2009 Toyota Camry - Suggestion for low engine oil level, front struts, and sway-bar bushings issues?

Thank you all for your comments! Keeping a log is a good way to go. As a followup question, I did not use synthetic oil for my oil change; does that mean when I need to add more engine oil when it goes low, it should not be synthetic oil? (I hope I am correct to think that 5w20 is regular and 0w20 is synthetic)

You can mix synthetic and non-synthetic oil with no problem at all. Just use the recommended weight. There is synthetic 5w-20, so the weight is not going to be definitive as to whether the oil is synthetic, on-synthetic, or a blend.

Thanks NYBo for your explanation!

You can mix, but it’s best to stick with the same type.

If I had that problem I’d measure the oil consumption rate myself, simply by topping the oil level to the full mark on the dipstick, then monitoring over time how much the oil level is going down with miles driven. The low mark on the dipstick is usually one quart lower than the full mark, so if it goes from full to low over 1000 miles, that means you are losing one quart per 1000 miles. As long as the rate it isn’t more than that there’s nothing you need to do other than topping the oil level off as it approaches the low mark.

The struts and sway bar bushings – if they are truly in need of repair – both need to be addressed with due speed. Both for your own safety, and b/c delaying could result in much more expensive repairs needed later. So what would I do? I’d take the car to the well recommended (by my friends and colleagues) local independent shop, a shop that specialize in Toyotas or at least Asian cars, and ask them to assess the situation; if they agree the suspension work is needed,I’d have them do it. The prices quoted by the dealership seem a little high but within reason. I expect you’ll get a slightly lower invoice at an ndependent shop.

Note: Driving over speedbumps on a repeat basis is wearing on the suspension system parts. One of my near daily destinations has a speed bump riddled parking lot. I park on the street instead, to avoid the speed bumps. A little longer walk is just good exercise for most of us anyway. My friend who also goes there had a new BMW, and I mentioned the speed bump problem to her, which she promptly ignored. 18 months later and big invoice for new front struts, the BMW is parking on the street … :wink:

One more thing, a funny story about dealership prices … the little windshield washer spray gadget that fits on the hood of my Corolla broke, so I priced it out at a dealership. $45!!! For one. There’s a parts store just down the block, and they had a generic version, $18 for two. That’s more like it. But it still seems pretty pricey for a small plastic gizmo. I decided to see if I could glue it back together. Took a few tries, had to do some sanding to get the two parts to mate perfectly, but its working fine now holding. 30 cents!!! Yipee!!

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