2003 Toyota Camry

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  #1  
Old 09-22-15, 11:50 AM
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2003 Toyota Camry

I went to costco for tire rotation and balancing they said your front tires threads are wearing uneven. Although I regularly on time do rotation/balancing from costco and alignment from firestone. He recommended checking struts because this is second time happened in 2 years. He was very professional and recommended to check and fix struts and then do rotation (replacing front two tires) and then do rotation.
I wanted some expert opinion here to see what else I can check to make sure this doesnot happen again. Because changing struts is expensive and if needed I will do it but wanted to make sure.
Please help.
 
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  #2  
Old 09-22-15, 02:22 PM
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Ok. So i went to my local shop and he said its not that bad but he advised to change the front struts.
Now which brand is best struts for 2003 Toyota Camry V6 3.0L engine. Even if its little expensive I don't mind as for next 2-3 years I am going to drive this car a lot putting daily atleast 150 -200 miles.
Please recommend on brand.
 
  #3  
Old 09-22-15, 02:49 PM
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Per your original question, if it's not out of line and no play in any of the suspension or steering parts - the struts are the most likely culprit. I have no idea which brand is best but would probably go either with a well known brand or the best warranty.
 
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Old 09-22-15, 05:36 PM
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Monroe OEM Spec is the most cost efficient at good quality. If I were you, I'd have done Monroe Quick strut. They are a bit more, but you have entire strut, with everything NEW. Takes about 10 minutes to drop it in.
Also, I am highly suspicious that your Camry needs camber done. No offense, but Firestone is not known for doing good job and I'd stay away from that place. But thing is, Camry does not have any camber adjustment provisions and you will end up buying camber bolts and having them added to adjust camber. Camber in the front has devastating influence on alignment and tire wear.
Installing new struts is actually quite easy DIY job.
How to replace your front struts - GreenHybrid - Hybrid Cars
With Quick Strut it's even easier as you do not have to take them apart. I'd suggest to find a decent mobil mech that will come and drop them in for you at fraction of what shops charge. He can also install camber bolts and then you head to say Les Schwab for alignment.
I do strongly encourage you to go for Quick Strut. That's what I'm driving on right now.
Oh, and be very careful ordering struts, as they come left and right, or passenger and driver side different.
Also, you need to check on your hub bearings.
Cupping
Cups or scalloped dips appearing around the edge of the tread on one side or the other, almost always indicate worn (sometimes bent) suspension parts. Adjustment of wheel alignment alone will seldom cure the problem. Any worn component that connects the wheel to the car (ball joint, wheel bearing, shock absorber, springs, bushings, etc.) can cause this condition. Worn components should be replaced with new ones. The worn tire should be balanced and possibly moved to a different location on the car. Occasionally, wheels that are out of balance will wear like this, but wheel imbalance usually shows up as bald spots between the outside edges and center of the tread.

HOW TO READ TIRE WEAR
 
  #5  
Old 09-23-15, 04:51 AM
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I second Igor's recommendation on the Monroe complete units. I just did rears on my Cavalier, but it's only used to get me back and forth to where I park the wrecker (city made me stop parking in driveway), so I went with some low-priced ones on-line. For a daily driver, family car, I would go with the Monroe's. They're about $125 on-line (Rock Auto) and I notice there's a sale until Oct 31st of buy four for the price of three; you might consider doing all four.
 
  #6  
Old 09-23-15, 08:56 AM
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Thanks for the information ukrbyk and the_tow_guy.

Just ordered the Monroe Quick Strut 4 with price of 3. (What a great deal). I also included Camber Bolts. Anything else I need to order before I take out the struts and realize the oops.

But this is really helpful and the How-To with images helps a lot guys.
I am handy but only with instructions so this is helpful.

S2K
 
  #7  
Old 09-23-15, 01:17 PM
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Hi ,
ukrbyk now that I think it over the camber bolt on rock auto are couple of different manufacturer. I am certainly thinking it should be professional grade but from Moog,ACDelco, Raybestos to Mevotech and different prices. Mevotech being most expensive which I don't mind if it has advantage but don't know the difference between one or other
any suggestion
Thanks,
S2K
 
  #8  
Old 09-23-15, 08:57 PM
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I simply bought mine from O'Reilly. $27 set of 2. Keep in mind, Les Schwab wants to charge $180 to install camber bolts (parts included). To DIY them you'll need either ask here and I'll guide you or follow very good instructions online. But to break strut mounting bolts loose you'll need either impact wrench or breaker bar. There's a lot of torque on them.
Have box in hand here. Says Specialty Products Company, PN 81290
Even cheaper on Amazon but shipping and tax will be added. Buy local.
Amazon.com: Specialty Products Company 81290 EZ Cam XR 17mm Adjuster Bolt - Pair: Automotive
Also keep in mind that nuts are pinch nuts with special set prongs on them. You can do-undo them about 4-5 times, then they are no good.
Also, you do not need camber bolts for rear struts. Monroe rear struts have special "lips" that secure strut in proper camber and you can not adjust it anyway. Rear struts though do not suffer from bad camber as much as front ones, so you need only box of two.
 
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