Question about 2005 Toyota Camry Solara

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Front control arm bushings

I took my 2005 Toyota Camry to the dealer for routine maintenance today, and they called me back saying my front control arm bushings are tearing out. The guy I talked to said one bushing has already torn out, and that I should have this repaired ASAP for $900, plus an alignment thereafter. The car has just over 50,000 miles on it, and I haven't had any major problems with it to date. Is this a common problem, in a Toyota with 50,000 miles on it, even if the roads where I live generally have a lot of potholes (which I avoid as much as possible when driving)? In addition, I'm told that my front outer brake pads are sticking, so the inner pads are wearing faster than the outer pads, and to repair this would be $320. They would also like to clean and adjust my back brakes for $66. I just recently moved, so this is the first time I've worked with this dealer before. Was just told that I had to replace control arms or my car would not pass NH state inspection. Only has 53,000 miles on it but the service tech blamed the New England winters and said that I would be replacing them again in another 3-4 years! $1300 later...

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  • Anonymous Mar 24, 2009

    I recently took my 2005 Camry to my local Toyota dealer for an oil change. When this job was finished, I was informed that the front arms were separating and need to be replaced, followed by an alignment - a total of $1500. I have only driven 35,000 kms. and am very careful with potholes, I was shocked!!! This is my first Toyota car. I obtained a second opinion from a reliable service mechanic and he diagnosed the same problem and said that this was a problem with Camrys in recent years. My feeling is that if this was a design problem, then Toyota should have changed the design.

  • Jay Glendenning
    Jay Glendenning May 11, 2010

    Toyota Ed may be able to help you with this

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Aside from the bushings, the remainder sounds like semi-valid "busy work"... If you are at all mechanical, you can do the entire job far cheaper than the dealer is going to charge you....Pads...tops $40, clean and lube slides 10 minutes while you are there, Clean rear brakes...pretty much unnecessary but do it if you want (they have self adjusters) Bushings...If available individually, not more than $50... if on complete arms, likely about $350-400.. Bushings are pretty much "bull work" but you have to know what you are doing to get them out and back in without damaging arm.Most of what they are quoting is labor time.
good luck

Posted on Feb 16, 2009

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1 Answer

2005 camry front control arm bushings


You have a lot of issues. Let me take each on one by one...

Front control arm bushings: In a word, unbelievable.
Maybe on a 1991 Camry, but not an 05 with 50 K miles. Nope. I would have to see it to believe it. I have YET to change any on any Camry 2000 and up. They simply do not fail. They might "look" bad, but I seriously doubt that they are bad. I have answered a question identical to this previously here at FixYA, and I had the golden opportunity to examine the exact vehicle in question, the owner and I were within 50 miles of each other. Same story, same diagnosis. She didn't need the repair, either. Besides, if they WERE bad, you would have SEVERE control issues with the steering, and tire wear of epic proportions. If you have neither of those 2 mentioned issues, you don't need the replacements.
Save your money.

Regarding the front brakes: The pads "sticking" in the brackets is unfortunately a common problem. The pads rust a bit, and they seize, and uneven wear is a normal result of the pads being "stuck". Personally, I think 320 dollars is a lot of money to just change the pads...The parts are like 53 dollars, and the labor is about an hour. I charge approx 145 dollars to replace ft pads, and I charge 20 bucks to clean and adjust the rear brakes.
Best advice: Go find another dealership. This one wants to rob you.

Jan 15, 2009 | 2005 Toyota Camry Solara

1 Answer

Front control arm bushings


You have a lot of issues. Let me take each on one by one...

Front control arm bushings: In a word, unbelievable.
Maybe on a 1991 Camry, but not an 05 with 50 K miles. Nope. I would have to see it to believe it. I have YET to change any on any Camry 2000 and up. They simply do not fail. They might "look" bad, but I seriously doubt that they are bad. I have answered a question identical to this previously here at FixYA, and I had the golden opportunity to examine the exact vehicle in question, the owner and I were within 50 miles of each other. Same story, same diagnosis. She didn't need the repair, either. Besides, if they WERE bad, you would have SEVERE control issues with the steering, and tire wear of epic proportions. If you have neither of those 2 mentioned issues, you don't need the replacements.
Save your money.

Regarding the front brakes: The pads "sticking" in the brackets is unfortunately a common problem. The pads rust a bit, and they seize, and uneven wear is a normal result of the pads being "stuck". Personally, I think 320 dollars is a lot of money to just change the pads...The parts are like 53 dollars, and the labor is about an hour. I charge approx 145 dollars to replace ft pads, and I charge 20 bucks to clean and adjust the rear brakes.
Best advice: Go find another dealership. This one wants to rob you.

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1 Answer

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Personally, I would def get a 2nd opinion. To date, I have NEVER changed any lower control arms on an 02 Camry for wear; collision damage, yes, but not wear.... And, at 65K miles, I would think it rare for BOTH to fail at this stage in the life of the car. Lower control arms are easily checked. Try this: Take a passenger with you to a safe place, like a big parking lot. Have the passenger exit the vehicle and have him/her stand alongside of the vehicle. Back up 5-10 feet. Pull forward slow, have you passenger stare at the front wheel. Brake the car. Repeat. If the lower control arms are GOOD, the wheel will NOT look like they "move" backward when braking. The only thing that can go wrong with the lower arms is the bushings may wear, and, when braking, the car will move forward on the loose bushings, and give you the appearance that the front wheel(s) will move slightly. In any case, take the car to a professional. $1,500 dollars is a lot of cash for a vehicle that prob does NOT need lower arms. PLUS, the lower arms are roughly $250-$275 apiece (Toyota part numbers 48068-33030 & 48069-33030; call your dealer for the exact prices, just give him the previous 2 part numbers), and, your mechanic...he is going to charge you a thousand dollars for labour?????? For 2 flat rate hours per side to change? PLEASE...Kick this guy to the curb. Even if it DID need the arms, he is simply robbing you. My price, IF it needed them, would be 900.00 + tax.

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