CARspec’s specialization in Toyota, Lexus and Scion vehicles allows us more expertise in diagnostics and understanding common Toyota, Lexus and Scion problems.  On a weekly basis, CARspec is asked to offer a second opinion on another shop’s diagnosis – we’re happy to do so at no charge.  The most common item we are asked to recheck is a leaking strut or shock.  In general, a Toyota, Lexus or Scion strut or shock will last for over 100,000 miles, but failure due to a variety of reasons makes it a more common repair than some other items.  Sometimes it isn’t the shock that fails, too.

A Toyota, Lexus and/or Scion strut or shock requires replacement when it has visibly leaked to the bottom of either the lower spring seat (on a strut) or the bottom of the shock itself, whichever is closer to the top of the strut.  On some models, the GX470 in particular, a small amount (1-2″) of condensation/mild wetness at the top of the strut body is 100% normal.  If a strut appears to be starting to leak but hasn’t reach the bottom of the spring mount or shock itself, we typically recommend the guest return in a few thousands miles to recheck the suspect part.

A fully leaking strut will have residue down the body of the strut itself.  You can easily wipe it away with your finger.  Here’s a leaking front strut from an FJ Cruiser, wet down to the base of the strut, necessitating replacement:

Leaking Toyota Strut

Leaking Toyota Strut

This example was caught relatively early in the leak and hadn’t complete bled out, but required replacement nevertheless due to its current condition.  Note in the photo the spring on the right side had started to build up wetness and collect road grime due to the leak.  Neglecting a strut can result in vibration, abnormal handling, poor brake performance, and tire wear concerns.  These can take a long time to become safety concerns (and rarely do they reach that point before being replaced), but should be addressed as early as is reasonable to prevent other concerns.

Due to the variety of Toyota, Lexus and Scion strut and shock types (height control on some LX470s, cross-link 4Runner systems, variable rate like on the GX470, performance Bilstein remote reservoirs like on TRD Pro models, etc.) CARspec only installs Toyota genuine new struts in pairs.  If you have a strut you think is leaking, we’re always happy to take a look an offer our opinion at no charge.  Give the Toyota, Lexus and Scion service and repair specialists at CARspec a call today!