Re: struts for '99 Camry
the mechanic that worked on the car wants to put in Monroes top of the
struts, i can't recall the model, but said they come w/ a life time
I am immediately suspicious when the brake mechanic recommends other
replacement parts unless they can show me or demonstrate why the part
is defective or worn.
I do not subscribe to the theory that one can predict wear in shocks or
struts by mileage alone, and also personally do not like the harsher
ride quality of Monroe.
Regarding lifetime warrantee, you should be aware that the genuine
Toyota replacement struts also carry a lifetime warranty for materials
and labor if done by the Toyota mechanic.
You say the car feels like new, no bounce, no adverse dive under heavy
braking. Presumably there is no evidence of fluid leakage or physical
damage such as bent components.
Presumably there is no evidence of adverse tire wear when running your
hand over the tread blocks in both directions. If they are smooth, and
no other evidence presents itself, I would definitely leave the struts
The original equipment struts are gas charged and designed to work well
with your specific vehicle.
I do not believe Monroe makes the variety of struts for Toyota that
For example when buying shocks for my Toyota truck, I had to count the
number of leaf springs in the rear to get the correct part.
I suspect Monroe lists the same strut for four and six cylinder, ie.,
When I bought my Camry it had Monroe Sensatrac struts - installed by
the tire shop that sold the older lady three new tires (she didn't know
the difference until I pointed out the bald right front. (only charged
for three though - but they were really cheap third world country tires
- no longer in current manufacture)
Had a tire shop swear I needed new shocks to replace the perfectly fine
Bilsteins on my Mercedes once.
Seems these guys are expected to "up sell" as part of their job,
whether you really need the parts or not.
I changed the Monroe on the Camry back to genuine Toyota because I
didn't like the jolt at a particular bridge transition every morning
and couldn't believe Toyota designed the suspension that way.
A tire shop once persuaded me to change the shocks on a Cadillac, and I
was never pleased with the ride quality after that. Obviously just my
opinion, but I don't thing a harsher ride is "better." I think a
progressive well damped strut, balanced to the suspension is best.
Today, with the tools and experience of working on the Camry, I would
change my own struts if needed having recently installed a (Toyota)
Seems like every time I work on the car where a mechanic has touched it
previously, I find something that wasn't done quite right.
Unless the struts were demonstrably bad I would not replace them, and
if replacing I would use genuine factory parts.
Obviously just my opinion.