Strut boot worth replacement?

toyota
corolla

#1

I have a 2003 Corolla at 82500 miles. Had oil change recently (I follow the 7500 mile schedule). The repair shop (a tires plus in suburban Washington DC) told and showed me that both front strut boots (bellows?) were jammed and ripped. They quoted me over $800 to replace the struts and boots, and to do an alignment. I felt it was rip-off and didn’t accept the offer.



So are the strut boots worth replacing?



Are these boots so fragile or Toyota simply now choose to use cheap parts?



Thank you.


#2

important? yes/no
they do help to keep dirt, dust and debris off of the strut piston.
i would wait until the strut actually fails. IE leaks or just wears out


#3

Thanks Jim. So can I feel the strut failing, without looking underside? Would it last till next oil change 7500 miles from now? To me that’s likely in 6 months or more away. I don’t drive too much. Driving condition is kinda suburban plus some highway.


#4

You can always do the “bounce test” if you suspect that the struts are bad. This is where you bounce up and down on the bumper, then stop suddenly and see if the car stops bouncing at the same time. It should not bounce more than one more time on its own. Really good struts will bring the car immediately to its normal ride height with no further bouncing although there will be some side to side swaying that is not controlled by the struts.

These struts are now doomed to fail, but it may take another 8-10 years before they do. There is still another series of seals at the top of the strut body to keep contamination out. A lot of struts don’t even have these bellows and chances are, the new struts the repair shop was trying to sell you won’t come with them either.


#5

Odds are the struts are worse than you think they are and as far as boots only one should never disassemble a strut to replace just that part. Change the struts also and this is not a ripoff.

You’re a bit offbase on Toyota cheap parts. Your car was probably manufactured in 2002. This makes the car and the strut boots almost 9 years old.
Boots are rubber just like tires and belts. How long do you think rubber will last in a harsh environment?


#6

a strut wears out gradually. to properly inspect for a leak it needs to on a lift/rack with the suspension visible. look at the strut where the piston goes into it to look for leakage. if it is leaking it is bad and should be replaced [in pairs at the least] the other test is a bounce test. push down hard a few times to rock or bounce the car up and down at each corner of the car. it should level out almost immediately. if it continues to bounce a few times then the struts are probably due for replacement.
as far as pricing. call a few shops and compare prices


#7

Get at least 2 more estimates for the exact same work. It’s not out of the ordinary to replace struts after 8 or 9 years. You might throw a Toyota dealer in just for comparison, though they are likely to be on the high side. Ask your friends and neighbors for a suggestion on private good garages.


#8

8.5 years on OEM struts isn’t bad. There’s a chance you need new struts anyways. But I sure would find a good independent to do the work. The $800 just for the front struts and an alignment seems awfully high. Get some more estimates.


#9

The struts are probably due, but the quoted price is too high.

By the way, the rears are prbably due too. Especially if yoou’ve been seeing choppy wear on your tires. The rears are generally less robust than the fronts, and by the tim ethe fronts are due the rears are generally past due.


#10

I’ve always seen the opposite with struts/shocks. The rears usually last longer…probably because of the weight. But I haven’t changed struts/shocks in pairs in years. When I change them it’s usually an upgrade over OEM so it’s better to just replace all 4.