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05 Camry Control Arm Replacement

11-15-2011, 09:32 AM
I was told by an inspection mechanic that I need to replace control arms (cannot just do bushings) - they want $371 for parts, $340 for labor, and $80 for alignment. Talked with friend who works for Toyota who said that at 114,000 miles with Maine roads, it is likely they need to be done. Appears I can buy parts online for about $100. Is this something that can be done by someone reasonably mechanically inclined or should I leave it to professionals? Is this a fair price? Thank you :frown:

11-15-2011, 10:41 AM
You don't have to handle the strut but the ball joint will be under spring tension as you undo the nuts to separate the strut from the arm. You'll need to place the jack underneath to support it, undo the nuts, then let the jack down to release the tension.

It can be done but you need a good jack and stands to to this safely. The hard part is getting the ball joint reconnected to the arm because you have to jack up underneath the strut and spindle to compress it to line up with the arm holes.

$100 per arm is about right. Labor looks reasonable @ 1.5 hrs per side but a little high for 1 hr per side. Did the inspection mech give you this quote? If so, it can't hurt to get a second quote. They like to do that thinking they have you under the gun to get it to pass.

11-15-2011, 11:15 AM
Thank you - I'm not completely convinced this needs to be done - like you said, thinking it was an inspection thing. Would the car be having any symptoms? Did 4 wheel alignment and brakes about a year ago (tires had 'cupped'). Everything seems fine.

11-16-2011, 08:29 AM
They might flag it if they see cracks start to form in the rubber bushings. Small surface cracks should not be an issue, but deep ones are an indication of progressive fatigue. If there is abnormal movement in the pivoting joints then that would also raise a flag.

I've had a 19-year-old Camry inspected and passed with the original arms...the bushings did show significant cracking but they were still functional and alignment was correct.

If you can get the guy to tell you why they need to be replaced then that's good info to have. Another option would be to find another inspection station and see if they also flag it. But some states, like mine, force you to go back to the original inspector for re-inspection. In that case, you would be able to request what specifically has failed.

Your car is only 6 years old, unless you live in a salted winter road area, I am hard pressed to see how those bushings would fail so soon.

Good luck!

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