Author Topic: New Struts in the Prius  (Read 2258 times)

aerofreaky`

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New Struts in the Prius
« on: November 21, 2016, 04:53:09 PM »
State inspection pass, but the shop suggested several repairs.  No thank you. The token you need brake pads and rotors was hysterical since I personally did this a few months before the inspection. Seeing as the first set of pads and rotors got me past 155,000 miles, nice try on salesmanship.

The struts though were a different story, original and past due for replacement. I had never done this specific project before, but I have fixed just about everything else on a car. (The coil springs are compressed and can literally kill you if you compress them improperly or with defective machinery.)

I bought the struts pre-mounted to the springs= safe easy job. AKA "quick mount"

After removing the windshield wipers and some stuff at the rear end of engine compartment I was surprised how quick the job was. An impact wrench made for a quick bolt removal and everything else was logical and required few steps. Looking back, it was easier than a brake job.

The shop (NYC where the labor rate has several zeros) quoted me an insane $810 per side or $1620 for strut replacement and some bogus add on warranty was another $56.  I paid $211 for the parts with tax and shipping and had them at my door in less than 2 days. I bought some new tools which were $70, so I paid around $280 in total and all in less than 3 hours including parts shopping online.


 

bigalsmith101

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Re: New Struts in the Prius
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2016, 07:20:13 PM »
Hell yes. I am all about doing your own work on your vehicles.

My wife took our car in to get the tires rotated (lifetime free rotations with purchase at Les Schwab), and they told her it would be a good idea to do the front brake pads on the car, and possibly rotors. They quoted her $420 for the pads and rotors.

I check them out when she got home and found that the pads did indeed need replacing. I went down to the parts store that supplies the local shops in our area with parts, and bought brake pads and rotors for a $100. I did the job myself in a couple hours which was way slow (watching Youtube how-to videos). I essentially paid myself $150/hr to do my own brakes.

Meanwhile I've got my dad telling me to "Just have them do it. You don't have time for that. You don't want to have to worry about it later." All I could think was, YEA RIGHT!

Syonyk

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Re: New Struts in the Prius
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2016, 07:50:12 PM »
Go get it aligned now - that is worth paying someone to do.  If you've messed with the suspension bits, your alignment is almost certainly goofy, which leads to excessive tire wear.

And if you can get them to do a zero degree toe in angle, you lose a tiny bit of stability in exchange for an awful lot of front tire life... ;)

But great job!  Doing your own car work is a huge, huge savings.

Goldielocks

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Re: New Struts in the Prius
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2016, 11:19:30 PM »
That is freaking awesome, bialsmith101.   I read your post earlier today, and can't shake it from my mind.

Bill for $810,  saw parts for $200+, said why not try, picked up the tool and gave it a go.   Wow.  Even with potential costs for an alignment / mechanics review and approval, you inspire me.

Freaking awesome.

Syonyk

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Re: New Struts in the Prius
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2016, 09:08:38 AM »
Meanwhile I've got my dad telling me to "Just have them do it. You don't have time for that. You don't want to have to worry about it later." All I could think was, YEA RIGHT!

My response would be something along the lines of, "I know!  I really don't want to have to worry about it later - that's why I did the work myself!"

Some shops are good, some are less so.

In any case, it's a huge savings to do the labor yourself.  People wondered a bit about me when I talked about spending a Saturday doing the front end of my truck engine (it started as replacing the thermostat and upper radiator hose, but the thermostat housing had seized bolts, so I ended up replacing the water pump, serpentine belt, and lower radiator hose while I was in there).  It was an expensive set of parts, but I was saving over $100/hr doing something I like doing...

bigalsmith101

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Re: New Struts in the Prius
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2016, 06:14:35 PM »
Meanwhile I've got my dad telling me to "Just have them do it. You don't have time for that. You don't want to have to worry about it later." All I could think was, YEA RIGHT!

My response would be something along the lines of, "I know!  I really don't want to have to worry about it later - that's why I did the work myself!"

Some shops are good, some are less so.

In any case, it's a huge savings to do the labor yourself.  People wondered a bit about me when I talked about spending a Saturday doing the front end of my truck engine (it started as replacing the thermostat and upper radiator hose, but the thermostat housing had seized bolts, so I ended up replacing the water pump, serpentine belt, and lower radiator hose while I was in there).  It was an expensive set of parts, but I was saving over $100/hr doing something I like doing...
That is freaking awesome, bialsmith101.   I read your post earlier today, and can't shake it from my mind.

Bill for $810,  saw parts for $200+, said why not try, picked up the tool and gave it a go.   Wow.  Even with potential costs for an alignment / mechanics review and approval, you inspire me.

Freaking awesome.

I didn't even need to replace the brake rotors as the current ones were still within serviceable limits. However, when replacing the pads, it's a very good idea to get the rotors turned on a lathe to make sure the mating surface is like new. In lieu of that, and not have a place to get them turned readily available, I put new rotors on and am happy to not have to think about the front brakes for the next 5-7 years!

aerofreaky`

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Re: New Struts in the Prius
« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2016, 08:21:50 PM »
Go get it aligned now - that is worth paying someone to do.  If you've messed with the suspension bits, your alignment is almost certainly goofy, which leads to excessive tire wear.

And if you can get them to do a zero degree toe in angle, you lose a tiny bit of stability in exchange for an awful lot of front tire life... ;)

But great job!  Doing your own car work is a huge, huge savings.

I had the alignment done a day later. I paid for a lifetime alignment which was about 3x the cost of the one time. However, I have already used it 3x and more than paid for the initial payment. (I think they make $$ selling these by having the opportunity to up-sell people each time they come for the free alignment...

Metric Mouse

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Re: New Struts in the Prius
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2016, 06:58:47 AM »
150K is pretty good on a set of brake pads! If I could get that, I'd have to replace a set every twenty-five years or so.

aerofreaky`

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Re: New Struts in the Prius
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2016, 07:37:02 AM »
Regenerative braking is an amazing thing. In dry and rural areas the Prius can go much further on a pair of pads. 

Metric Mouse

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Re: New Struts in the Prius
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2016, 07:54:54 AM »
Regenerative braking is an amazing thing. In dry and rural areas the Prius can go much further on a pair of pads.

Wow. I obviously don't know that much about Prius'- that pretty impressive.

Syonyk

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Re: New Struts in the Prius
« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2016, 08:55:12 AM »
Rural areas are pretty easy on brake pads if you drive gently, even without regen braking.

aerofreaky`

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Re: New Struts in the Prius
« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2016, 10:45:19 AM »
Rural areas are pretty easy on brake pads if you drive gently, even without regen braking.

True, but in context my 150K was in Manhattan and the metro NE.