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2002 camry

Previously I submitted a question about a possible suspension problem or shocks. I was advised to find a new mechanic which I did and now he suggested I need new suspension, shocks, exhaust system , cat converter. It sounds like a rip off. My main concern right now since I’ve been laid off for 3 months now; is to ensure the drive safety. The car is very unstable at speeds of 55+ and around bends and there is a grinding sound from my right front wheel every so now and then. Sounds like the wheel is buckled and grinding with something. Any ideas or comments please?

Sometimes older cars need repairs. I sounds like you own one. Its impossible to really know what you need, but new struts on a 9 year old car is certainly reasonable, and that would explain your out of control handling.

I had a '99 that went 8 years before I put on a set of struts. I should have done it years earlier…the car feels like new. You don’t notice how poorly your car is driving because you drive it all the time. My wife made me get the struts after she drove it and noticed how much it was hopping around.

Did you visit a chain?

Find another opinion. If your car is unstable at 55 mph it sounds like something is seriously wrong and should not be driven. Also grinding is serious too.

This is not going to cheap but make sure you get a good overview.

Not sure why exhaust was suggested as it is unrelated. Is this a muffler chain or chain shop?

Unfortunately no one can diagnose this across the internet as you really need to drive and see the under carriage.

If you are unemployed, it’s perfectly reasonable to want to fix only what is broken and dangerous rather than throw $1500 or more at the car.

That said, grinding noises from a wheel and instability are symptoms you’d best not ignore. Since your mechanic failed to identify a specific problem – A wheel bearing seems likely, but it could be something else – I reckon you need to try yet another mechanic. In the meantime, driving this thing at much more than walking speed is not a good idea. You need to keep the worst case in mind which is that your right front wheel might either fall off or stop turning. Those are not things that you want to have happen at highway speed.

Once you know what is wrong, you can decide what to fix and what to ignore until you have more money.

I don’t think the main problem is the struts. The sway could be from worn ball joints, or tie rod ends. Visit a good alignment shop for the front end.