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Have a 2000 Sienna minivan and there's an almost constant rattling sound on even small bumps which I was told is a loose strut mount, something having to do with the front right suspension. Other parts were thoroughly checked and OK.

I didn't understand why they couldn't just tighten it, nor did I want to pay them $1200+ for new front suspension including new mounts and an alignment.

Seems it's not a safety issue... what's the worst that will happen if I just ignore it on this high mileage (112K) car? I'm planning on keeping it until something major breaks on it.

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wale said: ...high mileage (112K) car?...My mom drove her '94 Nissan Quest till it had 195k. That's high mileage.


IOU's KIA
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The worst?

Not much, other than the wheel falling off so you'd lose all control, causing the car to flip and roll into the path of a speeding gasoline tanker truck before you both fly off a bridge and burst into a ball of flame.

If you're willing to accept that risk, then by all means, skip this vital repair, just let us know where you'll be driving and when.

You might read this thread, which is the source of the attached photo.

I don't get it. Does a strut hold the wheel on? I thought it was like a spring.

Your link reads: You broke a ball joint, which stressed the tie rod ends and broke it too. At that point, the only part holding it in was the rubber boot on the CV joint and the upper strut mount (which also then broke).

Added: I also zoomed in on the photos in the link and there's no state inspection sticker on the windshield. Looks like perhaps no one checked it for worn out joints, rods or whatever there is.

My car just passed the state inspection for safety and emissions, so I assume the rattle's not safety related.

wale said: I don't get it. Does a strut hold the wheel on? I thought it was like a spring.

Your link reads: You broke a ball joint, which stressed the tie rod ends and broke it too. At that point, the only part holding it in was the rubber boot on the CV joint and the upper strut mount (which also then broke).

Added: I also zoomed in on the photos in the link and there's no state inspection sticker on the windshield. Looks like perhaps no one checked it for worn out joints, rods or whatever there is.

My car just passed the state inspection for safety and emissions, so I assume the rattle's not safety related.


were from the goverment, and were here to help.

Seriously The goverment checks you car? Talk about nanny state.

The Strut Mount holds the sturt (long cylinder like object), the spring is around the strut. The mount holds the strut to the car body. If the mount fails, the strut along with spring, could fall out. You go over a bump, on the spring back, the strut falls out, you bottom out a wheel. Which would probably pop out your cv joint, and then cause excess force on the ball joint for the tie rod, causing it to fail, and then you end up like IOU.

wale said: My car just passed the state inspection for safety and emissions, so I assume the rattle's not safety related.
The state inspection consists of a form or a checklist. A strut mount is not on that checklist.

wale said: I don't get it. Does a strut hold the wheel on? I thought it was like a spring.

Your link reads: You broke a ball joint, which stressed the tie rod ends and broke it too. At that point, the only part holding it in was the rubber boot on the CV joint and the upper strut mount (which also then broke).

Added: I also zoomed in on the photos in the link and there's no state inspection sticker on the windshield. Looks like perhaps no one checked it for worn out joints, rods or whatever there is.

My car just passed the state inspection for safety and emissions, so I assume the rattle's not safety related.

With that many miles on the car, you needed new struts on all 4 wheels a while ago. Having said that, I have no idea if that's what's causing your noise. Normally one replaces just the struts, and the strut mounts only every other time you replace the struts.

Ok, the term "strut", from what I've read, refers to the coilover shock assembly. The components are a spring and the shock absorber put together into one assembly. Older vehicles like my 1993 Civic use seperate shocks and springs and it's just there to push the suspension downwards. The assembly stays fixed and doesn't rotate, as it is bolted to the lower control arm. Newer vehicles sometimes use MacPherson struts, which accomplish the same tasks, but also are a structural piece, taking the place of the upper control arm and they bolt to the steering knuckle. These struts DO rotate when you turn.

Assuming the strut mount is what I know as a "tophat" (more of a slang term I guess) See here, the part shouldn't be too expensive and installation should be fairly easy. If it's a MacPherson strut, then maybe there is a bearing or something at the center (remember, the MacPherson strut rotates when you steer) and I don't know if the whole strut will have to be disassembled or what. I've never touched a MacPherson strut.
My advice is to replace the pair, both left and right when dealing with suspension because if one is bad, the other is likely on it's way out also. That's what I've observed with ball joints, tie rod ends, axles, shocks, bushings.

What's the worst that can happen? The strut will dislodge and hopefully it will be at low speed. Suspension is nothing to ignore. I just did ball joints and the uppers were so worn that if they had dislodged at even like 30mph, I'd have lost all control and probably gotten into a wreck. Luckily I was screwing around in an open parking lot, turning and accelerating at the same time and one popped at about 5mph.


Toyota Camry front McPherson strut assembly
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wale said: Does a strut hold the wheel on? I thought it was like a spring.The strut (in the attached photo it's labelled "FRONT SHOCK ABSORBER WITH COIL SPRING") does attach the wheel assembly to the car, at the top (bottom is held to car by the lower suspension arm, often called an "A arm", consisting of rubber bushings and a ball joint), and you can see the attachment points from inside the engine compartment, at those two towers over the wheel wells. Those are rubber bushings with thrust ball bearings inside to let the bottom of the strut assembly turn with the steering. If the bushing becomes bad enough, the wheel assembly can literally come off if the wheel bounces hard enough. With my Corolla, when I jacked up the car to rotate the tires, the tire didn't rise up because that bushing had sheared off. The most common repair is to replace the whole strut assembly, including the spring, bushing, and thrust bearing, because the shock absorber and rubber parts have usually worn out by the time the upper bushing goes bad, but because I had low miles and the strut wasn't leaking at all, I changed just the bushing/bearing assembly, $50, including a cheap Harbor Freight spring compressor (not the safest design in the world; the cheap one from J.C. Whitney is built a lot better). You don't need a spring compressor if you replace the entire strut/spring/bushing assembly.

I agree with the aboev statement about suspension not being something that you can just ingore. I have a car with about 180,000 miles on it, and I recently replaced my axles, ball joints, tie rod ends (inner with the outers being replaces a few years ago). I then got new tires and an alignment. The car drives so smoothly on the highway now, it feels like I am driving a new car.

Also the struts aren't the originals.

Take it elsewhere for a second opinion. Many car repair shops pad the bill with excessive replacement/repairs. I find there is usually a lower cost route, but only if you look around and educate yourself with the area of the auto that is in question. I would strongly suggest reading many auto forums for helpful ideas. There are many on the web and some with do it yourself instructions including detailed photos. At the very least you will have more knowledge power to thwart the wolves trying to rip you off.

For $1200 you should be able to get all 4 struts done + alignment. Are you sure that the quote isn't for all 4. Having said that, I'm used to Ford Escort prices for replacement parts (even good parts). It's my understanding that Toyota replacement parts can be much much more. I suspect that they are using a quick strut for both front struts (replaces everything) which does cost a whole lot more than just a strut. You can probably get away with just replacing the struts in the back (reuse springs and mounts).

zzyzzx said: I'm used to Ford Escort prices for replacement parts (even good parts). It's my understanding that Toyota replacement parts can be much much more.I have a Ford Escort, Toyota Corolla, and Toyota Sienna. Ford parts are surprisingly expensive.

larrymoencurly said: zzyzzx said: I'm used to Ford Escort prices for replacement parts (even good parts). It's my understanding that Toyota replacement parts can be much much more.I have a Ford Escort, Toyota Corolla, and Toyota Sienna. Ford parts are surprisingly expensive.

Nissan Motors supply the lube when you buy their parts. $$$

zzyzzx said: For $1200 you should be able to get all 4 struts done + alignment. Are you sure that the quote isn't for all 4. Having said that, I'm used to Ford Escort prices for replacement parts (even good parts). It's my understanding that Toyota replacement parts can be much much more. I suspect that they are using a quick strut for both front struts (replaces everything) which does cost a whole lot more than just a strut. You can probably get away with just replacing the struts in the back (reuse springs and mounts).
"$1200+ for new front suspension including new mounts and an alignment."
Maybe the shop wants to do a bunch of new bushings, tie rod ends, ball joints and such? There's more to the suspension than shocks and springs...

I haven't priced Toyota parts and I don't know the quoted times a shop would use to price the job, so I have no clue if $1200 sounds right. Ball joints are a P.I.T.A. to do, bushings would be time consuming if parts have to be removed to press the old ones out and new ones in. Maybe Toyota parts are just f'ing expensive? I got really nice performance springs, shocks, a rear sway bar, end links, lower control arms, a subframe brace and an alignment after installing it for around $1300 on my Civic.

FrugalFreak said: larrymoencurly said: zzyzzx said: I'm used to Ford Escort prices for replacement parts (even good parts). It's my understanding that Toyota replacement parts can be much much more.I have a Ford Escort, Toyota Corolla, and Toyota Sienna. Ford parts are surprisingly expensive.
Nissan Motors supply the lube when you buy their parts. $$$
For my Nissan Frontier, a 2-pin repair connector for a sensor cost $8 from the dealer, while an almost identical part from a Ford dealer was $30. This isn't a fluke.

And I thought my GF was cheating.



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