Struts Repair Costs & Quality - Midas vs Toyota Dealer Service

I have a 2002 Toyota Solara with 115,000. Its in very good condition. Has been well maintained - done most service work at local Toyota Dealerships. Been mostly pleased with service / parts quality.

Just curious though - as I maintain this car going forward - is it still the best / safest bet to have the service work done at a Toyota Dealership - or - can I trust the local Midas shop / Pep Boys / Independant Mechanic / etc…

The one thing I see that I need done is the replacement of my rear struts and/or strut mounts. There is a continuous LOUD clanking noice coming from the top part of the tire well and I suspect its the strut mounts.

Because Midas offers a lifetime warranty on their parts - am I not better off (both in price and part quality) simply going with Midas vs Toyota. Toyota only offers a 12 month warranty on their repair parts. I plan to keep this Solara till it hits 300,000 k or more. When I compare the prices between Midas & Toyota - its several hundred $s.

Please advise !!

Thanks - Dan

I would use the ‘mechanic finder’ function under ‘actual car information’ on this web site to find a good independent mechanic to do all your work. I don’t trust chains, too many push unneeded services and have poor mechanics (a Midas shop ripped off my wife years ago). I know there must be good mechanics at some of these shops, but I’ve had more success with my independent. And the dealer will be much more expensive.

There’s no reason to have your vehicle serviced at the dealer unless it has to deal with a recall issue. Any independant shop can service you vehicle and install aftermarket parts that meets or exceeds the OEM’s specification.

You have to remember. Toyota doesn’t make their own struts. They purchase them from a vendor. Such as from Monroe or KRB.


I don’t like paying dealer prices, so I take my cars to independent mechanics, but I will NOT take them to national chain stores for any maintenance/repair work.

There are just too many horror stories about these places.

Independents? Yes. Chain stores? No.

And any of those “Quicky-Lube” oil change places? I wouldn’t go into one to even ask directions. Stay away!