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At 38,000 miles,2007 Toyota Avalon Required New Front Springs

My wife loves her Toyota Avalon as much as she loves me (I think) and recently we began to hear a noise from the front end. Thinking it might be a exhaust heat shield or something minor I took it to a trusted local shop,not my dealer. When a 15 inch piece of coil spring was handed to me I was shocked! He urged me to replace both front springs for proper balance. Price tag was $439.

Now I knew that the car was beyond the 3 year warranty but when I took the car to the dealer that week for regular maintenance I had hoped that Toyota would at least help a little to cover it. The dealer had even sold the new springs for the repair-my cost over $160. Even though the springs look brand new and even though there was no other damage-tires,wheels,suspension,etc ,Toyota simply says NO because the warranty is expired!

In the past I have in fact had success with both Ford and GM in covering out of warranty stuff. Last summer GM paid to repaint the alloy wheels on my 2007 Pontiac Vibe which of course is a Matrix by Toyota!!! I was bounced back and forth between the dealer and Toyota and unlike the earlier experiences where one call resolved the issues,Toyota just says NO,

The mechanic asked if my wife was offroading!! I do not think so and I am upset.

Well, you’re 3 years past warranty, not 3 months, so I wouldn’t get too upset. But I do wonder what could have caused that? And did the front end collapse down some? Was the old spring corroded?

Agree with @texases. BTW…a coil spring can be easily broken by hitting a pothole, curb or something in the road.

Why are you dealing directly with the dealership on this issue?
You would be far better-off if you wrote a letter to Toyota’s Customer Service office, whose address can be found in your Owner’s Manual.

While they are certainly under no obligation to cover this repair, there is a decent chance that they will reimburse you for at least part of the cost, as a “Good Will” gesture.

In your letter, do NOT tell them that you will never buy another Toyota, as that will remove their incentive to help you. Instead, mention that you are a long-term Toyota owner, and that you are both surprised and disappointed by this component failure in your low-mileage car.

VDC is right on.

Follow VDC’s advice. You might get lucky.

But realize that as unusual as a broken spring is, the fact that it’s rare does not mean the manufacturer bears any financial responsibility. Warrantys have time limits. Stuff happens. Be happy that it was only a busted spring.

I did contact Toyota directly and they told me to go through the dealer for help. The dealer said I would have to go to Toyota! Sound familiar? As I said the springs look like new and the only “rust” is at the point of breakage. Again,from the beginning I never expected to be made whole but based on experiences with both Ford and GM I did expect more than a NO.

The thing that really annoyed me was this gem by Toyota in their refusal. “Thank you for allowing us to be of service to you.” Is that a cruel joke???

Springs on modern cars are highly stressed. So stressed, in fact, that nearly all are epoxy-coated to prevent corrosion. The tiny bit of corrosion through the e-coat will rust off enough stressed steel that the spring will fail, as you saw on your Avalon, right at that spot. If a rock, kicked up by the tire, hits the spring and breaks through the e-coat, then the rusting starts and the spring isn’t far from breaking. This is a problem on many modern cars and you just have to live with it. Sorry, but its true.

$439 seems a little high but replacing springs in pairs is correct. You may have been better off to replace the entire strut assemblies. They are available now as a unit from aftermarket suppliers. It would have saved a bunch of labor for a little more in parts.

Years ago I was driving and all of a sudden there was a GIGANTIC bump in the asphalt road surface. There were cars on both sides of me, and the guy behind was following very closely, so I had to go right over that bump. I immediately heard a loud snap. When I was able to pull over, I saw that my coil spring had broken.

I immediately bought a pair of aftermarket springs, which served me well for many years.

S . . T happens

maybe she’s been ‘‘ON-roading’’ :wink:
Everyone who routinely, day in -day out , every time they go into their complex and every time they go out…must drive over ten or so speed bumps…is going to stress the springs as much as any off-roading. The rate of compression/extension will be key to their longevity. Does she take speed bumps as fast as humanly possible or as slow as a snail ?
( I’m on the fast side there, but I have no speed bumps at all to deal with on a daily basis. Thought of this very subject when visiting my daughter and family in D.C, recently and having four bumps in each direction every trip. )

During the winter we have a lot of pot-holes that form due to ice/snow melting and getting into a crack then freezing.

One day driving up 495…there was this dweeb driving about 5" from my butt while I was doing 75. I knew of this pothole just as you got onto the on-ramp in I 93 north. I slowed down to about 40…and went right over the pothole with my 4runner…it had no problem handling it…the dweeb behind me…hit it…and the next thing I knew he was pulling over…I drove around the cloverleaf just to see what happened…His car was facing one direction…but his right front wheel was facing another.

Moral of the story…you can do a LOT of damage by just hitting a pothole too fast or a curb…or a speed bump. I’ve NEVER seen a spring give out with that few miles that wasn’t abused. Not saying it can’t happen…but I’ve just never seen it.

Sometimes things go wrong for seemingly no reason. My son had a similar spring problem on the 1989 Mercury Sable that he owned at the time. The front coil spring broke and even chewed into and ruined a tire. My dad bought the newest car he had ever owned from a family friend. It was a 1954 Buick that he purchased from the friend who was going to Australia for three years. This car had been his pet and had about 24,000 miles. On our first ride in the car, the fuel pump failed. My brother and I were told not to say anything about it because my dad didn’t want his friend to feel bad.
Today, if you can walk out of a shop with a bill of less than $500, maybe you had better consider yourself lucky. The charge to replace a timing belt, which is routine maintenance runs more than that.

The car has low miles,true enough, but it’s also going on 6 years old. It’s possible for a spring to rust badly enough to where it could fail depending on where the OP lives. The Rust Belt for example.

The repairs were apparently done by an independent shop so no way is Toyota going to consider reimbursement because of an outside the system facility being used.

If the car had been taken to the dealer and a plea made for a Good Will warranty before the repairs were done there’s at least a possibility that TMC could have covered it.
If TMC had applied a GW warranty the cost to TMC would have been considerably less than the independent shop.

I agree with @MikeInNH

Most cars that break a coil spring have some miles on them

When my coil spring broke, the car was about 12 years old and had about 150K on the clock

The car has low miles,true enough, but it's also going on 6 years old. It's possible for a spring to rust badly enough to where it could fail depending on where the OP lives. The Rust Belt for example.

I’ve lived in the rust belt my whole life (except for my time in the Army). And I’ve NEVER seen a spring break because of rust unless it was about 30years old. If it broke because of rust it was a design problem.

I wouldn’t get upset w/Toyota on this one. One bad pothole at a moderate speed could do this. It could well be that even if the car was brand new and the springs had been tested and x-rayed at MIT for any defects before installing them, it still would have broke when the tire hit that pothole. No metal is so perfect it will never rust or break.

And you are 3 years out of warranty. So me, I’d give Toyota some slack.

However, there is no harm done to ask. Be specific what you want. I think what I ask (in writing, to the regional person at Toyota who resolves customer complaints) is “Could you sell me the replacement springs at cost (rather than the retail price) then?” You might save 30 or 40 dollars anyway. Best of luck.

I think some areas are worse than others; maybe Minnesota around through Ohio and a lot could depend upon where the OP lives and how much road salt is thrown down there.

It might also be interesting to know if the Avalon has any rust issues anywhere else on the car. Some very late model Rust Belt cars end up in Oklahoma and they’re rusted to oblivion by the time they’re 5 years of age.
We had a 4 year old Subaru from MN come into the shop once and I could flatten my hand and place it on the top of each front tire through the holes in the tops of the front fenders.

Stuff fails in the minority of cars and your car is 6 years+ old.

I wanted to second Mustangman’s comment that springs should be replaced in pair to maintain balance.

Other than that, my original post is sufficient.

I think some areas are worse than others; maybe Minnesota around through Ohio and a lot could depend upon where the OP lives and how much road salt is thrown down there.

I grew up in the snowiest area east of the Rocky Mountains. Minnesota and Ohio snow fall averages were well less then 1/3 my area’s annual snow fall amount. Our town of 15,000 used more road salt then most cities.

It might also be interesting to know if the Avalon has any rust issues anywhere else on the car.

That’s a possibility too. Toyota did have issues with the Tundra frame rusting out just a few years ago.