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Lexus Es 300 2002 Tires/Struts

Hello, I have a Lexus ES 300 2002. Few months ago, I started hearing loud road noise coming from front tires that would increase with the speed, I was told that tires had feathered due to bent front shocks and I would need new shocks for front, I had replaced these same shocks in 2007 and put on 40,000 miles since. I had also bought 4 new Michelin Weatherwise from Costco in 2008 and put on 30,000 miles since. Also, my car is suddenly giving me from 25 miles/gallon to 13 miles per gallon. Here are my questions.

1. Is the life of these struts only 3 years or 40,000 miles? Is there generally a warranty on struts?

2. Can bent struts cause tires to feather/warp so bad that they will be extreme road noise especially for Lexus?

3. Can bad tires cause the mileage to drop from 25 miles/gallon to almost 13 miles/gallon?

4. If I were to change the struts, get the alignment done and buy new tires, would it fix my issue of road noise and mileage?

I seriously doubt that your struts are “bent”, struts don’t usually bend. Some other suspension component may be bent. Bad tires and shocks can not decrease your gas mileage nearly as much as you have seen, maybe you have miscalculated. Struts can wear out in 40k miles and 3 years, but they usually last longer. I’d get a second opinion on the condition of your suspension.

You state the tires are feathered. Featheredging is generally caused by incorrect alignment. Cupping is caused by faulty shocks or struts.

It’s recommended that an alignment be done when struts are changed so was an alignment done at the time of this repair?

On another note, you mention poor mileage and noise. Any chance this tire wear problem is being misinterpreted and the entire mess is caused by low tire pressure?

Bad tires will not drop the mileage that much but low pressure can. Road noise can be caused by irregular tire wear. The noise may be slight or horrible, all depending on the type of wear and how bad it is.

Unless your Lexus has sustained crash damage or some other impact on the road, it’s very hard to believe the struts are bent. It’s also hard to believe they’re worn out in only 40K miles. Something else could be bent, but it’s unlikely to be the front struts.

Who installed the struts in 2007, and who’s telling you they’re bent now? Also please tell us the total miles on your car.

Improper wheel alignment, front or rear, will cause uneven tire wear, and uneven tire wear can cause lots of tire noise. 30K miles on a set of tires is enough for them to start getting noisy, especially if they’re not worn evenly.

New tires, depending on their type and tread pattern, can significantly reduce road noise. For a while. Most tires get louder as they age, and can become very noisy as they near the end of their useful life.

Proper 4-wheel alignment and correct inflation are crucial to maximizing tire life and reducing wear.

Poor alignment can reduce fuel mileage, but it would have to be horribly misaligned to make a 10-12 mpg difference. Are the tires properly inflated? Low tire pressure will reduce fuel mileage.

I’d get another opinion about the condition of the struts and the need for new ones, and I’d investigate the mileage drop further. Is it time for routine maintenance? Spark plugs, air filter, etc?

Additionally, ask the installer what the strut warranty is. As a matter of practice I only buy lifetime warranted struts and confirm that at time of installation. I don’t use a shop that uses lesser warranted parts.