2006 Avalon with 200,000 + miles, should I change shocks or any other parts to make the ride better

70

Asked by Mar 07, 2013 at 11:32 AM about the 2006 Toyota Avalon XL

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have a 2006 Toyota Avalon and am planning to keep if for another 100 to 200,000 miles.  
Great car!  So here is my question... what should I do to make the ride feel better?  Shocks,
Struts???

15 Answers

...well the main reason why a person would want new shocks is so that we can keep tire contact with the road, more so than create a floaty-matressy comfort...which is a side effect of the wheels not bouncing around like basketballs...kudos that you were actually able to "break it in"...probably just gettin' good 'bout now.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

shoosh...that's a lot of drivin' in a short amount of time!...Toyota!

This is not what expected it show 4 different struts on every parts site I looked at: Front right

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

Front Left

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Rear Both

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

I meant 3 not 4

70

So pardon my ignorance, are you saying changing the struts will help with a smoother or should I say as above " create a floaty-matressy comfort ride"?

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

Noooo.....the floaty..mattressery ride is what you DON"T want, the car will bounce up and down and could be hard to control

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

Go to you car and push down on the trunk. Hard. Once. It should go down, come back up and stay there. If it bounces up and down more than once..maybe twice at the most, your struts are bad. If they have never been changed in 200,000 miles that must be worn out, they do last a long time but not forever

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But kev the Avalon is a high~end Toyota..an excellent car..what is wrong with the "ride" as is?

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.
70

It is a great car, it is just a little harder over the bumps now that it has 200,000 miles on it. I was hoping there would be an easy fix to get a ride like it had when I bought it. I drive it 125 miles per day so I like a good smooth ride.

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.

trade this one in on a Lincoln town car, if you'd rather be on your living room couch than out on the roads...no H25 has a good point....you want to feel the road, so much as your tires can 'feel' the road.

140

You were right about the need to change struts. Some struts that go bad might leak oil from inside the strut. The coil springs around the struts start sagging due to the weight of the car over the years. The struts and coil springs work together. The coil springs hold the body of the car up. The best answer is an assembly, coil springs and struts together as a unit. The labor cost is cheaper since the strut doesn't have to be taken apart. The assembly has the strut and coil spring together. The height of the car body affects the alignment of the car. Replacing the strut only will help the tire to hold the road. The coil spring works on the car height and the alignment of the wheels.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
80

The firmness of the ride is determined by the spring, the shock and the tire you choose. If the tire that you originally had on the car was a higher profile and a lower speed or load rating and you changed to a low profile or a wider tire and lower profile with a higher load rating and speed rating then the bumps will be harder. If you look at test from Consumers Reports or Tire Rack the tires tested are judged for ride quality and certain brands as well as certain models of each brand react differently due to the construction of the tire. Generally, the higher the load rating and the speed rating of the tire the firmer it will ride. So all seasons and touring tires as well as winter tires may ride softer than high performance and ultra high performance tires. The length and firmness of the spring can also change the ride character of the ride and the firmness of the shock absorber can affect this too. Some shocks have long straight oil channels and others have tapered grooves which respond differently. I have a Rav-4 V6 Sport with a longer strut and spring combination and use a lower profile tire than the other models and my load capacity is higher with a much higher towing capacity than the base and premium model and so this combination is much firmer than the other two. We must not forget that the Macpherson strut is an economical adaption to save room and cut costs but in doing so it limits the range of wheel travel that was available before it was adapted. Cars with longer suspension travel can have progressive springing and damping but struts are short in their travel so by nature are firmer, having to do the same work with less travel and so tensioning the springs more quickly and springing back more quickly. So if I were to use a strut from the base model with a lighter spring and softer damping as well as a carefully selected narrower and higher profile tire chosen for its ride quality such as a Goodyear Comfort Tread of perhaps a Michelin Primacy MXV4 we could improve the ride characteristics and perhaps the quietness and lower the road noise. One more point. The suspensions on different cars are also mounted differently. Some are metal to metal for better handling and faster suspension response at the expense of noise and ride characteristics and others are mounted on rubber connectors with a quieter ride but with a loss of steering response. As springs sag they shorten and in losing travel, become firmer also.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.
30

Be careful!!!! I have a 2005 Avalon (touring edition) with 185,000 miles on it with no engine or reliability issues (I change the oil every 10,000 miles with Mobil 1 full synthetic and use only Toyota OEM oil filters) since the day I drove it off the lot. So I decided to give it a little TLC with a suspension overhaul on all 4 corners. I discovered the hard way that not all Toyotas are created equal. After 3 unsuccessful attempts by my local install shop to use aftermarket strut mount, struts & springs. I and the installer learned something. We were able to use aftermarket strut mounts & struts. But, apparently the "touring" model uses a slightly different "stiffness" spring which can only be ordered by the dealer. Be careful if you have the "touring" edition. Anyway, after spending $1,000 per axle for full replacement of all (3) components per wheel+ alignment, I thought I made a bad financial decision. I am glad to report I made the right decision. My car rides and handles like a brand new car now!!!! We also noticed, it brakes better too- who would've though lol. If you plan on driving your car another 100K miles, I recommend replacing all the components per wheel. Both you and your Toyota will be happy with the results!

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

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