1998 Toyota Avalon XLS from North America
The Toyota Avalon is a good dollar value car
Struts & strut mounts @ 100,000 miles.
Paint started to fade in the third year.
The problem with the strut mount rattle can be fixed, but you must use a little known trick to accomplish this task.
1) Fully compress the spring so you can get the top nut started.
2) Mark the lower mount, upper mount and the strut piston shaft with soap-stone so you can line them up with the outside of the strut. This is very importent as the strut shaft will need to press up and into the top mounting plate. You can see how they fit together once there apart.
3) Line all the parts up and screw the top nut onto the shaft until you get a full nut. That is all you will get on the nut because it is impossible to hold the shaft from turing at this time.
4) Release the spring pressure and reinstall the strut assembly. Reconnect all lines and mount the wheel.
5) Now for the trick! Drive the car around the block once. It will rattle like crazy, but don't worry, it will not come loose going that far. Once you get back from the short trip; open the hood to gain access to the top mounting bolt. You can tighten the front strut bolts without having to remove the strut as there is an access hole in the mount. You will now be able to get two and a half to three more threads on the top mounting bolt. All rattle will be gone if you used new mounts. You may have a small amount left if you re-use the old ones.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 23rd January, 2005