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Discussion Starter #1
It got really cold yesterday down in the teens and I had somewhere to go about 5 PM. I backed the old Toyota out and started down our very bumpy street and the rear suspension is solid! No shock absorbing, I mean none at all. I only had a 3 mile trip so I drove slow and thought maybe it would get better, it didn't. I've been driving for over 50 years and have had broken shocks, springs, worn out shocks etc. but nothing like this. It's supposed to warm up above freezing today and I'll try it again. Later I'll get under the car and see what the matter can be, the car sets normal so I suppose a shock or suspension part froze somehow but damned if I know how that can be. If it is a shock no big deal replacing it. The springs should be in good shape and it will probably boil down to replacing the shock only or going with a new spring/strut assembly. From what little driving I did it seems to be the left rear causing the problem.
More later when I get to the bottom of this really strange occurrence.
 

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Shocks wear out completely, then get water in them and it freezes. While not typical here in Virginia, very common in colder climates. Replace the shocks, or remove them as a diagnostic process, but they are really the only possible cause.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
1998 Camry CE ... 123K miles gotta be the original shocks, maybe also the original brake pads, the car had something like 55K on it when I bought it 18 years ago. We never got much above freezing here yesterday and I took the car to get some groceries ... still the same. Pushed down on the back left fender and no give, the right back fender the car moves like it should. Rock Auto has some OE closeouts and that ought to be plenty good for the old Toyota and the way I drive. total $ 36.13
 

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When I owned my 98 Camry (Totaled in an accident at 102,000 miles) I replaced the rear strut assemblies at about 100,000 miles. (This car does not have shocks.) They were completely shot at that mileage and the rear end bounced like crazy, plus a had a rattle in the right rear. I recommend you replace them with a complete strut, spring and strut mount assembly. I used the Monroe Quick Struts which were relatively new back then.

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The weather warmed up, the strut/shock thawed out, the car drives like normal now. Since it's OK when it's not frozen I'll wrap heat tape around it and plug that in when the weatherman says it's going to freeze... or maybe drill a hole in the top and add some antifreeze ... genuine red Toyota antifreeze of course.... Just kidding folks, the part should be on it's way and I'll change it out when the new shock arrives. I drove it almost 150 miles today and no problem .
 

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I ahd this happen once, on pretty much new shocks. Car was then always parked outside. It was a Gabriel or Ariel, not sure, shock. We could afford only Al's Auto Supply then and cheapest parts possible. But indeed, it froze to stilt drive on that side. Warmed up later on. Had maybe few weeks on them
So, children, never buy from Al' Auto Supply or Gabriel or Ariel.
 
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