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Hello all,

I just bought my 2012 Rav4 V6 a couple weeks ago, and I was doing some DIY brake maintenance (lubing guide pins, checking for seized stuff)...

So I jacked up my rav from the front, centre jack point, rested it on two jack stands on the front pinch welds of equal height. I noticed my right tire was noticeably lower than my left tire. It was super obvious because the right tire was still touching the ground, and the left tire had about 1.5 inch of clearance. Did anyone else notice this difference on their rav4? I tried asking a couple mechanics, and one online source told me it's normal due to torsion bar setup, but my friend who works at Honda told me my strut is probably bad, or the strut mount is bad.

I have looked at the strut mounts, and there doesn't seem to have any crack in the rubbers or moving parts. No obvious leaking sign on the strut. The car drives fine and is level on the ground. There is no suspension noise when turning. The car only has 40000 miles on it. Oh, and the right tire CAN clear the ground if I keep jacking it up higher. It is simply 1.5in lower than the other.

Did anybody notice this on their Rav??? I don't have any maintenance history from the last owner, so I am suspicious that he was lousy and only replaced 1, but not both struts....:doh:
 

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I don't have an explanation but wouldn't be too concerned either ALA the car drives and handles well. I've jacked up many cars from a center point and one tire always lifts first but I never paid much attention as to why. Probably attributed it to jacking off center but even on jack stands set equally there is some variation.
And I replaced just the right front strut on our '06 because it was the only bad one. I'm due to change the oil today so maybe I'll jack it up for comparison to yours.
 

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I'm not sure about Toyotas, but most horizontally mounted engine equipped cars (FWD or AWD) have different front springs between the left and right because the weight is not equal in the drivetrain from left to right. I'm sure that is the reason. One spring is stiffer to take the additional weight. The car is engineered to be level when the wheels are on the ground with the weight of the vehicle resting on the struts/springs.
 

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Whenever I jack up my cars one tire always comes off the ground before the other (3 cars all of which I switch tires seasonally). I attribute this to the levelness of the ground, the angle which you are jacking from. This unevenness will typically translate into position where the jackstands rest. I would say is what you are experiencing more than anything else.

Due to wear in the suspension components (bushings etc...) you can get some unevenness from side to side. But I doubt it.

At 40K in a 2012 I don't think any of your struts would have gone bad and replaced by the PO.

Did you take a measurement? Top of tire to edge of fender; at rest and at full drop.
 

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... I jacked up my rav from the front, centre jack point, rested it on two jack stands on the front pinch welds of equal height. I noticed my right tire was noticeably lower than my left tire. It was super obvious because the right tire was still touching the ground, and the left tire had about 1.5 inch of clearance. Did anyone else notice this difference on their rav4? the right tire CAN clear the ground if I keep jacking it up higher. It is simply 1.5in lower than the other...

...Did anybody notice this on their Rav?...
I've observed exact same thing on my 2009 I4. The right front tire (passenger side) droops about 1.5-inch more than the left (driver side) when I lift from the front center jacking point. My garage floor is flat. Have not replaced any struts. Steering is straight and true. Tire wear has been regularly monitored and has been even-steven for 90k-miles. Calling it normal.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I've observed exact same thing on my 2009 I4. The right front tire (passenger side) droops about 1.5-inch more than the left (driver side) when I lift from the front center jacking point. My garage floor is flat. Have not replaced any struts. Steering is straight and true. Tire wear has been regularly monitored and has been even-steven for 90k-miles. Calling it normal.
I noticed the same thing when the car is on the jack, but did you put down the car on jack stands on pinch welds? In my case, I rested the car on jack stands of same height and then removed the jack.

Whenever I jack up my cars one tire always comes off the ground before the other (3 cars all of which I switch tires seasonally). I attribute this to the levelness of the ground, the angle which you are jacking from. This unevenness will typically translate into position where the jackstands rest. I would say is what you are experiencing more than anything else.

Due to wear in the suspension components (bushings etc...) you can get some unevenness from side to side. But I doubt it.

At 40K in a 2012 I don't think any of your struts would have gone bad and replaced by the PO.

Did you take a measurement? Top of tire to edge of fender; at rest and at full drop.
I took measurement at rest and they appeared to be same. I have not had a chance to measure them at full drop.

I'm not sure about Toyotas, but most horizontally mounted engine equipped cars (FWD or AWD) have different front springs between the left and right because the weight is not equal in the drivetrain from left to right. I'm sure that is the reason. One spring is stiffer to take the additional weight. The car is engineered to be level when the wheels are on the ground with the weight of the vehicle resting on the struts/springs.
That sounds plausible.

I don't have an explanation but wouldn't be too concerned either ALA the car drives and handles well. I've jacked up many cars from a center point and one tire always lifts first but I never paid much attention as to why. Probably attributed it to jacking off center but even on jack stands set equally there is some variation.
And I replaced just the right front strut on our '06 because it was the only bad one. I'm due to change the oil today so maybe I'll jack it up for comparison to yours.
Please let me know what you find when you rested the car on jack stands! :D
 

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I've observed exact same thing on my 2009 I4. The right front tire (passenger side) droops about 1.5-inch more than the left (driver side) when I lift from the front center jacking point. My garage floor is flat. Have not replaced any struts. Steering is straight and true. Tire wear has been regularly monitored and has been even-steven for 90k-miles. Calling it normal.
My experience exactly...
 

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I noticed the same thing when the car is on the jack, but did you put down the car on jack stands on pinch welds? In my case, I rested the car on jack stands of same height and then removed the jack.
With RAV supported only on jack stands at the pinch welds, left front tire is up .5-inch when the right tire first touches down. Jack stands were both at 14.5-inches.
 
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