The struts in your Toyota Tundra are what prevent you from feeling the bumps you drive over. They’re also an important part of your steering system. When they go bad, it can make your truck unsafe to drive.
Knowing how to replace the front struts on a Toyota Tundra can save you some money on this necessary repair. But how do you replace them—and how do you know it’s the right time? We’ll go through all the details below.
What do the struts do in your Toyota Tundra?
Struts are similar to shocks and serve the same function: limiting the spring and bounce of your truck. If the struts wear out, it will be much harder to safely control your vehicle. Extreme bouncing can also cause damage to your truck’s undercarriage.
Unlike shocks, though, struts also play a role in your steering and alignment. This is why you’ll need to have your tire alignment checked after replacing them.
When do you need to replace your struts?
How long your struts last depends on how you drive. In most cases, you’ll need to replace them around 50,000 miles. There are a few common drivability symptoms that can point to a bad strut:
- Bumpy or uncomfortable rides
- Loss of driver control, especially on uneven roads
- Difficulty steering or stiff steering wheel
- Swaying or leaning when turning and changing lanes
- Difficulty braking or unstable brakes
- Fluid leaks around the wheels
- Uneven or unusual wear on your tires
- Scalloped dips around edge of tire treads
You can also visually examine a strut to see if it’s damaged, leaking, or worn. You can see in the video below what a strut looks like when it breaks.
What you’ll need to replace a Tundra’s front struts
- Floor jack
- Jack stands
- Tire iron
- Ratchet set
- Adjustable wrench
- Torque wrench
- New struts
How to replace front struts on a Toyota Tundra: Step by step
- Use a floor jack to lift the Tundra’s front end. Once it’s lifted, support the frame using jack stands. Double-check that all are firm and secure before moving forward.
- Loosen and remove the nuts on the wheels using a tire iron, then remove the wheels and set them off to the side.
- Remove the retaining bolt on the driver’s side strut using a wrench and ratchet. Once the bolt is off, remove the mounting nuts and pull out the strut. If you’re not sure where to find it, you can see the process in action in this video. Repeat the process on the passenger side.
- Attach the new strut to the upper mounting nuts of your Tundra’s frame. Torque each nut to 47 ft. lb., tightening until the wrench slips. Re-insert the lower mounting bolt and torque to 100 ft. lb.. Repeat the process on the other side of the car.
- Re-attach the front wheels, ensuring that all the nuts are firmly in place.
- Remove the jack supports and lower the front end of your Tundra.
- Take your Tundra to a mechanic to have the alignment tested.
The final word
Replacing the struts in a Toyota Tundra isn’t hard—but it’s also not an expensive repair, usually costing between $300 and $400. If you’re not confident in your ability to make the repair, it’s best to take your truck to a professional. They’ll also be able to double-check your alignment while they’re at it.
For those with DIY repair experience, however, replacing the struts is the work of an afternoon. Just follow the steps above and you’ll have a smooth ride in no time.