Ride Height after new shocks and links - out of spec?

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by 134HP Bard Womyn Magnet, Jun 15, 2022.

  1. 134HP Bard Womyn Magnet

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    Hey all. So a follow-up to my 150k maintenance thread was a not-great trip to a new-to-me shop. Suffice to say trust was not established, but I'll stay focused on the thread title: ride height after this maintenance.

    The shop said I needed new front shocks and links. This seemed reasonable, since the car could be a bit tooth-rattling on rough roads and speed bumps. When I picked up the car, it was parked on a curb-cut as if going uphill. The front end looked high, but I figured the parking angle was contributing.

    Maybe I should have paid more attention to it. Having the car back a day or so, it's clear there's way more of the gap visible between top of tire and wheel well arch. Driving the car the feels different - while it's less of a rough ride, the nose feels noticeably higher. For example, when pulling into our extremely tight driveway with low brick walls on each side, it feels like I'm driving a different car because my view is different - I can't see the walls as much.

    Some questions:
    1) Is there an "in spec" height range between top of rim (or maybe it's center of wheel?) and bottom of wheel arch where I can measure if it's out of that range?
    2) Is height exaggerated noticably after a suspension change? I've read things settle in the weeks after a change, but I've never experienced it this dramatically. I did a quick comparison with a NYC municipal vehicle Prius (probably beat to shit) and the center of its front lip was like 1.5-2" lower to the ground than on my Prius.
    3) Finally, if this were you - what would you ask the mechanic? Part numbers to check what they installed? Their receipt is vague as hell: "New front shocks x2, new front links x2"

    Thank you.
     
    #1 134HP Bard Womyn Magnet, Jun 15, 2022
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2022
  2. Higgins909

    Higgins909 Member

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    I'd probably be at the desk saying my car isn't level after new suspension. Suspension wears down over time but 1.5-2" seems excessive. It must be the wrong part number for something.
     
  3. 134HP Bard Womyn Magnet

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    Hmm maybe it's less, I was eyeballing (using a magazine to measure, because I literally stopped in the middle of the street when I saw another Gen 3 parked). Maybe I'll snap a pic and post it here.
     
  4. douglasjre

    douglasjre Senior Member

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    Sounds like all the gas escaped from the old shocks. Not enough information to draw and accurate conclusion unfortunately
     
  5. 134HP Bard Womyn Magnet

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    Agreed about the old shocks, and I considered that it could have been that. (That will also 100% be the response from this shop - that I just have to get used to it.)

    That said, I have seen loads of Gen3s...there are a ton up here and I tend to check other ones out now that I'm an owner. Before this maintenance, my car and the others all looked the same as far as stance/ride height. I highly doubt all of the other Prii I've seen had blown front shocks and just happened to match my car.

    And I've wondered if it could be psychological (like it was riding low before and only feels high now with good shocks) but the problem is it also looks a bit high up front. Hopefully my photos will provide some objectivity...I'll try to take some tomorrow. Thanks for the replies so far.
     
    #5 134HP Bard Womyn Magnet, Jun 15, 2022
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2022
  6. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Underfoot

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  7. ttou68

    ttou68 Active Member

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    Generally speaking...

    Struts, shocks are used for shock absorbing, and coil springs are for ride height...
    You may want to check out both of the components, if ride height and ride quality are effected...


    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
  8. 134HP Bard Womyn Magnet

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    Mendel in the house! :)

    So rough measurements are 27.7" from ground to front wheel well arch, and 26.2" from ground to rear wheel well arch. I compared my car to a few NYC municipal Prii and mine seems to be approx 1.5" (give or take) higher in the front. NB: obviously could not speak to the condition of the springs in their vehicles. The cop was not pleased when I jumped out of my car in the middle of the street and told her not to get back in her patrol car until I could take a pic...

    Looks like coil springs were replaced as new. Maybe they're just stiff? Or I got a free Prius lift kit!

    cop car and me from front.jpg side view.jpg wheelturn2.jpg wheelturn1.jpg 3:4 view.jpg front.jpg
     
    #8 134HP Bard Womyn Magnet, Jun 16, 2022
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2022
  9. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Underfoot

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    Yeah, front end looks high.

    upload_2022-6-16_12-11-33.png

    17" wheels/tires are roughly the same OD, actually slightly smaller.
     
  10. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Underfoot

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    Maybe my imagination, but the your wheel looks both "lower" and "pushed back". Appreciate it's the car shifting, not the wheel, but it's the simplest way I can describe it.
     
  11. 134HP Bard Womyn Magnet

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    I see that, but I think it may be due to the wheel being slightly turned to the left in the side photo. I should have straightened them out. I'll take a closer look next time I'm near the car.

    Nice Prius, BTW.
     
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  12. ttou68

    ttou68 Active Member

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    Have you checked part number for front struts and swaybar links?

    Doesn't hurt to double check...

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
  13. 134HP Bard Womyn Magnet

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    First thing I did. Shop reply: "Just bring it in and let us take a look." I'll never go to this shop again.
    If I manage to extract that info I'll post it here. I know it's not OEM.
     
  14. douglasjre

    douglasjre Senior Member

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    Are those quick struts? Brand manufacturer model no information here so I couldn't respond but if you get extra ride height you might want to get matching rears because that's a nice benefit to have. Why are you angry at the shop already? This is why I don't want to fix a car that's over 8 years old for people.
     
  15. 134HP Bard Womyn Magnet

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    "Why are you angry at the shop already?"
    "Already?" Before I brought the car there, I printed out a list of what I wanted done to the car. It was clear and simple. Left the car and the list so they could review and get me a quote. Desk guy called and quoted me a price. We reviewed the list again and guy confirmed everything would be done by end of day. I told them to go ahead. Day end came and went; they now had to keep the car overnight. No big deal. I know that happens at busy shops and I had a bike to get around on.

    When I picked up the car, service items were missing from the receipt; for example, one was changing transaxle fluid. I asked them if they could print another receipt with services itemized so I'd have complete service records for the next owner. Desk guy got an "Oh shit..." look on his face and jogged over to the mechanic. They talked for a while, and both came out and said they didn't do certain items, and for the transaxle fluid I'd have to go to a transmission shop. What? When I asked (in a reasonable tone) why they quoted me for all the work and confirmed it would be done, then charged me that price (actually more) when they didn't do the full job, the desk guy said "there was a miscommunication with the mechanic." I again asked why that was my problem, and why I was paying for services quoted for, but not completed? From then on, he just stonewalled me.

    I've had mechanics I've trusted in the past. While I appreciate you participating in this thread, if you think I should be happy with this experience so far...well, it's probably for the best that you're in Florida and there's no risk of me coming to your shop (with my 8+ year old car, no less).

    "Brand manufacturer model no information here."

    I asked the shop nicely for that info. They wouldn't give me that info and told me to "just bring the car over so we can see it." That's annoying. Agreed on ride height though, but only if it's within spec and installed correctly with correct parts. If I manage to get part numbers from them, I'll post them here.
     
    #15 134HP Bard Womyn Magnet, Jun 17, 2022
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2022
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  16. 134HP Bard Womyn Magnet

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    PS: This was a $1780 job after taxes. Is that a good deal? Front and rear brakes/rotors, front shocks and links, change coolants (I supplied Toyota SLLC), and $80 synthetic oil change. It's not like I asked them to change a wiper and then was being a pain in the a$$. I realize it's a decent amount of labor. But I spent a lot at the shop and they could have at least been straight with me about the quote vs. work done
     
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  17. ASRDogman

    ASRDogman Senior Member

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    Even if all the gas excaped, the heighth wouldn't really change. It's the spring
    that holds it up. And they do wear out. That's why it's best to change the whole strut,
    not just the shock part.
    I'd bet the shop bought the cheapest shocks they could for that were close enough for the Prius.
    Probably because they didn't realize they cost a lot more for a Prius and didn't quote correctly.

    It doesn't matter how busy a shop is, they should miss anything on the work order.
    They should have either changed the transmisison fluid, which they didn't quote correctly either,
    because they can't just put any fluid in there, or they guy just forgot. It does happen.
    But keeping overnight, they should have done everything, unless the parts weren't available.

    The service writer probaly doesn't know how to write up the services and prices. And they just want
    to make the quick easy money.

    I made a LOT of money working on cars older than 8 years! Which is VERY young! I was just smart
    enough to let the customer know the problems we could run into with an older car. Brittle hoses and
    wiring, plastics that easly break when having to remove and re-intall them. And the extra cost involve.
    And SHOWING them before doing the work. Trying to show them during or after just makes them
    think you are trying to rip them off.

    You might want to find a new place to take your car. You'll never have piece of mind if you are always
    wondering IF they actually did the work you paid for, and if they did it correctly!

     
  18. 134HP Bard Womyn Magnet

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    THIS is a reasonable reply. Thanks for the validation. This was my first time using a local shop for service. Next time I'll drive it out-of-state back to mechanics I trust.
     
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  19. ASRDogman

    ASRDogman Senior Member

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    I remember buying all my video equipment from a place in Orlando because of the honesty of the
    guy. But he also KNEW what he was talking about!
    He told me he wanted my money, and my brothers and sisters money, and my parents money,
    and my friends money...... because that's how he makes a living. But, he will give me my monies worth!
    And he always did! He would always match any price, but after a while, I stopped. I didn't care what it cost
    because he never ripped me off. He was always straight forward and HONEST!

    So it's probably worth the drive! Now it's time for me to go make MONEY! :)

     
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  20. southsidedakota

    southsidedakota Junior Member

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    mine got slightly higher, maybe .5" in the rear. KYB all around here.
     
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