the bushes by going with after market parts. Just
replacing these bushes resulted in a much more solid feeling ride.
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Old 13 Aug 2003, 09:22 am   #8 (permalink)
Daniel M. Dreifus
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Default Re: Leaking shock absorber - should I replace now or wait?

"Wolfgang" <spamxseitzg@cox.net> wrote in message news:<vUd_a.10162$qf.2197@lakeread06>...
> Yeah but disn't someone quote $1200 at the dealer for crappy
> Tokico OEM shocks? Monroe gas struts (among others) offer
> lifetime warranty on their struts (the parts). Parts are
> more like $360 and couple hundred labor - so 1/2 the dealer
> cost.


Clearly, you are all free to do as you wish.
I like factory parts, designed for the vehicle by the Toyota
engineers, so I replaced the Monroe Sensatracks on the front with
Toyota struts to remove that jolt going over a certain bridge every
morning.
In August of 2001 I was able to find the struts for (USD) $105.82
each, $256.52 including sales tax and the rubber covers.
Then I found a dealer in the next city with better labor rates. Labor
was $191.05, plus alignment, total $231.
Wound up getting the strut supports done at the same time for an
additional $278.16.
However, looking at the list price on the struts and covers only,
adding tax, would have been $439.36. (Being nice to the parts person
when asking for a better price clearly helps.)
Not sure why you say the OEM shocks are "crappy." They are gas charged
to reduce fading, and after hours of driving, they feel even better.
I also replaced the inexpensive sway bar bushings, and put on new
tires. Most of my driving (city/ highway) doesn't involve a lot of
curves, so I appreciate a comfortable ride, but one day I had occasion
to drive a winding canyon road through the mountains and was amazed
how the car went through the curves so effortlessly with minimal body
lean and a surprisingly high degree of comfort and control.
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Old 13 Aug 2003, 06:32 pm   #9 (permalink)
mark Ransley
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Default Re: Leaking shock absorber - should I replace now or wait?

monroe sensatrac are gas struts with lifetime warranty, oem warranty ?

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Old 13 Aug 2003, 07:47 pm   #10 (permalink)
mark Ransley
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Default Re: Leaking shock absorber - should I replace now or wait?

Hi Dan , How old were your Monroes, in years and mileage? The
Monroe Sensatrec Gas is also is a dual rate strut, going to a firmer
rate on hard - fast depression or cornering , something OEM doesnt
offer. To give better emergency handling and accident avoidance . And
is suposed to be OEM street ride equal , { but how would anyone
know } it was made that way ......... I have always found for over
30 yrs + family experience shocks or struts need replacing in
about 40 to 70 thousand miles. Some go faster, some go slower.
Some go bad without you noticing until you have had an accident, that is
why you have a warranty. And must check your vehicle periodacly.
Toyota makes everything well . Monroe makes only shocks and struts,
Sensatrac with lifetime warranty and dual rate dampening are my
preference.
New Monroes at 60000 on my camry made it ride like one model better,
My Only complaint is as always the ride gets harsher as it gets
colder

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