CarTalk.com Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Car shaking when accelerating >30mph. Bad strut/tire?

Hi. I’m brand new to this forum (forums in general) so bear with me.

I have a 2010 Toyota Camry LE V6 with 160,000 miles. I live in Honolulu, so I myself don’t put a lot of miles on it (no big road trips). The previous owner was an uber driver. It was a great deal for me. I paid under $4000.

The car shakes when accelerating past 25mph. Shakes significantly at highways speeds. But only while accelerating, no shaking while coasting at 60mph. The shaking has gotten much worse since I started noticing it.

Uneven tread wear on front driver side tire. This tire must be replaced (probably wont pass inspection). Passenger side tire is fine though. Alignment done 6 months ago. Rear tires replaced 6 months ago-they are fine.

I recently brought this car to the shop. The shop was pretty busy and I don’t think they looked at my car very thoroughly. Quick test ride by mechanic–“You need a new tire”, shop owner–“need new struts”. They didn’t inspect under car. To be fair, they didn’t charge me for the quote.

Shop owner advised me (to save $) to buy complete strut assemblies online and bring them to shop–Shop would only charge me for installation.

I did go ahead and buy the front left strut replacement- KYB [SR4254]

So here are my questions for you…

  1. Does it sound like a strut problem? CV joint? just the tire? A combination of these things?

  2. Did the shop give good advice? They seem like good people, just were busy when I went.

  3. Do I have to replace all 4 struts on a car of such high mileage? Or can I just do the front two?

  4. I made a mistake. I accidentally ordered the strut replacement recommended for a SE 2010 Camry. My car is an LE. The part numbers for the SE and the LE front left struts are different. Could the strut I ordered still be compatible?
    Also, I need to order the front right strut. Should I order the front right strut recommended for the LE? Or would it be wise to choose another SE part to match the left?

  5. This might be unrelated, but it’s weird. I have to parallel park a lot. When I’m in reverse, with wheel turned all the way to either side, the car makes this long medium pitched squeak as I slowly swing myself into the stall. Any thoughts to what that is?

Perhaps I’m just overthinking all of this. However, I need help! Any and all insight would be much appreciated!

Yes , you are . I don’t recommend furnishing parts to a shop. If they don’t use their ordered parts they do not have to warranty them. First get 2 new tires ( and the 2 only new tires always go on the rear of the vehicle ) . See what that does to the vibration . Return the strut you bought . If the vibration is still there then just let the shop do what they think best.

1 Like

Does the engine idle smooth? There are variations ihnvolved of course but if it idles a tiny bit rough it might be a misfire problem which could be anything from a spark plug to bad compression in a cylinder.

A bad CV joint or motor mount could also cause this problem. I would be a bit antsy at this point about putting struts on it.

In regard to the tire problem was the tire worn on the inside edge, outside edge, both edges, or completely across the surface of the tire. Only the latter would be normal wear.

1 Like

Uneven tire wear like that means something is wrong. Suggest to focus on what’s causing that first. Once that’s solved then post back if the shaking-while-accelerating problem remains. If you want to do something yourself, make sure all of the wheels are securely bolted to their hubs. There must be no loose or missing lug nuts on any of the wheels.

1 Like

The strut part numbers tell you that they are different. If they were the same for the SE and LE, the part numbers would be the same. Always replace struts in pairs. If the right front strut was bad, there would likely be cupping on the tire.

A mechanic needs to check this car out, not just guess at a problem as if he was us. You may need to pay for this diagnostic time but it takes time ti figure out what is wrong… and there is something wrong if one tire wears out.

Never replace just one strut , they need to be done in pairs at the very least specially in the front . Very least you should probably have 2 new tires on the front and replace the other front strut too and then align it again . . Probably the backs are due to at 160000 but that is your call as to how much you want to invest in a 10 year old car with 160000 miles . the squeek is probably just the belt slipping a little when the steering is at the extremes which puts more load on it , as long as the belt look ok its probably not a big deal . the different part numbers could be as simple as ride characteristics , one rides softer than the other or the other is more sporty handling which is why to replace them in pairs .

1 Like

That is an outdated practice . The guide line now is if only purchasing 2 new tires they go on the read no matter the drive ( FWD - RWD - AWD ) to prevent hydroplaning. There are You Tube videos showing why that is just a good practice.