My girlfriend is having a heck of a vexing time with navigating her options for getting the rear struts on her 99 camry replaced.
One major chain auto repair store quoted $580-$600 for the job. Another chain (attached to a larger chain department store, ahem) quoted her $455. Another, local, putatively trustworthy shop looked at it and at first thought it was only the bolt that needed replacing, which was a relief for her at the time -- she paid about $100 and drove off the same day, only to find that the symptoms came back. Returned to the local shop and they found, indeed, that the rear struts needed replacing - which raises the secondary question of whether they should take some responsibility for not having properly diagnosed the problem in the first place, or at least credit her some portion of the $100 she already paid. The local guys are also quoting her about $600.
I'm specifically wondering if these amounts sound reasonable (about $455 to $600); if anyone has ideas on how to get a better price on the job; and whether with a standard set of tools (the kind that a very casual handyman would have) and whatever else could be rented or borrowed, we could do this ourselves and for cheaper.
Thanks in advance for any advice you might have.