Strut replacement - Lexus ES 300 2002

lexus
struts
300

#1

I’ve been told that my struts need to be replaced. My old tires had a bouncing type of pattern that they said validated this. My questions are:



1. Impact of replacing front and back struts separately?



2. Can the ES 300 use “non Lexus” parts, and if yes, what is recommended?



3. When replacing the struts, is it mandatory that you also replace the strut mount?



Any assistance is appreciated, as I’ve been told I’m on a tight deadline, or my new tires will be damaged. Thanks!


#2
  1. Usually no big deal. Replace in match pairs front and back.
  2. Sure. I like Monroe Sensatracs – lifetime parts warranty and reasonably available from parts stores (I am 30+ miles from any Lexus dealer). I have also had good success getting a decent installed price from Sears Auto Centers. They run a sale nearly every week (buy 3, 1 free or half off labor, etc). They would also determine if strut mounts are needed or not. I would suspect they are probably not needed at this point. You can also get a couple of estimates from other garages. Most offer free suspension inspections.
  3. Not always.

Personally I would do all four and get a four wheel alignment all at the same time. Be done with the whole job, rather than piecemeal it.


#3

Impact of replacing front and back struts separately?

If all 4 are bad then I suggest replacing all 4 at the same time.

Can the ES 300 use “non Lexus” parts, and if yes, what is recommended?

Lexus or Toyota do NOT make struts. They buy them from a strut manufacturer and put their name on them…in fact ALL car manufacturers do that.

There are several good strut manufacturers out there…KYB and Koni are two of the OEM strut manufacturers which Toyota/Lexus use. I’ve been using KYB or Bilstien for years…Both are EXCELLENT replacement shocks for your car.

When replacing the struts, is it mandatory that you also replace the strut mount?

Not required, but recommended. Some struts actually come with new strut mounts.


#4

call your local dealer =]


#5
  1. No impact, but if all four are bad, or at least one in front and one in the rear is bad, then you do need to replace all 4. They should be replaced in pairs, but if both rears or both fronts are still ok, you don’t need to replace that particular pair.

  2. I’d recommend KYB. Monroe, IMO, are junk. The only good thing about them, IMO, is their price and warranty. I’ve gone through THREE sets of them on my 98 Camry in 5 years. I’ve been lucky to get 15 months of noise-free operation from them before they’re banging around again.

  3. No, but its silly not to, IMO. The mounts on your Lexus are kind of pricey, at $30-80, but there should be no additional labor cost at all with replacing the mounts - and the mounts seem to consistently cause more noises and problems than the struts themselves from my experience. I just don’t see it worth it to reassemble a strut and put a worn out mount back in there, only to face a $400 bill a few months down that could have been avoided.


#6
  1. I’d recommend KYB. Monroe, IMO, are junk. The only good thing about them, IMO, is their price and warranty. I’ve gone through THREE sets of them on my 98 Camry in 5 years. I’ve been lucky to get 15 months of noise-free operation from them before they’re banging around again.

I’ve had the same problem Monroe…They last for 1-2 years (maybe)…then their ride really stiffens…They haven’t failed, but the ride just sucks…

I like KYB for cars…and Bilstien for trucks for years…and NEVER had the problems with them that I had with Monroe.