Inner tie Rod/Strut Mounts/rack leak


graycamry1999
07-18-2006, 09:40 AM
Hello,

I have a 99 camry V4 57K.
I have got 3 questions:
Inner Tie Rod: Was told that the left side end had play and needed to be changed.
-1) Is this common for a 7 year old car with only 57K?
Do both sides have to be changed at the same time even if only one side has a problem?
2)My strut mounts need to be changed. The current ones are the original ones. Is is true that only toyota struts mounts must be installed because the struts are toyota's as well. Someone told me that a generic strut mount would not work????
3) I was told by the dealership that I might have a power steering rack leak!!
They used the work "possible" because they say that it could be some residual oil from a previous oil leak. The only leak I have had on this car was the oil pan because we hit a speed bump at a pretty high speed and that was 8 months ago.
Would the power steering rack leak be visible by the mechanic who will be changing the inner tie rod?

The dealership guy said that it takes a lot of time to get to the this rack. Is this true? Someone else at another place told me 30min???

It's very hard to be ignorant about cars and it's so easy to get ripped off!!!! The members on this forum have helped me save so much money.

Any expert advice would be more then welcomed.

Thanks in advance for the help!!!!!
Leila

davemac2
07-19-2006, 11:32 AM
Hello,
Inner Tie Rod: Was told that the left side end had play and needed to be changed.
-1) Is this common for a 7 year old car with only 57K?
Do both sides have to be changed at the same time even if only one side has a problem?

It's possible but improbable for a camry at that mileage. If you don't feel any looseness in your steering and your tire on that side does not show any uneven tread wear, forget about it for now. Get a second opinion in the next few months by taking it to an independent alignment shop. Don't tell them about it. They usually check the whole suspension over anyways.

2)My strut mounts need to be changed. The current ones are the original ones. Is is true that only toyota struts mounts must be installed because the struts are toyota's as well. Someone told me that a generic strut mount would not work????

No it is NOT true, however the OEM mounts might work the best. Some aftermarket mounts sometimes just don't work great or wear out faster. Are you hearing noises going over bumps? I can see maybe one strut mount going bad. How many are they talking about?

3) I was told by the dealership that I might have a power steering rack leak!!

Would the power steering rack leak be visible by the mechanic who will be changing the inner tie rod?

It can be, but he did say he's not sure if it is just residual oil from something else. Your cam cover may be leaking and dripping oil on the rack. If your steering is not making any noises from turning side to side, and there is no stiffness or looseness to the steering, again leave it for now untill you know for sure the rack has a problem. Even if it leaks it does not matter mechanically all that much until you start experiencing problems. Of course, you will dirty up your driveway and garage floor, but replacing a rack at the dealer is going to cost you $800+. Keep an eye on the power steering fluid level over the next year. If you need to top it up, then you know you have a leak and can then decide what to do. Also, if you need to rack replaced, they will usually replace both inner tie rods because they usually come with a new rack, so wait on that inner tie rod thing too.

The dealership guy said that it takes a lot of time to get to the this rack. Is this true? Someone else at another place told me 30min???


Depends on the car, but older camrys probably involve 2-3 hrs of booked labor to remove and install. Is it that hard? Not as labor intensive as removing an engine, but maybe half that.

To me, it sounds like these guys may be picking your pockets, or you have a real lemon of a car.

Good luck

Dave Mc

graycamry1999
07-19-2006, 12:06 PM
Dave,

Thank you very much for the answers!!!!
I don't feel anything unusual when it comes to steering. There is no uneven wear on the tires. That was checked very recently too.
As for the struts, yes only one side is very noisy and rattles a lot when I go at a low speed and on an uneven pavement.. 4 mechanics confirmed that the right strut mount needs to be changed. I was told that if you change one side, the other needs to be changed as well.
Is this true?

Letís suppose that nothing is wrong with my car, how often should an alignment be done?

Thanks,
Leila

davemac2
07-19-2006, 01:34 PM
Dave,
I was told that if you change one side, the other needs to be changed as well.
Is this true?

Letís suppose that nothing is wrong with my car, how often should an alignment be done?

Thanks,
Leila

For strut mounts, no this is not true. For struts themselves or the shock cartridges if you have that type of strut, then yes it is recommended to do each side since you want a matched pair. The only reason to do more than a single mount would be if the other is expected to go soon too, but then will it really save you money doing both at the same time? I doubt it.

An alignment is not usually necessary unless you have tire wear issues or steering pull, uncentered steering wheel issues, or have hit something like a curb. In your case though, it's a good idea to have it checked by an independent within a year. If the alignment is fine, they usually don't charge you, but a lot of shops will TRY to find something to replace, so just be aware of that; especially like selling you a set of new tires. Just say no thanks and evaluate the info on your own time.

Dave Mc

graycamry1999
07-20-2006, 07:58 PM
Hello,
Here is a little update.
I found a mechanic shop recommended by some friends.
They did confirm that the inner tie rod needed to be changed but confirmed that there was no power steering leak.
They are charging me 268$ for inner tie rod + alignment versus 381$ at the Toyota dealership.
I hope that they are serious.
Just wanted to know something: Does the inner tie rod can be seen by an expert without lifting the car?
Once again the people on this forum were very helpful.

davemac2
07-20-2006, 10:38 PM
Well, that's not too bad I suppose. An inner tie rod is maybe $60 parts. Alignment is usually $60-70. Labor is probably 1 hr @70/hr? So that's $300. So that is a reasonable price. Did they discover the loose inner tie rod, or did you tell them?

Dave Mc

graycamry1999
07-23-2006, 09:32 AM
Dave,

No I did not talk about the tie rod problem. I just said that the steering seemed strange. I remained very vague... They said that the play has just started and that it could wait a bit but needed to be eventually changed. They seem honest. At Toyota they made it sound as if the tie rod was in bad condition. They said that it could not wait much longer ( a couple of weeks).

I have another question though regarding my brakes.
I got them changed at Toyota pretty recently. I still have 75% left in front and 95% in the rear (or maybe it's the other way around, I forgot). Anyway, I have been hearing this squeaking noise (like when a bus hits the brakes but not as loud). When I took it to Toyota, they said that everything looked fine and that they could not reproduce the sound. When I took to this new mechanic, he brought it to my attention. He heard it when he drove the car from the parking lot to the garage (just a few feet). He said that he checked the plates that they looked OK but he was also intrigued but the noise. He said that if these are Toyota plates, they should be flawless. He said it sounds as if they were very cheap...
What could it possibly be?
I am going to take it back to Toyota and ask one of the guys to come with me for a drive in order to hear it. I hear this noise 80% of the time.

Any insight would be helpful!!!

Thanks in advance as usual,
Leila

davemac2
07-23-2006, 01:00 PM
Dave,
He said that if these are Toyota plates, they should be flawless. He said it sounds as if they were very cheap...
What could it possibly be?
Leila

It sounds like you have found a good mechanic here Leila, so stick with him and establish a repoire. Yes if they were OEM brake pads that were installed, they should also have the anti-squeal shims on the back. If the Toyota mechanic forgot to put these back, then that could cause the squealing. When I do my brakes, I always also add some anti-squeal stuff in a bottle that's almost like a very soft caulking between the pad and shim combo and the brake caliper. It's just extra insurance so I don't have to dissassemble the brakes again to fix it if it occurs. Go back to Toyota and have them fix it and tell them to make sure the shims are installed and to add a little anti-squeal to them.

dave mc

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