'98 Camry -- Front Suspension/Control Arm Questions

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Old 14 Nov 2005, 08:56 pm   #1 (permalink)
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Default '98 Camry -- Front Suspension/Control Arm Questions

Hi folks,

I hit a HUGE pothole last week and now my front suspension is rattling
around more than ever before, especially on the right side. When I took
the car to the garage today my mechanic told me my front control arm
bushings were literally coming out of the car. He said both control
arms had to be replaced, not just the bushings.

The cost for this repair: $1000 CDN for parts and labour (price
includes a new alignment).

He said the struts were in "fair" condition (but not broken) and the
front stabilzer links may or may not need to be replaced (depends if
the rattling goes away after the bushings are replaced). Cost for these
will be extra.

1) Is there a cheap fix for my car, or do I have to drop $300 for each
control arm? Why can't they just replace the bushing instead of the
whole arm (which would save me over $500)?

2) If I have to suck it up and make the repair, should I have my front
struts done as well? They're the same ones that came with the car when
I bought it 8 years ago, and my car has 118,000 miles (or 190,000 kms)
on it. I just replaced the rear suspension after both rear struts blew
without warning.

3) What will happen to my brand new set of winter tires if I put them
on next week and postpone the repair until January?


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Old 15 Nov 2005, 09:23 am   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: '98 Camry -- Front Suspension/Control Arm Questions

This is an area where acquiring the tools and expertise over time pays
off because you can replace these items at home, and shop for genuine
Toyota parts online.
If cost is the main issue you could cosider control arms from another
'98 at a salvage yard. Usually, these parts last a long, long time, so
likely they would be fine as long as no collision damage in that area
of the donor car.
Best idea, is to just get other opinions from different shops, and go
with the one that sounds best to you, and seems most trustworthy.
Alignment shops and front end work is a common area for
misrepresentation, though from everything I've heard, you would need to
replace the entire control arm as bushings are not available
If you know what you're looking at, I always like to have the mechanic
show me the area of the car so I can see the conditions for myself.
These days, though, I've learned to do my own work.

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