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Last winter, we took our 08 Tribeca to the mechanic after hearing a grinding like noise from front drivers side. At present, vehicle has 61,000 miles on it.
Mechanic tightened bushings and we didn't hear the noise for 3 months. Second trip to mechanic he said it was bushings again and holes were enlarged. He replace bushings again and off we went. Today we dropped it off for same noise and now mechanic says we have to replace struts and plates. With labor we are looking at $700.
Any ideas on what to check or replace before we dive into this fix???
 

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What bushings?

You can't really "tighten" bushings.

My sneaking assumption is that the front swaybar bushings are clunking (an extremely common problem on the Tribeca) and he tightened the nut down that holds the housing containing the bushing for the swaybar.

This issue has nothing to do with your struts and strut tops (I'm not sure what he means by plates?) although it's possible he misdiagnosed the first time or he's just looking for something else to blame the problem on that may or may not have anything to do with it.

How long did you have those replacement bushings installed before you noticed noise?
 

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An 08 probably does need new struts. Not sure what "plates" are? $700 is fair for all 4 corners.

I know ours needs new struts, just looking for some time to do it.

However, no 'grinding' noise would be associated with it.

Have you driven with the mechanic to show them the noise? Are you happy with them? If you trust them, have them do the work, if you don't go find a new mechanic.

Tom
 

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I would bet the plates are the tophats. Our local goodyear quoted us about $800 to change the struts with parts and labor. I ordered the set from amazon for $280 and then bought strut spring compressor $25 and spent a day getting it done.
 

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I'd start at the sway bar bushings like others have stated. Cheap, and prone to failure on these. Upgrade like many of us have to the Energy Suspension ones, (I got the red because it adds about 90 HP lol) and slide under and bolt them on, or pay a mechanic $40ish to throw them on and grease them. See if that gets rid of the noise.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000CN9CMW/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Exactly what I replaced mine with when I did the struts/shocks.
 

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I'd start at the sway bar bushings like others have stated. Cheap, and prone to failure on these. Upgrade like many of us have to the Energy Suspension ones, (I got the red because it adds about 90 HP lol) and slide under and bolt them on, or pay a mechanic $40ish to throw them on and grease them. See if that gets rid of the noise.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000CN9CMW/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Will these fit the front and rear?
What stabilizer links would you use to replace them with?
 

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The strut mounts ('top hats') have bearings which when worn cause a grinding noise when turning the steering. If you're going to replace the struts, it is a very good idea to replace mounts at same time.
 
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