Front strut mount broken top. Is it safe to drive back home?

toyota
sienna

#1

We own a 2005 Toyota Sienna LE. Yesterday, we were driving to a family vacation when we noticed the car was making an awful clank (metal against metal crashing) from the passenger windshield area. We checked and discovered that the metal top of the front strut mount broke.

We went to a mechanic here and he told us that the car is fine and drive-able. That if it’s was his car he’ll return home and have it fixed there. The drive is 8 hrs.

Is he right? Or would it be better to have it replaced right here? We leave on Tuesday.

Thank you!


#2

I can’t understand exactly what’s broken.
Can you post a photo or point out the parts on the attached diagram?

I’d be highly reticent to take an eight hour drive with a broken upper strut mount.


#3

image In the part for the sienna, notice how the top is all part of a metal plate? Well, that top cover in the center (like a donut) separated from the rest of the mount.

I’ll try to take a pic.


#4

I wouldn’t take a drive that far with a busted upper mount. Especially with my family on board. I’d get the struts & mounts changed before heading home. A busted upper mount affects your handling and stability. It’s a safety issue.

They also should do an alignment after replacing the struts. Expect that.


#5

I am with Mr. Mountainbike. You are going to have to fix anyway so do it before an 8 hour drive. Even if you leave a day late that is better than ending up in a ditch halfway home.


#6

I think the mechanic who told you this is dead wrong. Eight hours of driving can easily eat up a tire with a strut in that bad a condition.

There’s also the safety factors of wallowing. having to swerve to avoid something, or severe diving under a panic stop situation.

I really have to question that mechanic’s judgement. Or lack of.


#7

Those are the pics.


#8

Oh yeah, imo that has to be fixed with a new strut before doing any more driving there OP. There may need to be some welding done too, depends on a visual inspection once the strut is removed. Struts should be replaced in pairs, so the other one too. Unless you are really in the boondocks, should be no problem to find a shop who can do it for you, at least the strut replacement part. The welding , if needed, may require an expert. The strut is a structural element holding the body of the car above the hub (what the wheel bolts to), and also is part of the wheel alignment mechanism, and if it fails the body of the car could fall, and/or the wheel won’t be pointed in the correct direction. I expect you understand that’s not a good thing. If I had that problem anyway, I’d have it addressed now, before further driving.

Front struts cost about $200 each, and about 2.5 hours to replace both from what I can tell. Also need a front wheel alignment afterward.


#9

Yeah, IMHO that definitely needs to be changed. Both sides should be done.

Great photos, by the way. I’m glad you wrote to us.


#10

There’s no question here

Pardon my language, but you’d be foolish to go on any trip, unless it’s straight to the shop at your current location

I’m with George on this . . . have a shop install 2 “quick struts”

Those are struts, mounts and springs, all pre-assembled. Saves on labor, and you know that all those parts I mentioned are new and good to go


#11

What the ??? What kind of yo-yo would recommend to a customer that they take a vehicle in that condition on an 8-hour road trip?

If that care came into the shop I work at, it wouldn’t have left. I would have said “I see you’re on vacation, and this is unsafe. If you and your family would like to take a 3-hour lunch and walk around the area a bit, we’ll be glad to get your car in ahead of some other work and replace both your front struts and do an alignment so you can safely enjoy the rest of your trip.”


#12

I think yo-yo is being extremely considerate in referring to that guy. He’s definitely no mechanic.

Pretty amazing that guy would say that abominable mess is fine; have at it.


#13

In the future, I’d suggest vacuuming that debris out of there periodically. It looks dry now but all that stuff holds moisture and helps promote rusting…


#14

Both shocks & struts replaced (quick struts) and we’re safely back home. Thank you all for your answers.


#15

Thank you for the follow-up and we’re glad to hear you made it back home safely. With those damaged struts you might not have.


#16

I “second” those thoughts.
Sincere thanks for letting us know.