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All:
A bit of background: I have been a customer of Firestone for a few years now and at the last tire purchase, as I normally do, I purchased the life time wheel alignment package with the tires. No problem.

Last weekend my '07 RAV4 Sport was due for an oil change. So Firestone did the oil change and the wheel alignment. The mechanic completing the alignment stated on the document handed to me he could not adjust the rear tie rods because they were sealed up with labels stating "Do not remove", or something like that. He stated that the rear alignment was out but could not and would not remove sealed parts as per the instructions by Toyota.

These rear tie rods were replaced about a year and a half ago by Toyota under a recall that was out back then.

So today I took the vehicle to Toyota and showed them the diagram from Firestone showing the rear alignment being out and asked them what can be done about it since they do not want anybody messing around back there anymore.

The dealer said that they have to put the vehicle on their alignment machine and get their alignment numbers. Then, if it is confirmed that the rears are out, Toyota would replace the rear components. Next thing that happens is the Toyota mechanic takes the vehicle out for a spin to check on a couple of other items I mentioned that I was concerned about and then I am told by the customer service rep that I need new front struts and they cannot get accurate alignment numbers with the struts as they are now in the vehicle. The bottom line is that they will not do anything about the rear alignment issue because they cannot obtain workable readouts from their alignment machine if the front struts are bad.

See, I have very little faith in the auto dealerships, as bad as that sounds. So I'm here looking for some kind of confirmation. Am I being flim-flammed in order to get the cost of replacing the rear alignment components by being told I need new front struts? The document presented to my by the customer service rep states "front struts blown out, has excessive bounce over bumps and driving". When I drive the thing I don't notice anything excessive, however I could just be used to the thing. After all its the only vehicle I have driven since October, 2016.

The vehicle has 122,055 miles on it. So, OK its getting up there. Do I need new struts or should I go someplace else and get a 2nd opinion. Or make that a 3rd opinion after hopefully one or more of you smart folks provide the 2nd opinion.

Thank you for your time and advice.
Gary
 

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Most alignment shops will not do an alignment if any suspension component is worn out. As this will make any alignment invalid very quickly. Also depends on how bad the struts are. Generally, if the struts are worn enough that the tires are showing signs of excessive wear, then they will likely not do an alignment. If they are just worn, but still acceptable and if the shop is able to determine that the ride height is not adversely affected, then they could do the alignment. Sounds like the shop is doing basic CYA sort of stuff. Not trying to squeeze extra money from you.
 

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I usually buy OEM parts from the dealer and have somebody else put them on. Mine is a 1998 with 199k miles and I plan to maintain it to brand new level because they don't make stick shift 4x4s anymore in Toyota in USA.

I would buy OEM struts and take it somewhere else.
 

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2007 RAV4 Limited 2.4L 4WD
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The part about not being able to adjust the rear is a little bit of a head scratcher especially if the tie rod ends are threaded for adjustment. Is the lettering printed on the part, or is there some type of tag? If it is just a tag, tear it off and call around to a few local shops.
There is a recall to fix corrosion issues on the rear toe links of 2006-12 RAV4.3 models (this thread should be in the 4.3 subforums). The recall consists of applying epoxy to the threads, attempting to reassemble and align the whole thing before the glue hardens and finally, slapping some stickers on it.

The dealer may be the OP's only hope to get an alignment without paying for new toe links.
 

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The struts are probably gas, so will have an effect on ride height, which will also have a teeny tiny effect on alignmrnt.
 
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