Help Testing Struts on a 2005 with 180k miles

I have a 2005 Camry with original struts, and have about 180k miles on them.

My issue is that I don’t know if I should replace them or not. I inspect them and see no oil leaking. There’s no weird tire wear patterns.

I try the bounce test and think they are fine.

While driving over bumps I feel some bouncing going on but I don’t know how much is acceptable and how much is not. I don’t mind what bouncing I have. The ride quality is fine for me. I highly doubt my opinion has any weight because I would imagine I have gotten use to the ride quality and wouldn’t notice if they are bad or not.

Is there any scientific testing I can do to see if they should be replaced? Like for example, attach a sensor that measures the number of bounces, place a weight of X pounds onto the strut, remove the weight, if bounces reported by the sensor is greater than Y, then strut is bad?

Doing a bounce test by using my body weight and seeing if it bounces “a lot” isn’t really good for me. To me, my car doesn’t bounce “a lot”. Doing the bounce test, it bounces up once past the neutral height position, then goes back into neutral height position, and then there’s some forward to aft movement, then it stops. I think I’m good?

I think you’re overthinking it. Hunt up someone who knows cars and have them do the bounce test.

Your struts are fine, leave them alone.

Yes there is a way to test them. The entire strut needs to be removed from the spring and mount. You will need to find a race shop with a shock dyno. They will likely need to fabricate attachments to mount them in the machine. They will stroke the strut at speed and measure the load it makes. The load values are not published so you’ll have to accept whatever you get. The shape of the load versus travel and load versus velocity curves will tell if the struts are still good IF you know what you are looking at. I do, so post them here and I can evaluate the data for you.

The cost for this work will be many times the cost of buying new struts but, it is your decision.


For crying out loud Yoshi , how do you keep coming up with all these strange ideas ?


Yea I was just wondering because 180k miles seems like a long time for them to last. Thanks for the help. I was wondering if there was any concreate tests that can be measured. Looks like there is, but new struts would be cheaper than testing out my current ones.

Do you notice any odd handling quirks, like too much lean in corners or repeated bobbing after going over a bump? If not, drive on. I bet you would notice a change with new struts, but if there’s not a current problem, save your money.


If you will keep your car for a couple years or more, replace the struts with OEM quality struts. At this mileage, you got good use out of the ones you have.

1 Like

I think w/newer car designs it’s harder for a diy’er to test struts with the bounce test. I have been able to do this test successfully on my 30 year old Corolla over the years, and on my even older truck (no struts, just shocks), just by pushing down hard and watching for more than the expected amount bounciness; but when I tried on my friend’s 3 year old Corolla, it behaves in a much different way when pushed down on a corner, so I couldn’t really tell on that car. A pro mechanic who does this all the time on various makes/model/years could tell I expect. That’s probably the thing to do, take it to an experienced shop tech and ask them to teach you how to do it (for a fee of course).

the Nissan Pathfinder I used to own (came with original struts and at 152K miles / 13 years of age) was passing the “bounce test” with flying colors, yet half of struts were shot as they were not bouncing due to the rust on their shafts and apparent absence of the fluid inside :slight_smile:
sure enough, the ride was not exactly luxurious with all kinds of creaking noises

The bounce test is not really 100% accurate. It can be if the strut is what would be considered really bad or flat gone.

For a middle of the road strut sometimes the only way is by diassembling the strut. Moving the strut rod in the housing can often show a problem that will not be present on a bounce test. This is actually pretty common based on my experience.

However, at that point an aged and/or high miles strut is in pieces and it would be a bad idea to reassemble it and reinstall it even if it did by chance check out fine. Replace it with new is the best option as Murphy’s Law says that strut will fail 100% the following week… :frowning:

1 Like

If you’re just wondering, then fine, wonder. If you are serious and feel that after 180,000 it may well be time to change the struts, then just change them. After 180,000 they are worn and new ones will control the car far better.