The Toyota Avalon is a great car and really reliable. Yet, like other vehicles, it needs regular maintenance. Is your Avalon not responding to the road as it should? Is it taking longer to return to normal after hitting bumps? Chances are it is time to replace the shocks and struts. Here is a guide on how to replace them.
Prior to beginning the repair, make sure you have plenty of workspace, light, and time. Rushing through a project or not having plenty of room, could affect your repair. Also, make sure you have a collection of automotive tools and an understanding of what you are going to do.
Front Shock and Strut Replacement.
In order to replace these parts, you will need to:
- First, find a level piece of ground to park the Avalon on. Then, engage the parking brake. Next, remove the front tires and jack the front end into the air with support from jack stands.
- The front assemblies for the Avalon are under the front of the car. You can locate them by looking for springs with hardware that runs through the assembly and connects to the end of the suspension.
- Find the wheel hubs and the brake hose that is connected to the strut. Disconnect the anti-lock brake sense and mounting bracket. Then, remove the nut for the stabilizer link which is about midway down the strut assembly. After pulling the bolts of the lower side of the strut out, find the nuts connecting it to the upper frame. Remove them and pull the strut out. Repeat this process for the other side.
- Looking at the strut assembly, remove the dust cover and compress the spring. You will then lay out all the pieces of the strut in the order they come off by removing the strut nut. These pieces should be: mounting bracket, dust seal, upper spring seat, upper insulator, coil spring, spring bumper, and lower insulator. All that’s left is the shock. Looking over the pieces, you will replace any worn-out parts and then reassemble the strut. Next, torque the strut nut to 35 foot lb. Lastly, decompress the spring.
- Now, onto re-installing it. You will start by replacing the dust cover and attaching the upper bolts on the strut to the body. These bolts should be torqued to 29-foot lb. Next, do the same with the lower bolts and torque them to 113-foot lb. Then, re-install the mounting bracket for the brake hose and anti-lock brake sensor, torque them to 21-foot lb. The stabilizer link nut is next and needs to be torqued to 55-foot lb. Repeat these procedures for the other side.
Rear Strut Replacement
In order to replace the rear strut, you will need to:
- Disconnect the negative battery cable and rear seat cushions. You will also need to raise the rear of the Avalon with support from jack stands. Also, remove the rear wheels.
- Next, disconnect brackets and sensors from the strut and stabilizer bar link nut. Locate the arm supporting the lower end of the strut and support it with a jack stand. Loosen and remove the lower strut bolts and remove the upper strut mounting nuts. Repeat for the other side.
- Looking at the strut after pulling it out, you will need to compress the spring using a tool from an auto parts store. Next, remove the center nut and layout all the pieces in the order they come off. Replace the worn-out parts and put the pieces back together in the reverse order they came off. Make sure to torque the center nut to 36-foot lb.
- It is time to re-install the strut and you will start to do this by putting the strut to the frame. Install the upper mounting nuts and torque them to 29-foot lbs. Next, hand tighten the strut to the arm. Connect the link nut to the strut and replace any brackets or sensors. Complete these procedures for the other side.
- Replace the rear wheels and lower the car. Next, bounce the rear of the car to stabilize the suspension. After this is done, torque the strut-to-arm bolt to 188-foot lb. Lastly, finish up by replacing the rear seat cushions and the negative battery cable.
Congrats! You have successfully replaced the shocks and struts. Make sure to the vehicle out on a test drive to confirm the repair. Hopefully, you will have no issues!