Toyota Repair/shocks


QUESTION: Hi Ted,  My 1998 Camry XLE has 135,000 miles on it and I am wondering if I should have new shocks. If so, what would I need and approximately how much $.  Thank you for all your help.

ANSWER: Hello, if there are no handling problems and the struts/shocks are not leaking there is no need to replace them, has anyone checked to see if any of them are leaking or are you experiencing vehicle stability problems, clunking noises over bumps or chattering across pavement on turns? If none of these, chances are shocks are not needed at this time.
I know tire stores like to sell shocks and struts just based on mileage, so if one of them recommended shocks etc i would get another opinion. Most toyota dealer do an inspection for you at no9 charge.

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QUESTION: I have noticed some clunking noises which sound like front right side.  How many shocks does my car have?  Can you give me an idea of what is reasonable to pay for one chock installed?

ANSWER: Hello, there are two struts on the front and two at the rear, the difference between shock absorbers and struts is that the struts have the coil  springs attached, vehicles using shocks have separate springs for the suspension. The noise you are hearing is very common on Camrys, it is due to worn front strut upper mounts, these can be replaced separately without replacing the struts but they have to be removed anyway to replace the mounts so there is no cost reduction for labor, it is the same, at this mileage I would recommend replacing the struts as well as the upper mounts. Some autoparts stores like Autozone , O Reilly and Pep Boys are now selling the complete assembly which I would recommend, this will save some labor cost, my best guess is that they are around $120 each so please check around online, buy them yourself and then just have a mechanic install them, this should cost about $80 per side to install the complete strut assembly.

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QUESTION: Thank you very much.  You have really helped me.  I have another question.

Will my 1998 Camry need a tune up?  I have never had one.

Hello, it may be a good idea to due some type of maintenance including a tune up, tune up doesn't involve very much, new spark plugs, air filter, fuel filter, there is nothing to adjust, the control module does everything else, at the same time it should be checked over for any other things that may be needed like brakes, oil/coolant leaks and all fluids checked.  

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Ted Ritter


I have more than 28 years experience as toyota technician, I will be able to answer most questions related to the Toyota product line up to the present year models,I am located in the US but welcome questions from other regions of the world. When asking a question please provide specific information: year,model, engine,transmission information. Provide as much information as possible including a brief repair history if possible. I have been a volunteer here for more ten years an have answered over 16,000 questions helping Toyota owners with their problems and save thousands of dollars without any compensation, some of my answers are published on many other websites including google and various automotive forums. DONATIONS ARE VERY MUCH APPRECIATED, IF YOU HAVE RECIEVED HELPFUL INFORMATION PLEASE MAKE A DONATION. AS OF TODAY (JULY 22, 2014) ALL REQUESTED GRAPHICS, ILLUSTRATIONS, DIAGRAMS, PHOTOS, WILL REQUIRE THE MINUMUM DONATION UP FRONT.


Toyota technician since 1979,expert in electrical systems,OBD systems,engine repair, driveability problems,EFI systems,ASE certified,Toyota master technician.
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Toyota master technician, ASE certified in eight catagories, Hybrid vehicle certified. Toyota technical training: Engine Automatic transmission Manual transmission Drivetrain Electrical systems Brakes and chassis Air conditioning Engine performance and diagnostics Hybrid systems

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