I have a 2006 Toyota Corolla with 183,000 miles on it. My mechanic noticed that the right front strut was leaking oil. In addition to replacing it recommended getting a strut mount installed as well. Is this an necessary component at the age of my car or can just replacing the strut do the trick?
Yes, replacing the strut mount is also a good idea, but the most important thing is to replace BOTH front struts. Unless the struts were already replaced…maybe within the last 30k miles or so…you need to replace both of them at the same time.
You have some miles, so I’d recommend replacing all 4 struts and mounts
Get a 4wheel alignment afterwards
I recommend kyb
Actually, db4690 is correct.
If the struts on this 183k mile car are the original ones, they ALL need to be replaced.
The absolute minimum is to replace both of the front struts, but it is far preferable to replace all 4 at the same time.
Replace the struts on all 4 corners and replace everything except for the springs. And even on the springs - you might think about that. In fact, these days you can buy new, fully assembled strut units with new everything and sometimes the labor savings make up for the extra costs of having everything new including springs. The strut mounts are a must. A huge portion of the cost of these jobs is in the labor to disassemble and re-assemble the strut units. So while its all out and apart you replace.
Here is a blow-up diagram of the parts of a Camry strut (they’re all about the same): http://www.fatwallet.com/static/attachments/5767_toyota_camry_2006_front_suspension.jpg
The part that says “shock absorber” is the actual strut. The rest of all of that stuff are all parts of the entire strut unit. When I say replace it all, that’s what I mean, and the pre-assembled units include the whole bunch of stuff already put together and ready to install. The “mount” involves the stuff at the top and it’s crucial on front struts because they have to turn with the wheels whenever you steer.
You can replace the mounts with the struts or do it like I did and just do the struts, then a month later have to do it all over again to do the mounts too.
@Bing, well put. Don’t you hate when you do stuff like that? Kick self. Bang head. Personally, I keep saying I’ll learn - and then find out that I don’t - always.
I went with 4 Monroe quick struts on a 99 Camry, had the whole job done in about 6 hrs. The only prob was 1 strut mount was not on the strut correctly, I had to take that strut back for exchange.
If you can get the Quick Struts, I’d highly recommend it. Your steer bearings in the front struts are probably worn out, the springs are probably rusty and not long for this world, the jounce bumpers and the dust boot aren’t likely in good shape either plus you get new struts, Monroe’s, but new. (I like KYB’s, too @db4690) One part change fixes all these on a car with almost 200K.
Replacing the mounts along with front struts is highly recommended. I believe that a search through the archives here would indicate that a great many owners had strange noises and peculiar handling issues after having the front struts replaced and the cause for the problems were usually the mounts, which are the pivot bearing supporting the car.
Have your mechanic use quick struts on the front. Replacing the rear struts on this vehicle is VERY expensive so I would not change them unless absolutely necessary.
I’ve had EXTREMELY bad luck with Monroes
I can’t recommend them
@db4690 I agree. I’ve cut Monroes apart and analyzed the internals. They are low quality, cheaply built. But, they likely will only need to last 50K, that is how they justify the design. It is hard to beat the ease of just slapping a complete strut module onto the car with 5 bolts and no spring compressor. At least with a warranty, the labor to replace the module isn’t much.
My Monroes didn’t even last 20K
I was so disgusted by them, that I won’t consider buying Monroe for a long time
I’m not wild about the Monroe units in the back of my wagon. They have actually been on there quite a while, but were always too mushy and the same units are sold for wagons or sedans but are actually spec’s to the sedan. So the car has been riding a little low in the back. (The OEM wagon springs are a little taller). In “fairness” to Monroe all of the companies that now do strut units do the same thing. But that just tells me that they are all WRONG. As soon as I have the $$ I’m going to have to replace them the old fashioned way to get the correct spring specs in the rear.
I’ve also read reviews of all of the various units for sale. The only ones I’ve seen with consistently good reviews are KYBs. Alas, I can’t buy KYBs either - because they’ve made me really mad. After a half dozen attempts to get an answer out of their tech support regarding wagon vs. sedan all they would tell me is that they use variable rate springs so they can be used on either sedan or wagon. “I am not asking about the spring rate,” I say. They ignore me.
Anyway, I guess that was my own little mini-rant. I’ve sort of decided that the “quick-strut” type units are so affordable because everyone skimps on them. Maybe except for KYB - but forget it if you need to ask them a question.