$1368 for new shocks/struts on '05 Corolla?

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aceoperations
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$1368 for new shocks/struts on '05 Corolla?

Post by aceoperations » Tue Jul 11, 2017 5:52 pm

Hi All,

I was told that my shocks/struts are worn after 131k miles on my 05 Toyota Corolla. As a result, my last set of tires have just about had 21k miles on it before it is showing signs of uneven wear. For a full shock replacement job and an alignment, I was quoted $1368 by AJ-USA. These are KYB shocks which I have read are better replacements for OEM shocks. The cost of new tires is extra and will run me $300 or so if I buy them on-sale in Costco. So I am looking at putting in nearly $1700-$1800 on this old car, whose market value is just about placed at $5000.

The questions:

1) Is this a reasonable price for full shock replacement? Or am I getting ripped off? Any places I can get it done cheaper? I can go for OEM shocks, but it might reduce the overall part cost by a few hundred dollars at best. I am assuming bulk of the cost is due to the labor involved.

2) This is my backup 2nd car for driving around town, and I do not intend taking it out on long trips. This is why I am even considering fixing it. Is it worth it?

3) How hard is it to DIY a shock replacement? I am not the best car-mechanic around for sure, but I know my way around a wrench set, and do not have any other specialized tools.

Thanks in advance! :sharebeer

UPDATE 1: Got a 2nd opinion at Pep Boys who quoted me $1,500 for the suspension job. The suspension and strut boots are worn out, but nothing else is damaged. I will be going DIY on this project, and my estimated cost is $600 + whatever it costs to have a wheel alignment done after. I also got plenty of information on this forum, if it will help anyone else.
Last edited by aceoperations on Mon Jul 17, 2017 11:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

bampf
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Re: $1368 for new shocks/struts on '05 Corolla?

Post by bampf » Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:04 pm

Struts are ~$100 each depending on brand. You can also buy the complete strut assembly (which makes this job stupid easy).
To replace a strut there is usually about 6 bolts you have to undo. Three at the top, two to hold it and usually one for a control arm.
Once the strut is out you need to compress the spring with a spring compressor (unless you purchased the complete strut assembly). This can be a pain in the A$$ and is usually the most dangerous part of the job. You can typically rent the spring compressors at the place where you purchased the struts.

I did four on my brothers Kia in about an hour, but, I have done them a lot. So, put it this way, you are paying $400 for the struts and $800 to $900 for the labor. That's a lot of dough ray me for an hour. It may take you more than a few hours if you have never done it. Look at youtube to see if you want to do this.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zwieTDdz2Fo

Parts here:
http://www.oreillyauto.com/site/c/searc ... roe&mc=MON

Inverted Pyramid
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Re: $1368 for new shocks/struts on '05 Corolla?

Post by Inverted Pyramid » Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:12 pm

Get the full strut assembly Monroe quick strut or kyb strut plus, with full assemblies no need for special tools to compress the springs won't take but a few hours with a jack/stands and basic hand tools. rockauto.com has them for under $120 each and 5% discount codes are very easy to find.

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rob
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Re: $1368 for new shocks/struts on '05 Corolla?

Post by rob » Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:19 pm

I would not put that much into an 05 Corolla with 130K miles on full stop..... As others say, buy the assembly if you really need it done as it's DIY friendly mostly.
| Rob | Its a dangerous business going out your front door. - J.R.R.Tolkien

neilpilot
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Re: $1368 for new shocks/struts on '05 Corolla?

Post by neilpilot » Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:22 pm

Agree with the above post on repair (yes, it's worth it especially if you DIY). Are you confident that there aren't any other suspension parts that are worn, causing some (maybe most) of the wear? If you shop did a thorough inspection, and didn't simply say "you need new struts/shocks" your probably OK. If they did not, try to get a better inspection before you proceed with the repairs. I've had a couple of cars that have needed replacement links, and it would be a shame to go forward, have your alignment done and miss a problem.

wilked
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Re: $1368 for new shocks/struts on '05 Corolla?

Post by wilked » Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:36 pm

What part of the country are you in? If you are in heavily salted areas those bolts might not come off easily

123
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Re: $1368 for new shocks/struts on '05 Corolla?

Post by 123 » Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:38 pm

aceoperations wrote:Hi All,

I was told that my shocks/struts are worn after 131k miles on my 05 Toyota Corolla.
In this situation I'd get a 2nd opinion.
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.

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F150HD
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Re: $1368 for new shocks/struts on '05 Corolla?

Post by F150HD » Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:40 pm

wilked wrote:What part of the country are you in? If you are in heavily salted areas those bolts might not come off easily
+1

I see PB Blaster in the OPs future

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F150HD
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Re: $1368 for new shocks/struts on '05 Corolla?

Post by F150HD » Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:41 pm

get a detailed invoice of what they need to do and use it to get estimates at other shops.

neilpilot
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Re: $1368 for new shocks/struts on '05 Corolla?

Post by neilpilot » Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:43 pm

wilked wrote:What part of the country are you in? If you are in heavily salted areas those bolts might not come off easily
When I have a job like this on a older car, I try to soak all key bolts with a penetrant spray such as Blaster PB one or two times, several days before the work. Even here in Memphis, which sees little salt. It really helps. The key is to spray days before, not just when you start the job.

mortfree
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Re: $1368 for new shocks/struts on '05 Corolla?

Post by mortfree » Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:45 pm

I'd get rid of it.


.

Goal33
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Re: $1368 for new shocks/struts on '05 Corolla?

Post by Goal33 » Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:46 pm

I'd put cheaper tires on the car and just live with them going out faster
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Ged
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Re: $1368 for new shocks/struts on '05 Corolla?

Post by Ged » Tue Jul 11, 2017 7:03 pm

F150HD wrote:
wilked wrote:What part of the country are you in? If you are in heavily salted areas those bolts might not come off easily
+1

I see PB Blaster in the OPs future
I've had experience changing shocks when I was living in a place that used copious amounts of salt on the roads. Penetrant was not enough to do the job. I had to cut the shocks off. I was a graduate student at the time which also meant I couldn't afford an angle grinder.

Built character that did.

aceoperations
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Re: $1368 for new shocks/struts on '05 Corolla?

Post by aceoperations » Tue Jul 11, 2017 7:43 pm

Thanks for the great responses.

DIY: I did see the front strut replacement video and it looks doable to me. Are the rear shocks any different? I could not find any videos explaining how that can be done, or how much easier/harder that is. Looks like full-strut assembly is the way to go if DIY-ing, and I am not going to try and save a few bucks over trying to compress the spring (and knocking myself unconscious :D ).

Inspection: So far, I have only been told that I need new shocks and struts, and have no idea if anything else is worn. I will need to get that assessed thoroughly before proceeding with the DIY route. Also will be getting a second opinion.

Location: San Diego. I have no idea how stuck those bolts are. I'm going to try shaking loose a few bolts on the front strut to see if they move at all. If it is too hard, I will need to re-evaluate.

inbox788
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Re: $1368 for new shocks/struts on '05 Corolla?

Post by inbox788 » Tue Jul 11, 2017 8:11 pm

Goal33 wrote:I'd put cheaper tires on the car and just live with them going out faster
This would be my solution. How many years will it take you to put the next 21k miles on the car? BTW, I had a newer car destroy the tires, and it wasn't the shocks/struts, but bad balance/alignment.

Are you basing this decision on just the tire results? Have you inspected and tested the shocks and surrounding suspension? How does the car drive? Hard braking? cornering?
aceoperations wrote:Thanks for the great responses.

DIY: I did see the front strut replacement video and it looks doable to me. Are the rear shocks any different? I could not find any videos explaining how that can be done, or how much easier/harder that is. Looks like full-strut assembly is the way to go if DIY-ing, and I am not going to try and save a few bucks over trying to compress the spring (and knocking myself unconscious :D ).

Inspection: So far, I have only been told that I need new shocks and struts, and have no idea if anything else is worn. I will need to get that assessed thoroughly before proceeding with the DIY route. Also will be getting a second opinion.

Location: San Diego. I have no idea how stuck those bolts are. I'm going to try shaking loose a few bolts on the front strut to see if they move at all. If it is too hard, I will need to re-evaluate.
Hopefully not too much rust. DW40 and a breaker bar should be enough. No personal experience from this amateur DIYer, but I've been watching youtube videos. Back seems to be the same as front, but you might need to remove the back seats and expose some of the trunk covering to get to the top bolts. Replacing the whole assembly seems to be straightforward, but they can be expensive (~$200 per, so $800 plus labor for all 4). If only the spring or strut needs to be replaced, it's a lot cheaper, but looks like a dangerous life-risking procedure I wouldn't attempt. Probably comparable to replacing garage door springs. Pay someone to risk their fingers (hopefully they're far more experienced and will not lose them, but if they do, should have workers comp. insurance).

Helo80
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Re: $1368 for new shocks/struts on '05 Corolla?

Post by Helo80 » Tue Jul 11, 2017 8:21 pm

A quick glance at RockAuto indicates that it's about a $300 job for parts....

I'd do the KYB fronts and rears ($63 ish per unit) as KYB is a big OEM supplier for Honda (and I assume Toyota). So, about $250 right there in parts, and then another $50 in misc tools, screws, and other consumables for when you take apart the shock. You should be able to reuse the coil.

Also, plan for a 4-wheel alignment cost as it's needed anytime you do suspension work.

After 130K miles, yeah, if you've never replaced your shocks, they're overdue.

(PS - If anybody owns a Mercedes AMG vehicle, check out what a new, factory OEM shock from Mercedes cost on one of those with complete electronic stabilization and other "improvements" they've made to it.)

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Re: $1368 for new shocks/struts on '05 Corolla?

Post by Helo80 » Tue Jul 11, 2017 8:25 pm

inbox788 wrote:If only the spring or strut needs to be replaced, it's a lot cheaper, but looks like a dangerous life-risking procedure I wouldn't attempt. Probably comparable to replacing garage door springs. Pay someone to risk their fingers (hopefully they're far more experienced and will not lose them, but if they do, should have workers comp. insurance).

Naw man, way, safer than garage doors. I'd never mess with a garage door spring.

Your coil for a macpherson strut.... just don't get in front of it and release it.

Respect the coil when you compress it and look for any obvious signs of things not being right and you'll be fine.

stlutz
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Re: $1368 for new shocks/struts on '05 Corolla?

Post by stlutz » Tue Jul 11, 2017 8:27 pm

Try a place like Midas. Shocks/struts are important for safely driving the car, so I wouldn't just ignore this issue and get new tires.

High repair bills are part of having an older car.

Helo80
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Re: $1368 for new shocks/struts on '05 Corolla?

Post by Helo80 » Tue Jul 11, 2017 8:29 pm

123 wrote:
aceoperations wrote:Hi All,

I was told that my shocks/struts are worn after 131k miles on my 05 Toyota Corolla.
In this situation I'd get a 2nd opinion.
I'm curious.... what made you say that? 12-13 year old car with 131K miles on (potentially) original shocks is well beyond said parts life expectancy.

Helo80
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Re: $1368 for new shocks/struts on '05 Corolla?

Post by Helo80 » Tue Jul 11, 2017 8:35 pm

aceoperations wrote: 1) Is this a reasonable price for full shock replacement? Or am I getting ripped off? Any places I can get it done cheaper? I can go for OEM shocks, but it might reduce the overall part cost by a few hundred dollars at best. I am assuming bulk of the cost is due to the labor involved.

2) This is my backup 2nd car for driving around town, and I do not intend taking it out on long trips. This is why I am even considering fixing it. Is it worth it?

3) How hard is it to DIY a shock replacement? I am not the best car-mechanic around for sure, but I know my way around a wrench set, and do not have any other specialized tools.

Thanks in advance! :sharebeer
To actually answer your questions....

1. IDK what the blue book time on per shock is, but 1-1.5 hours of labor would be reasonable. Yes, that's largely why it costs so much. If this is from a Toyota dealership, they're also quoting you MSRP prices on each of the shocks.

2. If you like to keep cars for a while, it would probably be a great project car to try the job out yourself for down the road.

3. Honestly, it should not be hard on a Corolla, and there would be more than enough internet evidence at this point if it's going to be a trouble or PITA job for you.

If you have standard mechanic and general home maintenance skills, it's not a "hard" job at all. It's just time consuming to get all the parts out, compress the spring, put the new shock in, screw everything back together, and then put the shock back in the car.

Like I said before, be sure to get an alignment after you're done. You don't have to do it immediately, but probably within 200-300 miles

finite_difference
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Re: $1368 for new shocks/struts on '05 Corolla?

Post by finite_difference » Tue Jul 11, 2017 8:36 pm

If that's your favorite mechanic, then have them do it. Otherwise find another good shop and get their opinion and quote.

Yes I think the worth a $1400 maintenance to replace struts. Yes I think high-quality tires from Costco are worth it. This is standard car maintenance. $1800 over 12 months is still significantly less than a new car payment. A Toyota with 130k miles / 12 years is really only half used up.

That said, buying a new car after 150k miles or 12 years is justifiable, too. If you are happy with the car I'd do the maintenance if needed and drive it a couple more years.
The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. - Thich Nhat Hanh

123
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Re: $1368 for new shocks/struts on '05 Corolla?

Post by 123 » Tue Jul 11, 2017 8:39 pm

Helo80 wrote:
123 wrote:
aceoperations wrote:Hi All,

I was told that my shocks/struts are worn after 131k miles on my 05 Toyota Corolla.
In this situation I'd get a 2nd opinion.
I'm curious.... what made you say that? 12-13 year old car with 131K miles on (potentially) original shocks is well beyond said parts life expectancy.
My experience has been that a 2nd opinion (besides bogleheads) builds confidence in your decision if it confirms the 1st opinion. If it differs significantly then maybe it is time to think things over some more.
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.

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Re: $1368 for new shocks/struts on '05 Corolla?

Post by bampf » Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:03 pm

Are the rear shocks any different? I could not find any videos explaining how that can be done, or how much easier/harder that is.
It is generally easier as there are no steering components on the rear.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dOCoDR4m4FM

With respect to how to get the bolts out, its pretty simple really. The bottoms may be tough, but, make sure you have the right size socket and socket wrench and get a breaker bar if needed (probably). Once the bolts are off, a mallot and a punch will get the bolts out. They are tapered so putting them back in is pretty straight forward as well. It isn't really that hard to do, certainly if you get the assembly.
I'd get rid of it.
With respect to just getting a new car... Seriously? If the car works and it isn't in bad shape, why throw it away over struts?
I'd put cheaper tires on the car and just live with them going out faster[/quote
Do not ignore the struts. They are critical for safe driving of the vehicle. Yes, you can drive it with shocks that are crap. Then when you need to swerve suddenly or you hit a pot hole and you wrap the car around the telephone pole or the baby pram that mom is pushing, you will be sad.

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Re: $1368 for new shocks/struts on '05 Corolla?

Post by bottlecap » Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:13 pm

That seems a little steep for a Corolla, but you are in San Diego and its not a job I've had done in a while. It's probably not outrageous.

I second getting a second opinion and a second quote.

Should you get it done? Probably. It may cause other problems. I learned a while back not to let things go. Things unfixed cause other things to go. If you don't want to fix it, sell it for $5,000 minus the repair cost.

Check You Tube to see how the job is done. If you can handle it, then do it yourself.

JT

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Re: $1368 for new shocks/struts on '05 Corolla?

Post by wander » Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:24 pm

Inverted Pyramid wrote:Get the full strut assembly Monroe quick strut or kyb strut plus, with full assemblies no need for special tools to compress the springs won't take but a few hours with a jack/stands and basic hand tools. rockauto.com has them for under $120 each and 5% discount codes are very easy to find.
+1.

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Re: $1368 for new shocks/struts on '05 Corolla?

Post by onourway » Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:25 pm

You might get an itemized list from the first mechanic to see what they intend on replacing. I don't think the cost is outrageous and all the less so if they also intend on replacing things like strut bearings, spring seats, bump stops, etc. which are also often due at the same time. I would be inclined to go OEM for the parts unless you know exactly what you are getting when you change. It's very easy to make the ride quality considerably worse and quite hard to make it better by varying from the OEM standard. I do it all the time, but boy have I had mixed results over the years.

I think this cost is absolutely worthwhile to keep an otherwise good car on the road. This is a small cost amortized over the life of the vehicle.

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Re: $1368 for new shocks/struts on '05 Corolla?

Post by munemaker » Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:50 pm

123 wrote:
aceoperations wrote:Hi All,

I was told that my shocks/struts are worn after 131k miles on my 05 Toyota Corolla.
In this situation I'd get a 2nd opinion.
Doesn't seem right to me either. I would get a second opinion on the shocks/struts. Maybe the tires are wearing uneven because it needs an alignment.

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Re: $1368 for new shocks/struts on '05 Corolla?

Post by j0nnyg1984 » Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:37 pm

Shocks / struts are super easy. If you have any mechanical skills and the space to do the work, just do it yourself. Especially since this is your 2nd vehicle.

inbox788
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Re: $1368 for new shocks/struts on '05 Corolla?

Post by inbox788 » Wed Jul 12, 2017 12:46 am

Helo80 wrote:
inbox788 wrote:If only the spring or strut needs to be replaced, it's a lot cheaper, but looks like a dangerous life-risking procedure I wouldn't attempt. Probably comparable to replacing garage door springs. Pay someone to risk their fingers (hopefully they're far more experienced and will not lose them, but if they do, should have workers comp. insurance).

Naw man, way, safer than garage doors. I'd never mess with a garage door spring.

Your coil for a macpherson strut.... just don't get in front of it and release it.

Respect the coil when you compress it and look for any obvious signs of things not being right and you'll be fine.
Well, if you're going to try it, these are a few things you should NOT do:
https://youtu.be/CYFOI_UsVxI?t=1m
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=70Xj-83 ... e&t=11m19s (watch about 1m)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kY56ib3I-ew

It's probably not all that common, but fingerless users have more trouble uploading youtube videos :o :shock:

Be careful!

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Re: $1368 for new shocks/struts on '05 Corolla?

Post by blaugranamd » Wed Jul 12, 2017 5:59 am

I did this with minimal mechanical experience on my old 97 Jetta about 8 years ago with KYB struts and a borrowed spring compressor from Auto zone. Was pretty easy, but steering wheel was permanently turned about 5 degrees right afterwards, drove straight and was in alignment :confused anyway, can be done with minimal experience and, IMO, if you're keeping the car should be done. Bad struts make your car bounce a lot more which can in turn drastically reduce traction while your car is more "airborne." I had a turn on a cloverleaf on the way home from work that had a bump that would cause my car to shift laterally a few inches every time I hit it. Scary looking back and completely resolved after fixing the struts. I learned how to fix a lot of things myself on that car. Think of this as your practice car :wink:

Good luck mate!
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Re: $1368 for new shocks/struts on '05 Corolla?

Post by Frisco Kid » Wed Jul 12, 2017 7:03 am

Former professional mechanic chiming in here.While you can probably DIY this job as you say you know your way around a wrench set, suspension work at home with hand tools and no lift would be a PITA. If a job ever screamed for access to air tools and a lift this is it. Also safety first, especially with springs. If you are a PATIENT handy person and can walk away for a few hours or days if things go astray, you might want to give it a shot. If it needs to be done quickly in a timely manner, hire a pro. Just my 2 cents..............

Luke Duke
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Re: $1368 for new shocks/struts on '05 Corolla?

Post by Luke Duke » Wed Jul 12, 2017 7:17 am

If you do it yourself, get a pneumatic impact gun. If you can't borrow one, get one at Harbor Freight for $100-150.

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Re: $1368 for new shocks/struts on '05 Corolla?

Post by Volkdancer » Wed Jul 12, 2017 7:31 am

I had a similar thing happen to me several years ago. My car was older. The tires were wearing very unevenly after a new set. I took it to a franchise and they diagnosed a full replacement of shocks and struts and new tires. I agreed. They ordered the parts but it would take a few days for all parts to arrive. Meanwhile I took my car to a tire dealer down the street to price the tires and told them the situation. They checked the alignment and it was way out of whack. Shocks an struts were not the problem. Just the routine maintenance of regular alignments. Kept the car for over another 100K miles and zero front end problems.

The moral of the story is "Get a second opinion."

Karl V

SimonJester
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Re: $1368 for new shocks/struts on '05 Corolla?

Post by SimonJester » Wed Jul 12, 2017 7:37 am

I replaced the front and back struts on my 2002 Corolla using the monroe quick strut. If I had to do it over I would choose the LYB, as I felt the monroe was a little too stiff afterwords.

I was not all that difficult and I did not need an alignment afterwords (however you probably do need an alignment as you are seeing tire wear)
I believe I also replaced the rear linkages to make things easier.

A tip for the rears if things are the same on the 2005, I cut out a slot in the old strut to remove the brake line vs taking it apart as I believe the new quick strut had a slot vs enclosed hole. But this was a few years ago so Im not 100% sure...

There are youtube videos on the rears and they are not that difficult. I believe you have to take the rear bench seat out and back seat off to get to the upper bolt.
"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin

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jesscj
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Re: $1368 for new shocks/struts on '05 Corolla?

Post by jesscj » Wed Jul 12, 2017 8:32 am

Book time is about 5.5 hours to do front and rear then add alignment. In my area 100.00-150.00 per hour depending on the shop. Then parts, I'd suggest getting a few estimates to compare. Ask for complete strut assembly replacement(if available) labor will be slightly lower.
"Gonna Make It"

wrongfunds
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Re: $1368 for new shocks/struts on '05 Corolla?

Post by wrongfunds » Wed Jul 12, 2017 9:05 am

Only on BH, somebody asking about new shocks/struts would be advised to go ahead and do it yourself! Are you guys really that clueless to realize somebody asking this question is obviously has no skills/experience to do this job?

Go to Corolla forum and do the research there and figure out reasonable cost and expertise needed and then make the decision.

Would you ask investment advice to bunch of gearheads on Corolla forum? So why do you dispense auto repair advice here?

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lthenderson
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Re: $1368 for new shocks/struts on '05 Corolla?

Post by lthenderson » Wed Jul 12, 2017 9:06 am

aceoperations wrote:2) This is my backup 2nd car for driving around town, and I do not intend taking it out on long trips. This is why I am even considering fixing it. Is it worth it?
Absolutely! You pay for new struts put on it and drive it another 131k miles (totally reasonable for a Toyota) and you are adding about a penny a mile to the car's total costs. I've owned several Toyotas that I bought with around 150k miles on them for beater vehicles and they all were the cheapest vehicles I ever owned.

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Re: $1368 for new shocks/struts on '05 Corolla?

Post by Wakefield1 » Wed Jul 12, 2017 9:13 am

F150HD wrote:
wilked wrote:What part of the country are you in? If you are in heavily salted areas those bolts might not come off easily
+1

I see PB Blaster in the OPs future
At least starting one day before trying to remove the bolts. Maybe a couple of days before and again the next day.

munemaker
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Re: $1368 for new shocks/struts on '05 Corolla?

Post by munemaker » Wed Jul 12, 2017 9:20 am

Helo80 wrote:what made you say that? 12-13 year old car with 131K miles on (potentially) original shocks is well beyond said parts life expectancy.
From experience, I don't agree with that. I currently have a 10 year old CRV with 198,000 miles on it, and have never done anything with the shocks and struts. A while back, I had a Chevrolet Tahoe with 195,000 miles on it (when it died) and never touched the shocks and struts. I had a 12 year old Honda Pilot with 165,000 miles on it when it died, and it had the original shocks and struts. Also, our roads here in western PA are terrible.

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Re: $1368 for new shocks/struts on '05 Corolla?

Post by neilpilot » Wed Jul 12, 2017 9:21 am

wrongfunds wrote:Would you ask investment advice to bunch of gearheads on Corolla forum? So why do you dispense auto repair advice here?
Simple - the OP asked for advice. Your post does not address the OP's request at all.

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Re: $1368 for new shocks/struts on '05 Corolla?

Post by munemaker » Wed Jul 12, 2017 9:21 am

For what it is worth, consumer expert Clark Howard would tell you to make the repair (if it is indeed needed). As I recall, his normal guidance is not to spend over 50% of the value of the car, and you are under that.

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Re: $1368 for new shocks/struts on '05 Corolla?

Post by blaugranamd » Wed Jul 12, 2017 9:36 am

IF you go the DIY route, the Haynes manuals are worth their weight in gold in terms of step by step breakdown of nearly every repair:

https://www.amazon.com/Toyota-Corolla-H ... 1563929783
wrongfunds wrote:Only on BH, somebody asking about new shocks/struts would be advised to go ahead and do it yourself! Are you guys really that clueless to realize somebody asking this question is obviously has no skills/experience to do this job?

Go to Corolla forum and do the research there and figure out reasonable cost and expertise needed and then make the decision.

Would you ask investment advice to bunch of gearheads on Corolla forum? So why do you dispense auto repair advice here?
Or perhaps the OP hasn't considered DIY a possibility. I never did until I got quoted $1500 for this same job on a car worth $2000. Bought the Haynes manual, struts, and saved over a grand. My only car mechanical experience was changing replaceable parts (oil, wipers, filters) prior to this. OP probably asked here because he's comfortable on this forum. Not all forums are friendly to "noob" questions.

This is how many of my DIY projects start. Just last week I thought I needed a professional to repair my plasma TV. One internet post later I was told it was a super easy fix and one $120 circuit board and 10 minutes later I'm glad I did it myself. Obviously different level of complexity and potential risk of you mess up here but hopefully you get the picture.
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Re: $1368 for new shocks/struts on '05 Corolla?

Post by neilpilot » Wed Jul 12, 2017 9:40 am

blaugranamd wrote:IF you go the DIY route, the Haynes manuals are worth their weight in gold in terms of step by step breakdown of nearly every repair...

Or perhaps the OP hasn't considered DIY a possibility. I never did until I got quoted $1500 for this same job on a car worth $2000. Bought the Haynes manual, struts, and saved over a grand. My only car mechanical experience was changing replaceable parts (oil, wipers, filters) prior to this. OP probably asked here because he's comfortable on this forum. Not all forums are friendly to "noob" questions.
My experience with Haynes manuals in general, admittedly many years ago, was that it was way too generic and not especially valuable.

Note that in the original post, OP writes : "How hard is it to DIY a shock replacement? I am not the best car-mechanic around for sure, but I know my way around a wrench set, and do not have any other specialized tools."

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Re: $1368 for new shocks/struts on '05 Corolla?

Post by blaugranamd » Wed Jul 12, 2017 9:42 am

neilpilot wrote:
blaugranamd wrote:IF you go the DIY route, the Haynes manuals are worth their weight in gold in terms of step by step breakdown of nearly every repair...

Or perhaps the OP hasn't considered DIY a possibility. I never did until I got quoted $1500 for this same job on a car worth $2000. Bought the Haynes manual, struts, and saved over a grand. My only car mechanical experience was changing replaceable parts (oil, wipers, filters) prior to this. OP probably asked here because he's comfortable on this forum. Not all forums are friendly to "noob" questions.
My experience with Haynes manuals in general, admittedly many years ago, was that it was way too generic and not especially valuable.

Note that in the original post, OP writes : "How hard is it to DIY a shock replacement? I am not the best car-mechanic around for sure, but I know my way around a wrench set, and do not have any other specialized tools."
It depends on the car, the job, and if you can find a good walk through online. Otherwise I find them helpful for just figuring out what bolts are needed and which are not.
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Re: $1368 for new shocks/struts on '05 Corolla?

Post by wrongfunds » Wed Jul 12, 2017 9:55 am

Once again, if you do not know enough to look at Youtube to see the difficulty involved in doing the work AND you ask here without bothering to do your homework first, then NO, you are NOT capable of doing the work.

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Re: $1368 for new shocks/struts on '05 Corolla?

Post by barnaclebob » Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:00 am

You'll know when you need new struts, the car will handle really poorly when hitting bumps on the highway. You'll feel the tires bouncing around when cornering at high speeds and when you hit bumps going straight the car will oscillate up and down more than once or twice because there is no damping. 130k miles sounds about right for replacement though. Its definitely a DIY job with a difficulty rating of 3 or maybe 3.5/10 IMO, an oil change being 2/10. Compressing the springs is not difficult if you borrow a spring compressor from the auto store's tool loaner program. It will add some time to the job though, especially without an impact wrench. I get by with a dewalt battery powered one just fine, no NEED for an air powered one.

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Re: $1368 for new shocks/struts on '05 Corolla?

Post by aceoperations » Wed Jul 12, 2017 11:14 am

I really appreciate all the detailed answers from everybody. It is almost unanimous that I should keep the car after fixing any suspension issues. That is what I am going to do. Whether I am going DIY or not depends on if it is actually a suspension issue like the mechanic said. If it is just a wheel alignment, it is an easy fix. If there are issues beyond my DIY skills, I need a professional job done. I am getting a 2nd (or 3rd opinion even) this week.

If it is just suspension that needs replacing, I am going DIY. The YouTube videos out there are quite helpful, car-specific forums have additional info and coupled with the Haynes manual, I should be able to figure it out. I am going to start off using hand tools first, and then depending on how tough it gets from there, I can go in for power tools. I can keep the car garaged till I get the work done. I have time on my side since this is not my main transport.

I'll post back once I get more info on the status of the car / repairs.

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Re: $1368 for new shocks/struts on '05 Corolla?

Post by bampf » Wed Jul 12, 2017 12:10 pm

If it is just suspension that needs replacing, I am going DIY.
I guarantee that you need new struts at 130K if these are the original. Put another way Google "How do I know if my struts are bad". There are a dozen different symptoms (Tire wear, bouncy ride, etc...). You can also just push really hard on one of the four quarter panels and watch what happens. If it bounces more than once you likely need struts. Unless you weigh like 400 pounds or you can bench press a refrigerator.

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Re: $1368 for new shocks/struts on '05 Corolla?

Post by William4u » Wed Jul 12, 2017 12:15 pm

DIY is easy and cheap, especially in SoCal where you are from (little to no rust, unlike the midwest). If you are able to change your own oil and change a tire, this DIY would be the next step of "easy" repairs.

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Re: $1368 for new shocks/struts on '05 Corolla?

Post by neilpilot » Wed Jul 12, 2017 12:57 pm

bampf wrote:
I guarantee that you need new struts at 130K if these are the original. Put another way Google "How do I know if my struts are bad". There are a dozen different symptoms (Tire wear, bouncy ride, etc...). You can also just push really hard on one of the four quarter panels and watch what happens. If it bounces more than once you likely need struts. Unless you weigh like 400 pounds or you can bench press a refrigerator.
At 90k by VUE needed one new front sway bar link. At 87k my Mercedes C240 new front sway bar bushings and rear shocks. Both cars now have around 134k, and have original front struts that show no signs of excessive wear. The VUE also has original rear shocks and all original brake pads (with significant remaining pad thickness).

My point is that I'm not sure you can "guarantee that you need new struts at 130k" with the information the OP has posted, unless you know that his initial repair estimate was based on a real evaluation of strut/shock condition.

Unfortunately, there are repair shops that will agree with your opinion that original parts need to be replaced at 130k, without actually evaluating condition. That's what leads to sometimes excessive repair work, work that often does not truly address the root cause of the problem. It's why I still DIY most repairs, even though at 67 I can easily afford to pay someone else and avoid the physical exertion.

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