Cost of major service on my Camry LE 2009 and shocks/struts replacement confusion.?

toyota
camry

#1

Hi,
I have 2009 LE Camry. I bought it from one of my office mate 6 months back. At that time I got its all 4 tires changed, engine and transmission fluid change, replaced brakes. It was 61500 odo at that time.
Now it is 65700 after 6 months and I got it oil changed from Sears. They said that it is good to replace sturts-shocks, while other mechanic said you can drive it further more and can think for struts-shocks later.
Previous owner never did a Major service at 60000, which is supposed to be done at 60k. I have four doubts, please help me to clear them -
1- Should I go for major service or wait till I feel something not comfortable ?
2- If yes, should I go for authorize dealer or Toyota or Sears/Pep Boys should work well ?
3- How much it can cost me for major Service on this car ?
4- As of now, when I drive on bad roads, shocks never make noise, so should I wait for sometime or should go with its replacement (which can cost me high) ?
Regards


#2

It seems a bit premature for struts

When you drive on the freeway, is the ride like a yo-yo?

Are the struts badly leaking?

Go for the 60K service now. I don’t see any reason why you need to go to a dealer for this stuff

Here is the schedule, in case you don’t have it

http://www.toyota.com/t3Portal/document/omms/T-MMS-09Camry/pdf/09%20Camry%20SMG%20142979%20EN%202nd.pdf

Some more advice: if you happen to need brakes, I highly recommend sticking with genuine Toyota parts


#3

Follow the items carefully on the link. You’ll notice nothing major is listed, just oil change and air filters. I would also have the transmission fluid and brake fluid changed.

You need to find a good independent shop for this work, not a chain. Places like Sears make BIG money convincing folks they need things prematurely (like shocks/struts) or not at all (like fuel system flushes on a great-running car).


#4

Thanks db4690 and texases for replying.
I usually drive with 65 speed only and it is mostly on freeways only. Struts are neither leaking nor making any noise while going on bumps or bad roads.
As you can see my post, I got transmission fluid, engine oil, breaks, break fluid and tires replaced at 61500 and now it is 65700.
I will search/study independent shops nearby my area (Torrance) instead of Toyota dealer, as you suggested. Shall I ask them go with MAJOR SERVICE of 60K or done specific services to be done ?
As I am not well versed with mechanics in my area, should I go with AAA approved mechanics ? Worth ?


#5

agreed,
Struts and shocks are NOT a mileage deadline item. The service places say that so thay keep their paycheck comming in yet based on a ‘‘not such a bad idea’’ theory so as not be claimed as a scam.
Having the struts on the inspection menu keeps them in mind and focuses attention on suspension items that DO need inspected once in a while and not ignored.
MUST replace…no way
My next top to bottom inspection on my 08 Expedition will be at 100k miles in a few moths . I have 100% no curiosity about the shocks. They are original and do not need replaced.

Relapce only when you see a definite problem…which you can test yourself.
on each corner of the car…push down with all your weight and release.
With good shocks, the car will bounce back up then return to zero and not continue bouncing.
And if it drives too bouncy compared to before.

As far as the rest of the maintainence menu goes ;
When it says inspect…it means just that.
Any shop that insinst on replacing everything on the inspect menu gets red-flagged.
Many other shops want to keep you show room new even though there’s more life in the items.

Here’s where you need a good ol’ regular shop you use for everything , big or small, where you can trust that you’re getting knowledgable guidance and not making their boat payments.

You have to find a shop that gaciously allows you to make the call.
Will show you the difference between bad , good , and good enough ,
And can understand the financial reasons for saying ‘not now’ as well.


#6

You don’t need to ask for a MAJOR SERVICE, they’ll just load you up on all kinds of expensive and (given what you’ve done) unneeded stuff. Just follow what the link says, it’s just an oil change, air filter change, and cabin air filter change, plus some inspections (which should be cheap).


#7

You did the right thing coming here for advice, and so far you have gotten good advice. Places like Sears, Midas, quicky lube joints etc always try to do the “upsell” trying to sell you services and parts you don’t need. They get a commission if you bite. even dealers are known to do this.

Car maintenance is a business arrangement. The first step is to decline the upsell, then get second and third opinions. Look for a local mechanic or shop that has a good reputation. Check with friends, coworkers etc and check the BBB website for any unresolved negative issues. When you determine that a shop is trying to upsell you on something you don’t need, then cross that shop off your list.

When you find a good, competent shop, be loyal to them. Let them do all your services, including oil changes even if they cost a little more there. Then if in 5 or 10 years, they say that you need new struts, you probably do. Just verify that they haven’t come under new management.


#8

Compare the list of what should have been done at 60K to what you know has been done to date. Have the independent shop do only those items that have not been done (excepting oil/filter change which comes due more often) and specify them to the shop beforehand. Even with my trusted mechanic, I provide a short typewritten list of what I want done. It serves as a good reminder to make sure what I want done gets done.


#9

Thanks texases, ken and keith, you made me relaxed. I understand that I need to get an oil change, air filter change, and cabin air filter change, plus some general checks. These services can be done with any good mechanic shop who has good reputation in/around Torrance.
Just one more question, its been 6 months (4200 miles) since new tires, do I need to get them rotated as well and alignment ?
Next month, I will be going for a long road trip of 2200 miles in 15 days, so I just wanted to make sure that my car is up to date.


#10

You only need an alignment if the tires are developing an unusual wear pattern not due to incorrect air pressure or the car is pulling to one side or not responding to steering inputs.

If you old tires were worn on one side of the tires only, then you should get it checked, but otherwise, leave it alone.

I am not a big fan of frequent tire rotations, but there are many here who do not agree with me. All I will say on that for ow is its your money so its your choice. I prefer to use a tire depth gauge to determine when to rotate instead of number of miles.

You probably should get another oil change if the last one was 4200 miles ago, but don’t wait to the last minute, do it now so that if something goes wrong, you can get it fixed before you leave.

Do check your tire pressure before you go. At the very least, it should be the same as listed on the placard in your glove box or on the door edge or door post. I would recommend that you go 3 psi above this for a road trip as sustained high speed driving tends to make the tires run hotter. A little more cold pressure will help to keep those tire temps down and reduce any chance of tire failure. You will get a little better gas mileage too.

Check that tire pressure while the tires are cold, that means less than three miles of city driving or 20 minute cool off period where ever you have them checked. Early morning is the best time.

Edit: I forgot that you just got an oil change, but be sure to check the oil level before you go. You should check the oil level at least once a day while driving, but do not put a tire gauge on the tires everyday, just look at the tires and see if they look OK. You should give them a visual at every gas stop, its a good habit to get into.


#11

Rotate tires every 5000 miles, so it’s a little early but worth it while they’re doing other work.
Get alignment when you get new tires (did you get it this time?).
No need to get alignment between tires UNLESS the steering wheel goes off center, handling changes or the tires suddenly start making more noise.


#12

@abhisheks77

On my previous car, I rotated the tires at every oil change (every 5K)

I got rid of the tires at 80K

Not because they were worn down, but because they were dry rotted

BTW . . . they were wearing perfectly

I think it’s no coincidence I got good usage out of the tires

My advice is this: ask the shop to rotate tires at every oil change, provided they’re not charging extra to do so

And if they say “There’s no need to rotate them. They’re wearing evenly.” . . . that’s where you say “Exactly. I want to keep it that way, and I want them to last a long time.”


#13

well db, I got over 100k on the last two sets of tires I bought on my present vehicles and I only rotate the FWD tires once during their lifetime, none on the RWD.


#14

I agree with @kengreen assessment. Replace struts when you need to. You can tell when the ride and handling begin to deteriorate. If it rides and hands fine. You’re just paying some one else’s college fund. Don’t fall for bogus 60k and soon to come 90k check ups determined by a dealer. Look at the recomended service items in our maintenance manual, have them done piecemeal, in and around the intervals during regular oil changes. For example. Do the differential/ transmission at one oil change and the coolant at another. The checks they charge you for they do for free regardless(or they shoud) and the sticker shock on the price will be lessened if you change some of the easy stuff yourself. Anyone can do an air filter or cabin filter for example with parts from an auto supply. Doing these little things will cut your maintenance costs in half.


#15

@keith

What am I supposed to say to that?

When I bought those tires, I was racking up miles at a fast rate. But then I got a job that was very close to home. If I had kept the old job, I’d also have gotten over 100K out of my tires. But when tires are dry rotted it’s time to go.

You’re not wrong to not rotate your tires. It worked for you. But I advise people to rotate the tires at every oil change. It’s easy to do.


#16

From a Toyota tech ( me ). Have an lof, cabin filter , engine air filter , tires rotated, have a good inspection done. Wipers. Aftermarket places thrive on selling everyone with 60k struts. Toyota has a chart showing normal seepage in 4 stages. It seeps by design so the strut won’t squeak. If you gave questions regarding that, ask your trusted Toyota dealer to print you a chart. We have to show customers all the time that their struts aren’t really that bad. Btw , have your brakes checked, and only take it to someone you trust.


#17

Rotating tires is far more critical on a 4wd or awd vehicle…But I think it’s still good practice for any vehicle.

As for needing new struts/shocks on an 09 Camry…You must be a very very aggressive driver to need new struts so soon. Wife owns a 07 Lexus ES-350 and 140k miles…and the original struts are still perfect. And my wife doesn’t drive like a granny either.

I’ve had more then one place tell me I needed a new part (struts, ball-joints…etc)…and it was just the shop/mechanic trying to make a little more Christmas money.


#18

I think the recommendation of new struts at 65K miles is pretty much just a sell job to pad the bill. It seems the OP had some good stuff done when he bought the car at 60K miles. Some Toyotas recommend new plugs every 30K miles. If that is the case with this Camry then I think I’d go for a new set of plugs and new filters as needed and drive on.

I don’t rotate tires every 5K miles, but rather do it every 10K. Some cars do wear front tires significantly faster than back ones, so this can differ car to car. I think every 10K would work in this case.


#19

As per recommendations, I will only get (instead of complete services) :

  • an oil change
  • air filter change
  • cabin air filter change
  • plus will ask my mechanic to check general stuffs. Not sure, if they charge for general checks also.

I think my struts are good, when I push either car and release, it immediately come back to original place without bumping again and again. Wears on all 4 tires are even, so I believe I will go till 70k without rotating them.
What should be symptoms of bad plugs, if I need to get them also change ?


#20

Most Toyotas will run fine on old plugs as the computer compensates for the wear. The 30k replacement interval keeps the emissions in spec. and keeps mpg at expected number. If you wait for symptoms you get misfires, poor starting in wet or cold weather, extra carbon build up and damage to 02 sensors and catalytic converter in very neglected cars.