gncndad
Posts: 209
Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2016 9:02 pm
Delivery Date: 23 Feb 2016
Location: Ft. Worth, TX

Seeking suspension advice

Fri Mar 06, 2020 4:33 pm

2015S, almost 37k miles. No mods of any kind.

Fort Worth: miles and miles of older, uneven concrete slab road surface. Our particular commute is unbelievably rough, and the Leaf gets tossed fore/aft, and side-to-side. The suspension gets an amazing workout. I think it has become worse, but maybe because I'm comparing it to our 2018 Gen IV Prius, or our 2014 Avalon Hybrid Limited.

There's no extra bouncing after compression/rebound of the struts, so it doesn't seem like they are "worn out" in the traditional sense. I'm wondering, though, after 4 years of rather rough/abusive pavement, if it would be worthwhile to replace the struts.

Thoughts?
2015 LeafS
2018 Toyota Prius Four Touring
2018 Toyota Prius Two
2014 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Limited

goldbrick
Posts: 785
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 3:33 pm
Delivery Date: 01 Aug 2017
Leaf Number: 311806
Location: Boulder, CO

Re: Seeking suspension advice

Fri Mar 06, 2020 4:39 pm

37k is a short life-span but under harsh conditions the suspension could certainly loosen up. It could well be rubber bushings that are worn out also. Unless there is play in the wheels I'd just live with it. You could take it to an alignment shop to get a professional opinion but it's not a new car anymore. Replacing all the suspension components will probably make it feel more like one but whether that is worth it is up to you.

gncndad
Posts: 209
Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2016 9:02 pm
Delivery Date: 23 Feb 2016
Location: Ft. Worth, TX

Re: Seeking suspension advice

Fri Mar 06, 2020 4:52 pm

Thanks, Goldbrick. There are no rattles, clunks of any kind, steering is tight. Tires wearing evenly. Simply a lot of movement.
2015 LeafS
2018 Toyota Prius Four Touring
2018 Toyota Prius Two
2014 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Limited

LeftieBiker
Moderator
Posts: 14633
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 3:17 am
Delivery Date: 30 Apr 2018
Location: Upstate New York, US

Re: Seeking suspension advice

Fri Mar 06, 2020 7:22 pm

Would you like that duplicate post removed?
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gncndad
Posts: 209
Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2016 9:02 pm
Delivery Date: 23 Feb 2016
Location: Ft. Worth, TX

Re: Seeking suspension advice

Fri Mar 06, 2020 11:14 pm

Yes. I have no idea how a duplicate occurred. Thanks.
2015 LeafS
2018 Toyota Prius Four Touring
2018 Toyota Prius Two
2014 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Limited

PrairieLEAF
Posts: 87
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2019 8:58 am
Delivery Date: 04 Feb 2019
Location: Weld County, Colorado

Re: Seeking suspension advice

Mon Mar 09, 2020 10:38 am

I wouldn't replace them, unless they're leaking (and even then I'd drag it out).

I live off dirt roads that get potholed and rutted, and find the LEAF to be quite a rough-and-tumble car. Slow down a bit, try to miss the big ones, and hold on for the ride!
2016 LEAF S-30 w/QC "Lexie"

pc500
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2015 8:33 am
Delivery Date: 01 Jul 2015

Re: Seeking suspension advice

Fri Mar 13, 2020 7:35 pm

The leaf in general is a very smooth riding car. The suspension and ride quality is quite a bit better than a Prius but won't win against an Avalon.

One shortcoming is the suspension range (on deep bumps or potholes) is not as refined as it could be, once you exceed a certain amount of travel.

I would compare it to a new leaf to see if it's worthwhile, but generally we don't see suspensions failing even in some rough northern city environments.

gncndad
Posts: 209
Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2016 9:02 pm
Delivery Date: 23 Feb 2016
Location: Ft. Worth, TX

Re: Seeking suspension advice

Sat Mar 14, 2020 11:56 am

pc500 wrote:
Fri Mar 13, 2020 7:35 pm
The leaf in general is a very smooth riding car. The suspension and ride quality is quite a bit better than a Prius but won't win against an Avalon.

One shortcoming is the suspension range (on deep bumps or potholes) is not as refined as it could be, once you exceed a certain amount of travel.

I would compare it to a new leaf to see if it's worthwhile, but generally we don't see suspensions failing even in some rough northern city environments.
I have to respectfully disagree with your comments about Leaf vs. Prius or Avalon. I own all three, and based on my experience, and where we drive on a daily basis, the Leaf is quite a bit worse than our Gen IV Prii and our Avalon. In fact, it's because of the direct comparison of all the vehicles that I'm reminded how rough/choppy the Leaf is.

I don't think anything has failed, I'm simply wondering if freshening the suspension would return any significant improvement. I'm now thinking it wouldn't improve at all.

I think we're just cursed that the space between the road issues here aren't suited to the wheelbase/weight/strut valving/spring rates of the 2015 Leaf. I'm reminded of my days on the Chesapeake Bay, with unpredictable wavelengths (distance peak to peak) and the chop would be unbearable one day, and even larger waves the next would be perfectly manageable.
2015 LeafS
2018 Toyota Prius Four Touring
2018 Toyota Prius Two
2014 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Limited

pc500
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2015 8:33 am
Delivery Date: 01 Jul 2015

Re: Seeking suspension advice

Sun Mar 15, 2020 11:26 am

It probably won't substantially unless you think you're done something to damage yours. If you want a quick answer, test drive one off a used car lot or rent one for a day on Turo and see if there's a difference.

I have been in enough Uber's (Prius's) on almost a daily basis to think the other way around on typical balanced urban road conditions. In addition to a rougher ride, there's drastically more road noise on them. However, there may be something very localized about your roads that specifically is not good for the Leaf's geometry.

I have not heard of any leafs with worn out suspensions either, but mileage is typically low. I've seen the occasional failed component but it's typically obvious (clunks, slack, or something else).

Oilpan4
Posts: 1384
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:51 pm
Delivery Date: 10 May 2018
Leaf Number: 004270

Re: Seeking suspension advice

Sun Mar 15, 2020 12:06 pm

YouTube search for how to check for warn out struts.
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