when is a good time to get them replaced or should they just be checked periodically? i am closing in on 50k miles
Mile mileage alone wont tell you much. Its the combination between mileage, road condition, etc. There is no set mileage on how long these will last. Have yours checked for play. If you dont mind getting your hands dirty, you can always check it yourself. But like I said, if you dont know if they are still good or not, just replace them for the peace of mind. It's definitely something you dont want to be hesitating on.
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Since we all know this is a major problem for our cars what can we do to bring it up to lexus/toyota corp. about our concerns? Lets get the ball rolling and see what they have to say about this. Because sooner or later someone will get hurt because of this. Since we all know what the problem. I just don't want to sit around waiting for someone to get hurt, because when it happend to me as you can tell it was hard to control the car going about 30-35 mph let alone on a busy highway at 60-65 mph. PM me or reply to this post with any suggestions and lets see if we can get everyone on this. Strength is in numbers, not individuals.
Scepetic: you have to take the wheels off so that ramp wouldn't work. Another great tool to have for this DIY is a pitman's puller. There is a DIY on this site somewhere that list all your needed tools and step by step instructions with pictures. Good luck.
PushinLex: do you know if anyone contacted DAVEGS4 about this problem yet? If not we can try to contact DAVEGS4 and see what he has to say.