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Toyotapro, ASE master tech
Category: Toyota
Satisfied Customers: 9974
Experience:  ASE Certified, 10+ years Lexus and Toyota Certified
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My Toyota Sequoia (04) sways from side to side when I hit a

Customer Question

My Toyota Sequoia (04) sways from side to side when I hit a bump. I changed the shock but that did not help. Someone suggested changing the rack and pinion but I took it to an auto mechanic who recommended I change only the bushings; I did but that did not help. I then took it to Toyota who could find nothing. Any ideas?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Toyota
Expert:  Toyotapro replied 8 years ago.

Hello and thank you for using just answer. A few questions need to be clarified here:

1- how many miles are on the truck

2- did you replace both front struts and rear shocks or just 1, all 4? I'm confused by your statement

3-does your truck have the optional self leveling rear air suspension

4- when you go over a bump are you stating that the truck body continues to rock/bounce back and forth for several seconds or just 1 time?


Customer: replied 8 years ago.

The truck has 110,000 miles.

Replaced 2 Rear shocks and 2 front struts.

The truck does not have air suspension.

When you hit a bump, the motion is not up and down but side to side. It does it once (maybe twice). If twice, the second motion is much less than the first. It is definitely not continuous.


Expert:  Toyotapro replied 8 years ago.
That is perfectly normal, the shocks and struts rebound the impact as designed. 1 or 2 rebounds is what the struts and shocks are designed to do, the only thing you can alter on this depends on what brand shocks/struts you install, the softer the strut/shock you have installed the more times it will rebound, you can install very stiff shocks/struts designed for off road use to minimize movement but this will casue reduced ride comfort at speed. Unless the shocks/struts are leaking or you hear a loud pop noise over a bump I have no concerns with this.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

This is definetely not normal. I have taken the vehicle to 3 different automechanics who agree there is a problem. It is just that no one can find it. Secondly, the car shifts to the side so ,much that I have come close to hitting vehicles on either side.

Do you have another suggestion?

Expert:  Toyotapro replied 8 years ago.

IF the shocks/struts are good on the car any you have a excessive side to side motion then you need to have the sway bar and sway bar connections checked. Is this your first large SUV? I'm not disbelieving you here but I deal with alot of customers at my dealer that trade their mini sub-compact in on a oversize SUV and expect the same road feel, I just want to be sure that you are familiar with the chacteristics of this vehicle and if you have not I recommend you drive another Sequoia to understand if you really do have a problem here or not.


Plain and simple here, if there is a valid/legitimate problem here then a road test and a good visual inspection will reveal the issue. If 3 mechanics have stated there is indeed a problem but can't find it then they are not very good mechanics. Take it to a toyota dealer, request that the senior master technician drive the truck, pay them a 1 hour diagnostic fee and see if you really have a problem here or not.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

I did take it to the dealership. They had it for a whole day and could not find a cause.

Let me clarify something.

The problem with the vehicle swaying seems to happen when you go into a dip in the road rather than a pot hole.

It feels like there is a tug pulling the vehicle to the left.

Then it corrects itself very quickly.

I believe they checked the sway bar.

I have driven many SUVs including an Armada and a Sequoia. This problem is unique to this vehicle.

Do you have any other suggestions?

Expert:  Toyotapro replied 8 years ago.
Did the dealer state they verified a concern? I have seen some issues with front struts leaking fluid on these trucks and it results in abnormal rebound issues. Did the dealer give you a printout stating what all was checked? One thing that comes to mind here is I have seen the front alignment adjustment bolts for camber and caster being left loose and this will result in some freeplay in the front end over loads such as dips/bumps, do the tires seem to wear abnormally on the truck or the steering wheel have freeplay/off center?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

I bought the vehicle used and noticed the problem after paying for the car.

So, I started mechanic hopping.

The dealer test drove the vehicle and confirmed the swaying. They just could not identify the cause.

I had the struts replaced because one of the autotechnicians thought that could be the problem. The new struts are 2 weeks old.

Yes, the dealer gave a print out of all they checked but I do not have it with me.

I will check the front algnment adjustment bolt.

No, the tires do not seem to wear excessively.

No there is no freeplay on the steering.

Incidently, the car drives straight on a smooth road.


Expert:  Toyotapro replied 8 years ago.
Did you run a carfax report on the truck to be sure that the vehicle has not had a title history?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I ran something called "autocheck" which is similar to car fax. The score came back very good. I am curious why that would have any bearing to the problems that I am having. These services are not 100% foolproof.
Expert:  Toyotapro replied 8 years ago.
Sometimes customers/owners have accidents and either never have the vehicle repaired or pay out of pocket so that a insurance claim never goes on file and nothing is nboted about the vehicle in a carfax report, it may or may not be a long shot but accident repairs can have a contributing factor to issues such as this.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Is there something I should be looking for?
Expert:  Toyotapro replied 8 years ago.
Frame/suspension/paint damage or signs of repair, I have been doing this for YEARS and some repairs can be hard for me to find as well
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Is there something I should be looking for that would account for the swaying?


Expert:  Toyotapro replied 8 years ago.
Swaying is caused by freeplay, you are somewhat limited on what YOU can check for without access to a lift. Swaying can be caused by tire pressure/tire size variances, loose or worn suspension components, or from lose settring, however if you have loose steering you will have other noticible issues as well.