Leaking shock absorber - should I replace now or wait?

A few months ago I bought a 1997 Camry, which has now done 152,000km (about 95,000 miles).
I decided to have the suspension inspected since I expected it would
be fairly worn. Part of the inspection included a shock absorber test, which uses a drive-on machine to test the ground contact rate of each wheel. These were the results:
Front left: 72% Front right: 71%
Rear left: 42% Rear right: 48%
The shop told me that anything above 50% is considered acceptable.
I'm definitely going to replace the rear shocks because they're worn to the point where the ride is "jittery" at highway speeds due to the rear wheels being under damped.
The thing is, they also pointed out that the front right shock is starting to leak. Since the front shocks are still performing well and I don't want to throw money at this car, I think I'll leave them for now. The shop said not to worry about it yet, but the question is, how much longer can I leave it before the leak becomes a problem? I guess it's not something you can really predict?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
replace struts the ride will be better and safer, you will be suprised at the difference,
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (mark Ransley) wrote in message

I'll probably just get all four done at once, it's just that with the front struts still rated at 72% they don't really need replacing. I guess what I was originally driving at is how quickly will the leaky shock decrease in performance?
As for replacements, the price I was quoted for a single Toyota strut would pay for parts and labour on a PAIR of Monroe gas struts. The factory struts are also gas charged (my Camry is a New Zealand model, assembled in Australia, which has different shocks and spring rates to Camrys sold in other countries).
Also as a result of the suspension check I replaced the sway bar bushes (the Toyota dealer was cheaper than after market for these - just $8.50 each) and the rear trailing arm bushes. Toyota could only supply the entire trailing arm as one assembly (at huge cost), but I was able to get just the bushes by going with after market parts. Just replacing these bushes resulted in a much more solid feeling ride.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Just replaced the back shocks in my 91 Camry cos it got thrown out on it warrant since the left one was leaking. Cost me $330 and that was using gas struts. Had it done at the Shock Shop (I'm in Chch). You might want to get the front ones fixed before the next warrant.
Cheers Vaughan
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@alias.inet.net.nz (Googler) wrote in message

If you have a Toyota dealer replace the front struts, they include a lifetime warranty for labor and materials. I'm not certain, but I think if someone else does the labor you still have a lifetime warranty on the parts. Since roughly 60% of the weight is in front, the front struts affect ride, tire wear, handling and braking much more than the rear. Throwing money would be doing work that is unnecessary. When you can afford to do the work, just go ahead and get it done. In purchasing a used car it seems there are always additional expenses intially, then you're done apart from normal wear and routine maintenance.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Yeah but disn't someone quote $1200 at the dealer for crappy Tokico OEM shocks? Monroe gas struts (among others) offer lifetime warranty on their struts (the parts). Parts are more like $360 and couple hundred labor - so 1/2 the dealer cost.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Hey I need struts as well on my 2000 LE with 48K miles. Any suggestions? Iwas going to order some KYB GR2's and have them installed. I was hoping someone who has had their struts done could give me some feedback.
Thanks

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
KYBs are stiffer than OEM and Monroe's --- just depends on how sporty a reide you;re looking for. They are a good shock.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Clearly, you are all free to do as you wish. I like factory parts, designed for the vehicle by the Toyota engineers, so I replaced the Monroe Sensatracks on the front with Toyota struts to remove that jolt going over a certain bridge every morning. In August of 2001 I was able to find the struts for (USD) $105.82 each, $256.52 including sales tax and the rubber covers. Then I found a dealer in the next city with better labor rates. Labor was $191.05, plus alignment, total $231. Wound up getting the strut supports done at the same time for an additional $278.16. However, looking at the list price on the struts and covers only, adding tax, would have been $439.36. (Being nice to the parts person when asking for a better price clearly helps.) Not sure why you say the OEM shocks are "crappy." They are gas charged to reduce fading, and after hours of driving, they feel even better. I also replaced the inexpensive sway bar bushings, and put on new tires. Most of my driving (city/ highway) doesn't involve a lot of curves, so I appreciate a comfortable ride, but one day I had occasion to drive a winding canyon road through the mountains and was amazed how the car went through the curves so effortlessly with minimal body lean and a surprisingly high degree of comfort and control.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
monroe sensatrac are gas struts with lifetime warranty, oem warranty ?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Hi Dan , How old were your Monroes, in years and mileage? The Monroe Sensatrec Gas is also is a dual rate strut, going to a firmer rate on hard - fast depression or cornering , something OEM doesnt offer. To give better emergency handling and accident avoidance . And is suposed to be OEM street ride equal , { but how would anyone know } it was made that way ......... I have always found for over 30 yrs + family experience shocks or struts need replacing in about 40 to 70 thousand miles. Some go faster, some go slower. Some go bad without you noticing until you have had an accident, that is why you have a warranty. And must check your vehicle periodacly. Toyota makes everything well . Monroe makes only shocks and struts, Sensatrac with lifetime warranty and dual rate dampening are my preference. New Monroes at 60000 on my camry made it ride like one model better, My Only complaint is as always the ride gets harsher as it gets colder
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.