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2001 Camry - Struts replaced - Noises present

  #1  
Old 07-17-2015, 11:31 PM
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Default 2001 Camry - Struts replaced - Noises present

My wife has a 2001 Camry with 263,000 miles. For the most part it has been factory maintained every 5k miles. It's been a great car so far.

The dealer recently told us all 4 struts need to be replaced. Their cost was close to $2K, which was more than we could afford to pay.

My wife took it to a shop that her tire shop recommended. They agreed all 4 struts needed to be replaced and said the lower control arms should be replaced as well.

Due to the age, they ordered complete 'quick strut complete assemblies'.

After the job was complete we find the suspension to be stiffer than it was before, the steering wheel does not straighten out when the throttle is applied after a turn and there is a squeaking noise from the front of the car when she makes a tight turn at idle speed (I hear it when she turns the car to enter the garage).

She took it back to them within the first week. The said they forgot to remove a sticker from the coil spring. I thought this was a weak excuse.

I read another thread here that indicates noise could be a result of the top nut not being centered in the upper mount. I took a few photos but there is some tape covering this area so it's hard to tell if it's centered or not. I don't think this problem is the same as the other poster's problem as I can see no indication of wear on the sticker.

Since they replaced the lower control arm, could the noise be coming from that area? Was the mechanic supposed to put grease inside the boot on the lower control arm?

Anyone have an idea of the cause of the squeaking noise?

Thank you, Bill
 
Attached Thumbnails 2001 Camry - Struts replaced - Noises present-dscn2190.jpg   2001 Camry - Struts replaced - Noises present-dscn2192.jpg  
  #2  
Old 07-18-2015, 10:22 AM
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A quick strut complete assy comes with the suspension spring and upper strut mount assembled. The use of this assy instead of just replacing the strut is common. The stiff suspension may loosen up with age.

The sticker is in part a warning not to loosen the large nut hidden by the sticker. This nut keeps the strut assy together. Not being able to read the English portion not sure if it also states to remove the sticker prior to installation.

Does the problems with the steering wheel not straighten out when throttle is applied after a turn in both directions or just one? This could be a wheel alignment problem the result of changing out the strut assy and lower control arm. The shop should have done a wheel alignment after replacing the parts.

Suppose the strut assy bearing could also be too stiff and now resists the tires centering up after a turn (assuming the wheel alignment is correct).

The squeaking noise could be from many areas, one being the upper strut mount. The mount has a bearing in it to allow the lower part of the strut to rotate. Have someone turn the steering wheel while you listen for the noise in the area of the sticker.

There are no areas that require greasing in the suspension.

The squeak and steering failure to return to center are the shops problem. The stiff suspension is the result of replacing the strut. The strut assy may loosen up with time.
 
  #3  
Old 07-18-2015, 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by toyomoho View Post
A quick strut complete assy comes with the suspension spring and upper strut mount assembled. The use of this assy instead of just replacing the strut is common. The stiff suspension may loosen up with age.

The sticker is in part a warning not to loosen the large nut hidden by the sticker. This nut keeps the strut assy together. Not being able to read the English portion not sure if it also states to remove the sticker prior to installation.

Does the problems with the steering wheel not straighten out when throttle is applied after a turn in both directions or just one? This could be a wheel alignment problem the result of changing out the strut assy and lower control arm. The shop should have done a wheel alignment after replacing the parts.

Suppose the strut assy bearing could also be too stiff and now resists the tires centering up after a turn (assuming the wheel alignment is correct).

The squeaking noise could be from many areas, one being the upper strut mount. The mount has a bearing in it to allow the lower part of the strut to rotate. Have someone turn the steering wheel while you listen for the noise in the area of the sticker.

There are no areas that require greasing in the suspension.

The squeak and steering failure to return to center are the shops problem. The stiff suspension is the result of replacing the strut. The strut assy may loosen up with time.
Toyomoho

We haven't determined whether the steering wheel has a hard time straightening out in both directions. We'll give this a try and report back.

There is no change for a front end alignment on the invoice. I'll have to call on that. The car drives straight and does not pull right or left so it seems like the alignment is at least close to being correct.

I'll run the test you advise regarding listening for the noise at the upper strut.

The noise is a high pitched screech. It sounds metal to metal to me and appears to happen in a tight turn. that's why I asked if grease needed to put inside of the boots during assembly.

Thanks, Bill
 
  #4  
Old 07-18-2015, 08:26 PM
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Does the squeal stop if the car stops moving?
 
  #5  
Old 07-19-2015, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by toyomoho View Post
Does the squeal stop if the car stops moving?
Yes, the squeal stops when the car stops moving. I don't believe it is a belt slipping.
 
  #6  
Old 07-19-2015, 08:02 PM
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Do the brakes squeal when applied?

Could be the repairs are now causing something to rub against the brake rotor when in a turn.
 
  #7  
Old 07-21-2015, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by toyomoho View Post
Do the brakes squeal when applied?

Could be the repairs are now causing something to rub against the brake rotor when in a turn.
It could be the brakes. She makes a left turn to get in the garage and when she drives through the parking garage at work. Do you think the brake line might be stretched when making a sharp left turn, thus causing the noise?

Thanks
 
  #8  
Old 07-21-2015, 11:50 AM
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Can't state for sure.

There is a flexible hose between the chassis steel line and brake caliper assy. It could be making a sharp turn causes the line to flex and increase brake line pressure.

There is a metal shield mounted to the axle assy on the engine side of the rotor. This keeps keeps debris and water off the rotor face. During repairs the shield can be bent resulting in rubbing constant or intermediate rubbing against the rotor. Perhaps making the turn causes contact.

The easiest thing to do is to jack up the wheel that makes the noise just enough so it can freely rotate off the ground. Then rotate the tire by hand with wheel straight and wheel turned in the direction where the noise occurs.

Since the trans will need to be in neutral, be take safely measures like only jacking up tire on level ground, apply emergency brake, block the tires still in contact with the ground, etc.

When the wheel is turned and rotated does the noise sound like metal rubbing on metal, or a squeaky disk brake? Compare the force needed to rotate the tire when wheel is straight or turned (brake line pressure may increase in the turn due to the flexed line)?
 
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