A few months ago, my '02 Camry (with 142,000 miles)started making a thumping and rattling noise in the rear. The ride was pretty rough too. When going over small cracks and little bumps in the pavement, the car just thumps around pretty badly. A tire dealership that I have dealt with since 1998 said I needed new struts, front and rear. I spent nearly $600 for Monro struts/labor, but the problem is still there. I’ve had various opinions from other repair shops - from axle assemblies to strut plates. No one seems to be SURE what the problem is. First, don’t the struts control how nicely the car rides? If that’s true, why doesn’t it at least ride better? Will the strut plates make an improvement in the ride? I’ve been told that the rubber seal in the strut plate could be responsible for the metal-on-metal thumping. Can anyone recommend where to take my car to get a definitive answer before I since several hundred more dollars on guesses? I’ve had it to two Monro service centers, a Toyota dealership, and back to the tire place just trying to find some agreement what the problem is. Thanks.
You need to find a mechanic you can trust- use the ‘mechanic finder’ on this web site. The struts weren’t the problem, and until you find the problem, you won’t notice the improvement from them. My ES300 had bad bushings that caused noise in the rear, a pretty inexpensive fix. I’m guessing that ‘strut plate’ is the upper strut mount bearing, something the guy replacing the rear struts should have checked.
Have whoever replaced the struts go back and remove the rear package shelf and retighten the nuts for the upper rear strut mounts. If these aren’t fully tightend, the strut rods can come in contact with the strut mounting hole causing a rattling noise, and the thumping is from the strut mounting bushings hitting metal where the struts are supposed be secured.
Let me second texases. There are a gazillion things that could be wrong and you need to find a mechanic who will take the time to sort them out. It could be as simple as overinflated tires and something heavy in the trunk that is bouncing around because of them. Or it could be pretty subtle. The real kicker is that the bad ride could be separate from the noise in the rear and could be something in the front suspension/steering that can get you into real trouble if it fails while you are on the highway.
A gazillion? That’s not very encouraging, is it? The spare tire and the trunk were the first things I checked, hoping it was something that simple. Thanks for your input.