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Shocked about my shocks

So I got new shocks on the front of my RAV4 (or are they struts?). In any case, the rear shocks/struts were just fine when I pulled in to the repair shop that day. After getting the new front shocks/struts, I pull out of the parking lot and head home. Half way home, I go over a small dip in the road and the rear of my car thunks and it’s only gotten worse over the past couple weeks. I.e., now the rear shocks need to be replaced. Should I be suspicious?

If they only replaced the fronts then there is no reason to be suspicious. It could be that a shock bushing has decided to give up or it could be that one of the rear shocks has decided to give up due to it being extended to the max after being raised up on a service lift.

Sometimes the act of hoisting a car can do a shock or strut in; especially one with some age or miles on it.

Three or four years ago I raised one of my cars up one weekend to do a simple oil change and it killed one of the front struts. Driving it immediately after changing the oil provided a ride like a ping-pong ball with the left front strut having surrendered.

Not knowing the year and mileage of the vehicle, if the rear shocks (struts? without the year, it’s hard to check for certain) are original, or even if the vehicle has gone back up on a lift to be checked, how can we possibly be expected to offer an intelligent answer?


Just for your information . . . bad sway bar links can also make loud clunking noises

May want to check that out before condemning the rear shocks

The sway bar bushings that hold the bar to the unibody are another common source of clunks.

But in this case, since the sound started immediately after the car was lifted with the wheels hanging and the dampers fully extended, the struts rise to a higher level on the “suspect” list. The old RAV 4 suspension used a coil-over shock rather than a strut, but these vehicles have been in production since 1994 and undergone various design changes, and I’d really like to know the year to look it up. And the mileage.