Car Guys: Dealer claims 2000 Camry Struts are designed to leak oil! True or False? - UPDATE

GroundedSailor

Platinum Member
Feb 18, 2001
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A friend of mine had the tires changed on her Toyota Camry and the mechanic told her one of rear struts was leaking oil. So off she goes to the Toyota dealer who told her not to worry as they are designed to leak!!

I find that hard to believe. After all if a struts leak oil then it will lose the damping property which is what it is designed to do. Oil leakage is usually a sign of seals gone bad. It just doesn't make sense.

But then I'm not familiar with Japanese cars. (I'm a loyal Jeep GC owner). What do you guys think? Does the dealer know what he is talking? Why would he want to turn away repair business??



 

NutBucket

Lifer
Aug 30, 2000
27,034
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WTF kinda bs is that? I'd go kick that dealer right in the nads. Besides, why would he tell her this when he could be selling her new shocks?:confused:
 

GroundedSailor

Platinum Member
Feb 18, 2001
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Originally posted by: NutBucket
Besides, why would he tell her this when he could be selling her new shocks?:confused:

Exactly!

And why would anyone design any part to leak oil? How would they get EPA approval for that vehicle?
 

BDawg

Lifer
Oct 31, 2000
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Originally posted by: NutBucket
WTF kinda bs is that? I'd go kick that dealer right in the nads. Besides, why would he tell her this when he could be selling her new shocks?:confused:

Because her car is under warranty?
 

GroundedSailor

Platinum Member
Feb 18, 2001
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Originally posted by: BDawg
Originally posted by: NutBucket
WTF kinda bs is that? I'd go kick that dealer right in the nads. Besides, why would he tell her this when he could be selling her new shocks?:confused:

Because her car is under warranty?

Nope. That's what is surprising. First she was told she was 2 days out of warranty and then this bs.
 

radioouman

Diamond Member
Nov 4, 2002
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That's strange... Oil is what creates the dampening action. Some struts/shocks do leak a very tiny amount of oil, (just enough to keep the casing wet) and it doesn't hurt them for a long time.

Sounds to me like replacing struts takes a lot of labor, and they don't want to do it.
 

GroundedSailor

Platinum Member
Feb 18, 2001
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Originally posted by: radioouman
That's strange... Oil is what creates the dampening action. Some struts/shocks do leak a very tiny amount of oil, (just enough to keep the casing wet) and it doesn't hurt them for a long time.

Sounds to me like replacing struts takes a lot of labor, and they don't want to do it.


It's not that are doing it for free. They would have charged her for the labor.
 

rudeguy

Lifer
Dec 27, 2001
47,371
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1. car companies usually give you a small grace period after your car is out of warranty
2. no good repair place/ dealer is going to turn away business
3. the labor is what they make the most on
4. crawl under the dang car and look for yourself...is the leak bad? is it just a little bit?
5. take it to a different place
 

grillmasterP

Senior member
Apr 2, 2000
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Take it to a different Toyota Dealership - Each dealership handles warranty work differently.
Especially if the vehicle is less than 36K mi .

Many dealerships try to weasel there way out of warranty work. Toyota warranty is dealer/nation wide, even if the vehicle is purchased used (as long as something ie accident has not voided the warranty) the warranty is still valid.
Just do to a different Toyota dealearship - Does not have to be the same dealership where purchased either.

As far as replacement is concerned - it depends how much oil is leaking - Alot = Bad, if its just a tiny amount that make it look dirty (Strut is not a fully enclosed system) but still maintain compression - it should be fine.

Replacing struts / shocks isn't too bad - PLaces like autozone loan out spring compressors for you.

 

Vic

Elite Member
Jun 12, 2001
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Originally posted by: GroundedSailor
Nope. That's what is surprising. First she was told she was 2 days out of warranty and then this bs.
They told her that she was 2 days out of warranty?? Total BS. Auto warranties don't work that way. :confused: :|
File complaints against that dealer (contact Toyota, BBB, state AG), take it to a different dealer for the work.
 

richardycc

Diamond Member
Apr 29, 2001
5,719
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she needs to call the toyota customer care 800 number, and have them give this dealership a call! I did that with my truck for a leaky rear axle on my 4runner.
They dealer gave me a free loaner, and toyota hq gave me a free 100k/6yr extended warranty for free!

 

CraigRT

Lifer
Jun 16, 2000
31,440
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perhaps it's only a few drops? i can see that as being normal... if the car is still riding fine, they are obviously still working fine.
 

notfred

Lifer
Feb 12, 2001
38,241
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Maybe the machanic at the first place was trying to rip her off for new struts cause there were a couple drops of oil on the old ones, and the dealer is jsut saying that you don't need to replace struts for 2 drops of oil.
 

GroundedSailor

Platinum Member
Feb 18, 2001
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Appreciate your replies.

A few months ago she had to change her rear tires. She got the new ones installed on the front and moved the existing front tires to the rear. Now she has to have the (old) rear set changed. The vehicle has only done 29,500 miles. That leads me to believe there is a problem with the struts or at least somewhere in the suspension. So I'm not surprised if there was oil leaking from the struts. Apparently it is not an unusual problem with Camrys.

I spoke to my mechanic this morning and he confirms that struts should not leak. Coz if oil comes then out air goes in to replace it. Air in a hydraulic system is bad news as that can cause a 'hammer' and eventually damage the strut and cause uneven wear on the tire apart from the lousy ride. Basically if they are leaking they need to be replaced.

I can see the dealer trying to weasel out of doing warranty work but he clearly told sher she was out of warranty (36 months) so why would he turn away business? We all know that is where they make their money!!

Unfortunately yesterday was the first she told me about it. And Rudeguy5757 I would go under the car to take a look but she lives in Texas & I'm in NJ.

Shall pass on the suggestions to her and see what can be done.

 

GroundedSailor

Platinum Member
Feb 18, 2001
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Update

The dealer now tells her he will inspect the struts FREE of CHARGE. Very magnanimous! She's going to call Totyota Corporate today.

I'm beginning to believe this dealer is either a) an idiot or b) not interested in staying in the business for too long.

Opinions??
 

dman

Diamond Member
Nov 2, 1999
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Originally posted by: GroundedSailor
Update

The dealer now tells her he will inspect the struts FREE of CHARGE. Very magnanimous! She's going to call Totyota Corporate today.

I'm beginning to believe this dealer is either a) an idiot or b) not interested in staying in the business for too long.

Opinions??

Hah, that's so sad it's funny. Don't blame her on calling corporate. Although, technically, she should wait until they've been inspected and if they see oil they still refuse to change them.

No dealer that I've ever been to will do work (under warranty) based on another shops recommendation. If you are paying the bill, they'll usually be happy to do the work if you insist.

[edit] I read the above, and know it's out of warranty, so, I'm still confused by this dealers actions. If you plan to call corporate on this dealer then I would consider waiting until after it's inspected. In that case it's worth doing just to see what they say afterwards. However, if there's another dealer I'd go there, or better yet, a small shop that specializes in strut repairs since it's out of warranty anyway.[/edit]
 

GroundedSailor

Platinum Member
Feb 18, 2001
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Originally posted by: dman
Originally posted by: GroundedSailor
Update

The dealer now tells her he will inspect the struts FREE of CHARGE. Very magnanimous! She's going to call Totyota Corporate today.

I'm beginning to believe this dealer is either a) an idiot or b) not interested in staying in the business for too long.

Opinions??

Hah, that's so sad it's funny. Don't blame her on calling corporate. Although, technically, she should wait until they've been inspected and if they see oil they still refuse to change them.

No dealer that I've ever been to will do work (under warranty) based on another shops recommendation. If you are paying the bill, they'll usually be happy to do the work if you insist.

[edit] I read the above, and know it's out of warranty, so, I'm still confused by this dealers actions. If you plan to call corporate on this dealer then I would consider waiting until after it's inspected. In that case it's worth doing just to see what they say afterwards. However, if there's another dealer I'd go there, or better yet, a small shop that specializes in strut repairs since it's out of warranty anyway.[/edit]

I would advocate dealer struts for someone who is basically using the vehicle as commuter transportation and grocery hauling and have no interest in the vehicle beyond it being reliable and easy to manitain/drive. Most after market struts tend to be gas not hydraulic, which make the ride different - usually stiffer. Which is great for enthusiasts like me who value performance but not liked by those who look for comfort.

Once can go to a small shop and get OEM parts but they still have to be bought at the dealer so net saving is not much.