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We have a 2008 RAV4 Limited w/ 80K miles. So I kept hearing a noise in the front end and thought at first it was /snow/ice accumulated in the wheelwells. I took the tire off and looks to be a blown strut on front passenger side (see pic). Does anyone know an upgraded strut (better quality) from the Toyota junk? We live on a rough dirt road and want something a little firmer...............
 

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They lasted 80,000 miles and you call them junk? Wow, just amazing!
 

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They lasted 80,000 miles and you call them junk? Wow, just amazing!
and he lives on a rough road... lol I'm surprised they lasted that long!
 

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The same front passenger strut failed on my '06, probably around 90K.
I didn't want it riding firmer or have to replace both so I used an inexpensive "replacement" quality one off eBay. Works fine at 125K.
 

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I still have the original struts in perfect working order on my 2005 Matrix with 186k, but I don't live on dirt road. Toyota uses decent parts IMO.

If mine failed that early, I would seek out a replacement set with a lifetime warranty and keep the receipt handy.
 

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Hey taoseno you can try Bilstein or KYB.
FYI - I'm pretty sure Bilstein only provides rear shocks ... no front struts available. ~ BugJr ~
 

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anything softer than stock available? looking for a more cushiony ride, I get enough jounces from the mini and evo
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the help/suggestions everyone...........

My comments about Toyota junk refer to the fact that everyone has had blown shocks early on in ownership; has anyone here not had blown shocks? Dirt road has nothing to do with it I know many people who live in the city that have had blown shocks w/in the first year or two of ownership as we did. Is that normal? I think not...........
 

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... snipped ... My comments about Toyota junk refer to the fact that everyone has had blown shocks early on in ownership; ... Is that normal? I think not...........
$0.02 worth here - Not sure "everybody" has had a bad shock/strut early on but I discovered a leaking rear shock at only 70,000 km. (about 45,000 mi.) and this certainly seems premature.
 

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My sport shocks were leaking at about 40-45k...I also get some rattle noise once in a while on my right front...not sure if it's a ball joint or strut and since it doesn't do it a lot it has not been a priority...
 

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OK "everybody" who has had them checked.........
 

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Thanks for the help/suggestions everyone...........

My comments about Toyota junk refer to the fact that everyone has had blown shocks early on in ownership; has anyone here not had blown shocks? Dirt road has nothing to do with it I know many people who live in the city that have had blown shocks w/in the first year or two of ownership as we did. Is that normal? I think not...........
Your post refers to struts not shocks. Make up your mind. My rear shocks leaked early in the car's life and were replaced under warranty. The front struts are still good approaching seven years after purchase. Yes, I realize there are "shocks" within the front springs which comprise the struts.
 

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Front struts lasted 100k mi. That's impressive considering I took it overseas to the middle east for 3 years dealing with the desert sand and heat. Rear shocks still going strong. Toyota struts are not junk so i decided to replace them with oem. my .02
 

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I have a RAV4 2008 Ltd with 74K. My trusted mechanic has told me to wait it out with the struts. The ride sounds rougher, feel like I'm riding a Jeep rather than what used to be a smoother sounding ride (for SUV, not looking for a car ride :) ). Can anyone describe the sound (or feel) when the struts are bad? I'm mainly city driving yet there are lots of road humps around here/speed bumps in parking lots...my amateur theory is this is what created this problem earlier than he thinks should be one.
Thanks much!
 

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I have a RAV4 2008 Ltd with 74K. My trusted mechanic has told me to wait it out with the struts. The ride sounds rougher, feel like I'm riding a Jeep rather than what used to be a smoother sounding ride (for SUV, not looking for a car ride :) ). Can anyone describe the sound (or feel) when the struts are bad? I'm mainly city driving yet there are lots of road humps around here/speed bumps in parking lots...my amateur theory is this is what created this problem earlier than he thinks should be one.
Thanks much!
The sole purpose of the damper (shock absorber) portion of the strut is to slow the response of the suspension movement in the up (compression damping) and down (rebound damping) directions. They do this by limiting the flow of oil inside a hydraulic cylinder that is compressed and extended by suspension movement. Good dampers have valves and orifices that allow for different damping rates in compression and rebound. Better dampers have inertia-based variable valves that alter the damping rates automatically based on the velocity of the suspension movement. The best have user-adjustable damping rates.

Dampers stop working well when the oil viscosity breaks down from use or heat, the oil foams up, or the internal seals let the oil move more freely than designed. They also fail when the oil leaks out and that's the most common kind of failure; it's also the easiest to diagnose since the oil makes a mess...

A rough ride can certainly be a symptom of failure. If the dampers don't slow the compression of the suspension, you can bottom out the suspension on bumps that should not cause that.
 
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VG post and explanation Dave.

What I noticed when my right front strut failed was a literal banging from that corner only over even the smallest of bumps. Easily confirmed by a comparative look at the dry left front and wet right front strut.

sailspirit, that may be the same noise you're hearing. You can have the struts changed at any time w/o waiting since they don't heal themselves. I'd ask the mechanic if the issue could be anything else in the suspension such as failed bushings or links.
 
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