Toyota Sienna Shock Absorber and Strut Assembly: Troubleshooting and Diagnosis
The shock absorber and strut assembly is an integral part of your suspension system. It helps support the whole weight of the vehicle while dampening the motion of the body and the vibrations of the ground. Problems with your vehicle's suspension system should be immediately diagnosed. This way, you can do the necessary repairs right away and prevent further damage to your vehicle. The following are some problems you may encounter with your Toyota Sienna shock absorber and strut assembly:
Clunking or rattling noises from the suspension mean either a loose connection or suspension failure. Do a visual inspection of the shock absorber and strut assembly to determine the problem. Do this by jacking up the sienna and supporting it with jack stands. This will allow you to crawl under the vehicle, where you can have a closer look at the shock absorber and the strut. Try grabbing the components and shake them around a bit. If the suspension is loose, it may move around a bit and rattle about. Tighten the appropriate bolts and screws to fix the problem. Inspect the suspension for rust, corrosion, damage, and fluid leaks. All of these could significantly affect the performance of the suspension, even push it to the point of failure. Look for dents on the suspension cylinders as well; such damage could affect the fluids inside, making the part malfunction.
If the Sienna is lower than it should be, the springs of the suspension system have already given out. This can significantly affect the handling of the vehicle, plus, it could leave the underside of the Sienna vulnerable to damage from road bumps and other obstacles. You will need to replace the springs or the whole assembly to fix the problem.
Excessive bounce and swaying
If the struts and the shocks have failed, you will notice excessive movement in the body of the Sienna. The rear of the vehicle will dip noticeably when accelerating, while the front will sink considerably when braking. When making turns with the vehicle, the body will sway from excessively from left to right, or vise versa. To further test out the shocks and struts, do a bounce test on the Sienna. Just put your whole weight on the front of the vehicle and then let it bounce back. If it bounces more than twice, then there is a problem with the suspension. Repeat the test on the rear as well. If there is considerable bounce on both ends, you will do well to replace the entire shock absorber and strut assembly.