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Hey guys and girls,
I just got my car fixed at the dealership less than 2 weeks ago and the maintenance light is now back on and staying on as of last night. I have a 2010 rav4 base 4 cyl. I checked my shocks and springs yesterday and the rubber/plastic boots on right front and left front are ripped. Does this cause any issues while driving?

I do a lot of off-roading on gravel roads and dirt roads. I was quoted $950 for replacing them at a dealership. I am looking to spend less than half that to do it on my own.

I am looking for good shocks and struts for off roading that wont break so easily. I have already put 10k into this car on dealership maintence since I have owned it Point is who makes the best looking and best working shocks/struts and springs.
Also wondering if the sport shocks and struts would work better for the base?


Thanks Alyx
 

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The Sport shocks/struts are made for the Sport model only and are not designed for the LTD or Base. The entire strut and shock system are connected with tubes. Hydraulic fluid is moved between the struts/shock.
 

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I'd bet the boots and dust covers are damaged on many many cars and I suppose that driving with bad ones could hasten ruining the seals on the struts. If that happened you'd see signs of oil leakage.
New boots/covers are relatively inexpensive. The high cost is labor which would probably be the same whether or not the struts themselves are changed. The safest way to DIY is remove the struts and have a shop swap out the boots.
New "better" struts will have no lengthening effect on the life of the boots/covers.
 

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As the doctor said those are just dust shields and will have zero connection to the maintenance light...also the sport model shocks and struts will fit the limited/base model with no issues at all...the springs are the same on all models depending on what motor it is...the 3rd row rav does have some beefier rear springs than the 2 row models...if you're gonna go with new shocks and struts I would skip the factory stuff...my sport shocks blew out at 40k or something like that...I now have KYB...
 

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In an attempt to achieve Sport ride/handling in my '11 LTD., I installed Sachs struts/shocks (see previous posts). After approx. 15K miles I can honestly say that they are still wonderful. :D

I recommend Sachs. I bought them through RockAuto which I also recommend. I don't go off road. But on paved roads my RAV rides and handles like a German car (Sachs is a German firm) minus the unreliability.
 

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This is the first time I heard of the Sachs shock/strut for the RAV. How does it compare to the KYB. Bilstein makes a rear shock too. How does it rate when thrown into the mix.

We need a head to head comparison test.
 

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This is the first time I heard of the Sachs shock/strut for the RAV. How does it compare to the KYB. Bilstein makes a rear shock too. How does it rate when thrown into the mix.

We need a head to head comparison test.
sachs is top of the line...very good stuff...
 

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The Sport shocks/struts are made for the Sport model only and are not designed for the LTD or Base. The entire strut and shock system are connected with tubes. Hydraulic fluid is moved between the struts/shock.
Sorry, but can you elaborate on these "hydraulic tubes" between the front struts and rear shocks? Not familiar.:confused:
 

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Our Shocks/Struts are OEM as a "twin tube" design. I talked to a jeeping buddy of mine, and he suggests going with a "Mono Tube" design. They're a little stiffer. Also, if you don't have rear springs off of a model with a third row seat, I would suggest buying those too. I have done my homework there. I plan on lifting mine and installing heavier springs, so that my ass end doesn't squat so bad when my trailer is hooked up. Hope this helps!
 

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In an attempt to achieve Sport ride/handling in my '11 LTD., I installed Sachs struts/shocks (see previous posts). After approx. 15K miles I can honestly say that they are still wonderful. :D

I recommend Sachs. I bought them through RockAuto which I also recommend. I don't go off road. But on paved roads my RAV rides and handles like a German car (Sachs is a German firm) minus the unreliability.


achieve sport ride as in make the car stiffer?
 

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Did this work?

Our Shocks/Struts are OEM as a "twin tube" design. I talked to a jeeping buddy of mine, and he suggests going with a "Mono Tube" design. They're a little stiffer. Also, if you don't have rear springs off of a model with a third row seat, I would suggest buying those too. I have done my homework there. I plan on lifting mine and installing heavier springs, so that my ass end doesn't squat so bad when my trailer is hooked up. Hope this helps!
I have to replace my rear struts and am looking to get some help with the extra load when I attach my camper trailer. Did this work for you?

Has anyone ever used the air ride suspension additions? you can add or remove air to stiffen the suspension and thought it would be good for when the trailer is attached.
 

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This is the first time I heard of the Sachs shock/strut for the RAV. How does it compare to the KYB. Bilstein makes a rear shock too. How does it rate when thrown into the mix.

We need a head to head comparison test.
I don't know how Sachs compares to KYB. The last time I had KYBs on a car was back in 1983 on a Subaru wagon. They were stiff. I liked them. KYB was my second choice for the RAV.

I've used Bilsteins on many cars over the years and generally like them. I've got them on my Tundra now. Bilstein was my third choice but they only make shocks for the rear. I still prefer Sachs overall. I agree that we need an objective comparison test of various shocks on the RAV. Maybe we could convince Tire Rack or some such outfit to do a test.
 

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achieve sport ride as in make the car stiffer?
Yes, Sachs makes the car stiffer. But the ride is not too stiff, it's not harsh, just very controlled. It's comparable to a Sport which I have driven. However, the Sachs ride seems to be more comfortable than the Sport ride. But that could just be the result of run-flat tires on the Sport. I considered Sport struts/shocks but I know Sachs. I agree with rav4system about skipping the factory suspension bits.
 

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Yes, Sachs makes the car stiffer. But the ride is not too stiff, it's not harsh, just very controlled. It's comparable to a Sport which I have driven. However, the Sachs ride seems to be more comfortable than the Sport ride. But that could just be the result of run-flat tires on the Sport. I considered Sport struts/shocks but I know Sachs. I agree with rav4system about skipping the factory suspension bits.


I want my car as floaty and nice riding as possible lol. don't need too much more beyond the shocks being very soft in rebound I would think. I've already got the weekend cars that are very, very stiff
 
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I want my car as floaty and nice riding as possible lol. don't need too much more beyond the shocks being very soft in rebound I would think. I've already got the weekend cars that are very, very stiff
"Floaty"? How about a Cadillac? A Grand Marquis perhaps? But seriously folks, I hate floaty. If I want floaty I've got a couple of boats. I'm not afflicted with sea sickness but...floaty? I don''t have "weekend cars," just the RAV and a Tundra. So disregard any of my comments about Sachs. I tried to preface my comments with the caveat that they were subjective, not scientifically objective. I like stiff, not harsh, solid, comfortable suspensions on my cars. Koni on the "full" setting is stiff and very hard, teeth-rattling hard. Despite my bias toward stiff suspensions I wouldn't suggest Koni. But I had Konis waaaay back in the 1970s. I've no idea what they are like now. Anyway, to each her/his own. I don't know what to suggest. Monroe maybe?
:ponder:
 

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"Floaty"? How about a Cadillac? A Grand Marquis perhaps? But seriously folks, I hate floaty. If I want floaty I've got a couple of boats. I'm not afflicted with sea sickness but...floaty? I don''t have "weekend cars," just the RAV and a Tundra. So disregard any of my comments about Sachs. I tried to preface my comments with the caveat that they were subjective, not scientifically objective. I like stiff, not harsh, solid, comfortable suspensions on my cars. Koni on the "full" setting is stiff and very hard, teeth-rattling hard. Despite my bias toward stiff suspensions I wouldn't suggest Koni. But I had Konis waaaay back in the 1970s. I've no idea what they are like now. Anyway, to each her/his own. I don't know what to suggest. Monroe maybe?
:ponder:
we may have different connotations of floaty - maybe smooth is a better term? soaks up road bumps?

i like smooth - doesn't necessarily mean soft - i run bilsteins on the mini and ohlins on the evo - they are stiff, but smooth. konis seem to have quality control issues.
 

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The springs on the rav are way too stiff for a floaty or smooth ride...buy the cheapest 15 dollar shocks you can and then run larger tires with lower air pressure...the downside to a softer riding rav is that you will have less control while driving and especially in emergency situations...if you want a soft ride get a Chevy trailblazer...rides like a cruise ship...
 

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we may have different connotations of floaty - maybe smooth is a better term? soaks up road bumps?

i like smooth - doesn't necessarily mean soft - i run bilsteins on the mini and ohlins on the evo - they are stiff, but smooth. konis seem to have quality control issues.
Aha! Now I get it. Smooth is cool. Soaking up bumps is really cool. Sachs does that; they are "stiff, but smooth." Now if I could just get a Mini and an Evo... Or maybe a WRX/Sti...>:D
 

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The springs on the rav are way too stiff for a floaty or smooth ride...buy the cheapest 15 dollar shocks you can and then run larger tires with lower air pressure...the downside to a softer riding rav is that you will have less control while driving and especially in emergency situations...if you want a soft ride get a Chevy trailblazer...rides like a cruise ship...
A Chevy Trailblazer!? :egad:
 
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