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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Bought a used 2011 RAV4 Limited with 90,000 miles - suspension original parts (strut dust covers with cracks) and thought about replacing front struts and rear shocks - mechanic mentioned Monroe, but wondered if anyone has any experience with some that works for a softer ride?
 

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I just recently replaced my rear shocks for my 2007 rav4 6cyl limited. Ride is nice and not too firm but secure. My fronts are still ok so I have not changed yet.
the car has 205,000 km
I used MONROE 37289
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for your feedback - will post again after I experience the new struts which are scheduled for next week.
 

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EarlyGirl, you won't be able to make your car ride softer changing the strut/shocks. Changing the tires to a touring type may help a little. Most aftermarket replacement strut/shocks will be similar or stiffer than the original.

You may want to consider KYB struts (for front) which are much better than Monroe. For the rears the Toyota shocks ($29) (made by Tokico - Japanese company) can be cheaper than aftermarket and will give a factory ride. Don't worry you can mix brands for the front and rears.

You can get strut boots made by Monroe. Monroe Part #909931 or get it here. They are a one piece strut boot/upper insulator unlike other ones that are universal boot covers like the KYB. The Monroe boot cover looks close to the original boot cover which has the upper insulator lip.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
DL175 - Not sure what "normal" should be since I am not the original owner - have driven other 3rd generation RAV4's and they seem better than mine - wonder what the longevity is of a strut is under normal circumstances? The ride seems to be unusually harsh over anything other than highway smooth - not expecting "soft", but think this might be a sign of showing age - wonder how dealerships test struts and shocks for integrity and making replacement decisions?

Replaced Uniroyal Laredo Cross Country tires with Yokohama Geolanders All-Terrain G015 and that made a big improvement - perhaps the softer rubber to accommodate some off road and increase in snow handling.
 

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EarlyGirl the ride you are experiencing is harsh because your strut/shocks are completely worn out. When you are on the highway your suspension is not taking a beating because the road is probably very smooth.

Once you replace all the strut/shocks the ride should be restored.

If you are not the original owner it would be harder to tell how worn your suspension is with out knowing what it was like new. One way which is obvious is if there is a leak in fluid but sometimes there is none. The best way to tell is how well it absorb bumps on the road. If you feel the bumps going up and down fast rather than slow that is a sure sign. Handling is also another way to tell. If you are going down a hill and it curves and then you stop quickly the car should not nose dive.

Mileage is another indicator that it is time to replace your struts/shocks. The mileage in your vehicle indicates it is over due.
 

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You may want to consider KYB struts (for front) which are much better than Monroe. For the rears the Toyota shocks ($29) (made by Tokico - Japanese company) can be cheaper than aftermarket and will give a factory ride. Don't worry you can mix brands for the front and rears.

You can get strut boots made by Monroe. Monroe Part #909931 or get it here. They are a one piece strut boot/upper insulator unlike other ones that are universal boot covers like the KYB. The Monroe boot cover looks close to the original boot cover which has the upper insulator lip.
At 103k miles, my front struts had been shot since they were bottoming out and felt like only the springs were supporting the weight. I picked up these combos and had them installed by a shop near work. Before the replacement, there was about a 2-finger fender gap in the front, after the replacement, it was almost a 5-finger gap. It feels like new again. :D
 

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Also worth noting, bad shocks/struts can ruin your tires. They often will develop what we call cupping which are dips in the tread.


New Struts and shocks are a great way to restore your trucks handling.
 
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