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Rendezvous Suspension Upgrades



  • spike99,

    yes, you are correct, I did mention all those things, HOWEVER, I never said I was considering ALL those options AT THE SAME TIME.

    You are also taking the statements I made OUT OF CONTEXT. If you go on to read my post, you will see that I ALSO said:

    "The problem is, after searching the internet high and low, I don't think anyone makes any suspension upgrades for our cars. I did a search and the best I can find is KYB GR-2 (factory stiffness) struts for the front and KYB Gas-adjust (sport/firm shock) for the rear. I was hoping to find a matching set of sport shocks, but even unable to do that. I am also unable to find any upgrades for sway bars, bushings or springs."

    I merely listed ALL the things I could think of that might help improve the suspension, in hopes that someone might be able to lead me to the right sources to buy them at. But I never said I was dead set on doing them ALL AT THE SAME TIME. Besides, I already knew from my own reserach that the ONLY option (out of all those things I listed) were shocks/struts anyway, which I clearly explained in the post. And even then, struts are not made in a HD or stiffer version. So I already knew that most likely no one would be able to come up with a source for springs or sway bars, but I just asked for the hell of it anyway.

    I would think if you read my post in detail you would have understood that shocks/struts seemed like the ONLY viable option, and I was not able to find any of the other upgrades mentioned, even after looking...

    Needless to say, I was pretty exicited at your solution, I thought it was going to cost maybe $40 for the pair or so and I could save a bunch of $. I was in shock when I found out how much they are charging. Anyway, that's not your fault, but again, I assumed since you implied that your ideas were "cost effective", that the items you were suggesting would be costing a lot less...

    Another thing, you also did mention in your advice to use the timbrens "insead of" shocks or other things for the rear. If you compare timbrens to shocks, they do cost more. Adding a sway bar is a different item all together and will tie both sides of the suspension together. I don't think you can really compare sway bars to the timbrens, timbrens work slighlty differently, and so would increasing the spring rate. Anyway, this is a moot point because I don't think bigger sway bars or stifer springs are made for the rdv.

    Have a good one too!
  • spike99spike99 Posts: 239

    In my current Tow Vehicle (Safari Van), I install Timbrens in its rear. It removed its suspension depth. Which is great for loading heavy cargo items and / or connecting a heavy tonque weight trailer. Yes. They cost more then HD shocks. HD shocks only reduce "ease of up/down" movement and NOT suspesnion depth. Timbrens or air bags remove "depth" - which eliminate rear sag. My goal on the rear of this vehicle is to remove its "depth". In the future, I plan to install HD shocks on the front of my van. This would eliminate "ease of movement" on its front. For this van and my driving usage, I'll probably leave its front suspesnion depth distance "as is".

    If you want to remove "depth" on the rear suspension of your RDV, then install Timbrens (yes, they do make Timbrens for the rear of the RDV) or install air bags. Each will remove suspesnion depth "in the rear" as well. And by removing depth, it also reduces risk of roll over - on any vehicle brand. Or, you can also remove its rear coils and replace with HD Coils. However... Coils are steel based on do create rebound in their opposite side corners - which can increase the risk of roll overs.

    Timbrens or air bags are more expensive then HD shock upgrades. But each product is made for different reasons. Shocks focus on changing "ease of up/down" movement", and the Timbrens / Air bags reduce is factory depth. Comparing these products side by side would be like comparing apples and oranges. Each product does a different job.

    You are right. Improving the front suspension of the RDV is NOT as easy as its rear. A few susgestions are to remove its front coils and replace with HD (stronger) rated coils. This will create a firmer suspension but being a steel solution, it will create upward rebound on the opposite corner. Which does increase its risk of roll over as well. Therefore, one must install HD shocks with better upward force valving. Thus, reduce or eliminate its upward rebound action - from using HD coil springs. Thus, double upgrades on the RDV's front end. (load support and reduce of upward "ease of movement" due to steel HD Coil upgrade solution).

    Upgrading suspensions (on any brand of vehicle) can also create a domino effect. When doing your research, do keep this "domino upgrade" effect and all involved costs under considerations.

    When does one stop upgrade the suspension of the stock RDV??? Only you can answer that. I can state that some like a "firm ride" and some like a "soft ride". If you want a firm ride on a vehicle that is built with a soft ride, perhaps a different vehicle model comes to mind. Something with tighter / firmer suspension, something with stronger wheel bearings and something with lower height gravity. Turning a "general pupose" family focus mini-SUV like the RDV model into a tight suspension feeling of a sports car (or like a heavy hauling tow vehicle) is going to be expensive. And, may need multiple part upgrades.

    For your wanted upgrade needs, do you want to remove "depth" or remove ease of up/down movement? Or, do you want to remove both? This is the first quesitons to ask.

    Good luck in your custom designing and parts shopping...

  • spike99,

    "Turning a "general pupose" family focus mini-SUV like the RDV model into a tight suspension feeling of a sports car (or like a heavy hauling tow vehicle) is going to be expensive. And, may need multiple part upgrades. "

    you are right, a new vehicle would be better. but in terms of cost effectiveness, a new vehicle is a bad decision. The rdv looses over $10,000 in the 1st 2 years in depreciation alone. So getting rid of it means you ate all that for nothing.

    IF I had known the suspension wasn't that great I may have chosen another vehicle. The problem is at the time I bought the car there were no "most dangerous vehicle" articles on the rdv. Not only that, when I went for my test drive at the dealer, I didn't necessarily perform any emergency manuvers at high speed. Therefore, due to my limited info, I was misinformed.

    You are right, if I had the knowledge I had now when I bought the car, I may have very well chosen a different, more sportier model.

    However, due to cost and economy, it would seem much more efficent to upgrade the suspension I have on the car now, that eat $10k in depreciation and get a new car. Besides at 40k, shocks will have to be replaced soon anyway. Monroe recommends replacement at 50 or 60k as preventative maintenance to save tires, etc. So anyway, I think since it is maintenance item, I would have had to spend that $ anyway.

    Which is more cost effective in your view? Buying a new car or making minimal upgrades to your current vehicle's suspension?

    Again, thanks for all your info...
  • spike99spike99 Posts: 239

    I'm still puzzled while the RDV model does have the "most dangerious" rating for roll overs. Sorry... but your above link never worked for my PC system.

    Anyway.... I find it very surprising that a little Tracker, Suzuki Sidekick, Santa Fe or other skinny wheel base mini-SUV wheel base vehicle have a "less risk" roll over rating - when compared to the RDV model. Wonder if those vehicles were tested against the RDV as well?

    If the RDV was that bad for roll overs, I'm sure the DMV or MTO folks would immediately pulling them "off the road". Or, my insurance company would dramatcially raise its rates, or Buick would be demanded to perform a mass re-call. Re-call to upgrade the suspensions (to reduce roll overs) in all Buick RDV models.

    Regardless, sounds like you like a "more firm" then stock suspension on your vehicles. To tell you the truth, I like a "firmer then factory" ride comfort as well. Especially for my heavy then normal cargo weights. Even my wife's 2003 FWD RDV with 3 loaded hockey bags and 4 adults has a too soft of suspension. I like a "firmer ride" in the RDV model as well. But for me and my wife's RDV, I'll drive it "as is" for the next 3 years, then "trade her in". Upgrading its suspension for 3 years of usage isn't woth it - for me.

    Good luck in your RDV Suspension upgrades...

  • spike99spike99 Posts: 239

    For my wife's 2003 RDV, its Roll Over rating is 3 stars out of 5. For more details, surf contents of "NHTSA ROLLOVER RESISTANCE RATING" within:

    To me, 3 out of 5 for a family focus mini-SUV that's driving 90% of the time in our little village (doing under 30 mph) is "good enough". Probably explains why my yearly insurance on my wife's 2003 FWD RDV is actually "less" then our previous 2001 2 door FWD SunFire car.

    As explained above, its factory suspension for ride comfort and roll over risk is "good enough" for me (as well).

    Hopefully, 3 out of 5 stars is the same rating that's in your "most dangerious for roll over" reports as well...

  • you are right, the link is no longer working. try these: _slide_2.html?partner=msnbc

    btw, i've cut and pasted the contents of the article below. KEEP IN MIND that the authors of this article did not use conventioan NHSTA ratings, they went by their own guidelines and standards which they felt better reflected safety. So it's just another thing to look at.

    And also again, I never said I was going to spend tons of $ to turn my minivan platform vehicle into a sports car. Replacing shocks/struts will cost me $600 parts and labor at the most. If I keep the car over 60k it is recommended to replace shocks/struts as part of "maintenance" anyway, so no $ is really even lost...

    FROM THE ARTICLE: "The consensus among several safety experts we asked is that the best way to predict how dangerous or safe a new vehicle will be comes from looking at the way it's configured, particularly with respect to several important factors — side-impact protection, stability control and rollover risk — that together span a wide range in real-world safety.

    That's what we did. Topping the list of the least safe: the Buick Rendezvous, the Ford Ranger/Mazda B-Series, the Nissan Frontier, the Ford Escape/Mercury Mariner and the Toyota Yaris.

    While generally heavier SUVs and pickups are at an advantage in multi-vehicle accidents, they've been shown to be at quite a disadvantage in single-vehicle accidents (such as when the driver falls asleep, or loses control swerving around a deer), which comprise 43 percent of fatal accidents.

    In this type of accident, SUVs and pickups have more than double the chance of rolling over, according to NHTSA data. This risk relates closely to overall federal fatality data, showing that SUVs and pickups generally have a higher fatality rate than cars of a similar weight.

    Electronic stability control systems, which smartly apply the brakes on one or more of the wheels as best to avoid loss of vehicle control in an extreme maneuver, have been offered for more than a decade in some luxury and high-performance vehicles, but the technology has been trickling down to most mainline brands over the past several model years.

    NHTSA has called it the most significant development since the seatbelt, and the federal government has mandated electronic stability control, but not until the 2012 model year. NHTSA estimates that the stability-control mandate will prevent up to 9,600 fatalities and 238,000 injuries annually, at an average cost of $111 per vehicle in addition to the cost of anti-lock brakes, which most vehicles already offer as standard equipment or as an option."

    note - rdv apparently does not have stability control..
  • from the first link:

    "The minivan-based Rendezvous helped bring new customers to Buick dealerships, thanks to the Tiger Woods ad campaign behind it. But after the 2007 model year, the Rendezvous, with its abysmal three-star (out of five) NHTSA frontal impact rating, is history, to be replaced by the 2008 Buick Enclave, a crossover SUV with a full roster of standard safety equipment."
  • if you read the article carefully, their "criteria" was 1. side impact protection, 2. rollover rating and 3. stabilitrack.

    this must be at least in part, the reason it earned the most dangerous vehicle award. it must lack all 3 of these things.
  • btw, i forgot to mention, while i think i don't think i could cost effectively fix the side impact or lack of stabilitrack problem, the rollover issue is more easily fixed and also can be done quite cost effectively (changing shocks) in comparsion.
  • spike99spike99 Posts: 239

    Before fixing your RDV to try and lower its roll over "risk rating", may I suggest you contact the author. Ask them to clearly identify if their "roll over" ratings are based on sudden "U-turns" (for hiway "road junk" avoidance), based on getting hit from the side, from too fast speed around a sharp corner, or for other reasons. For example, when the vehicle skids sideways on dry pavement, its front tires dig in and "over she goes". This is caused from tires and too high of upper gravity problem. Based on their detailed feedback, you can then decide to upgrade the front suspension of your RDV, decide to upgrade the rear suspesnion of your RDV, or if their "reason for roll over" can never be changed. For example, no amount of suspension upgrades will stop a vehicle from rolling over - if it gets hit from the side with a higher then normal bumper (on the other vehicle).

    I read your artical several times (thanks for posting it) and still, I don't see "any meat" (sort of speaking) in their statements. At first, I read it has a rating of 3 stars out of 5 but then, they rate it the worst of the 20 other vehicles. If having 3 is bad, it sounds like they dramatically lowered the minimum bar (sort of speaking). Within their article, I read lots of high level and emotional words but to me, there's no exact "detailed reasons" why "they feel" the RDV has dangerious roll over risk. And since my yearly insurance on the RDV is less then my previous sports car, my insurance company isn't too worried about RDV roll overs either. Or, they'd be sending me all sorts of warning notices and my RDV's insurance would be triple its current rate (due to its extreme risk).

    As explained above, I do feel the RDV suspension (on my wife's 2003 FWD model) can be a little more firmer. Especially when its rear cargo is under heavy load. It could even use better HD shocks - to "tighter her up" on the sharp corners. But I really don't believe the RDV model have dramatic roll over risks (from "too soft" of factory suspension).

    Seriously... Do check with the author. Would be nice to read "their meat" (sort of speaking) - to better understand why they rated the RDV with such high roll over risk (yet still gave it 3 out of 5 stars in the roll over section).

  • like I said, I am pretty meticulosu about maintenance.. i do regular oil changes, air filters, brakes, trans fluid/filter, fuel filter etc. and righ now i only have 38k. the thing is, again, i see shocks as a "maintenance" item that should be done around 60k anyway. right now they don't even make hd shocks for the front (no mfg does, from what i can tell). therefore, right now my only option is to get hd for the rear.

    anyway, i don't see it as "fixing" the rdv. if i have to replace the shocks/struts ANYWAY (because like tires, they are a maintenance item), when I DO have to replace them, I am going to upgrade them at the same time. Hopefully by 60k or 70k someome will have come out w/ hd for the front and rear.

    likewise, I feel the integrity tires's aren't the greatest and they are noisy. my wear bars are starting to show. my plan is to get michelin hydro edge to replace them soon. of course, another brand of tire would do, even the goodyear comfortread which seems to have better noise ratings.

    in any case, i dont' see it that i would be "fixing" my rdv when upgrading shocks/struts. like the tires, I would be uprgrading when I had to replace them anyway. It's like switching over to synthetic oil (which I have) when you have to change your oil anyway.

    From my point of view, I wouldn't need to contact the author, because I'm not really wasting any $. I'm just upgrading a maintenance item when the time comes to replace it...
  • by the way, i'm not being overly analyitcal of their article. i understand they are not specific. but they are a respected magazine and they seem to have qualified "experts" which make a lot of sense about the things they say in their article. everyone knows that suv's have high rollover rates and also it may be obvious that the rdv does not have side impact airbags nor stabilitrac. so i am taking their word for it to a certain point. the fact that rdv is "#1" as being most dangerous on their list, is pretty bad. I mean, it might not be so bad being #15 or #20, but #1??

    Anyway, even if their rating system is slightly off, if rdv is #1, that means that something is still wrong in the vehicle. Even if giving it some leeway, it would probably still end up in the top 20.

    Of course, you have to get into a bad accident for it to count. Either a bad multi vehicle or single vehicle crash. Not everyone is going to get into such a crash in the rdv.

    Anyway, I see no harm and also no additional cost ot upgrading maintenance items (such as tires and shocks/struts) with a view to upgradinng and increasing safety, when they have to be replaced anyway. Why would I just replace them with the oem factory replacement when I have to spend the labor and costs anyway? I may not be able to "fix" all the problems, but I sure can make a little difference by doing so. Maybe my car with better tires and shocks would be #20 instead of a #1.....
  • spike99spike99 Posts: 239

    Interesting reading...

    If I posted an article stating a certain brand of vehicle has safey concerns (yet, rate it at 3 out of 5 and at the same time & splat on front page its the worst roll over vehicle on the road), you'd think someone would question the details.

    Since I know the article lacks "meat of any kind", I dismiss it. Another artical from a person who's never crawled under a vehicle or never held an air bag in their hand. Some folks seems to grasp the article and go into a frency. Frency as if that ariticle was the truth and no other "lack of" backup data matters. Read between their lines. They rate it 3 out of 5 (in their own words) then they rate RDV the worst roller over vehicle. Sorry, one can't have it both ways!!! If that's so, give it a 5 out of 5, and all insurance companies, DMV and DOTs would go into a frency as well. Frency to demand recalls or take the vehicle off the road.

    The article (in your first post) isn't about maintenance. It isn't about how to look for worn out suspension parts and it isn't about suggestiong ALL owners should remove (or firm up) its factory suspension. This article is about getting people "into a frenzie" - to do something with their RDVs. For some, they read the statement "RDV is worst for roll overs" and they immeaitely want to sell their RDV. For others, they want to perform mass suspension upgrades. Not only suspension upgrades but "aggressive upgrades". Yet, this article does NOT explain where to upgrade - to reduce roll overs.

    If you really want to upgrade the suspension on your RDV (because its "your want" and NOT someone else driving the need) then by all means, go for it. Its your RDV.. Take your RDV to many different suspension shops, get them to "analyze it out" and get them to do the work. They are specialists and if you got the spare dollars, they will even remove the entire RDV chassis and place on a Race Car drive train. That's what suspension specialists do. They take factory and make them even better.

    I do warn many that if you read any artical (like the one above) stating that RDV is the worst for roll overs, do ask why (the detailed whys), and do ask how they can prove their statements. In the article, I don't "see their meat". Sorry but I really don't see proof (direct and indirect proof) behind their statements. Thus, I ain't buying the contents in their statements.

    BTW: If my RDV was the worst on the market for roll overs, my insurace rate would be triple, and both DMV/DOTs would be yanking it off the road. My RDV insuracne is actually "less" then my previous sports car. Go Figure!!!!

    Hope this helps as well...

  • You can dismiss the article, that's up to you. I myself am taking it with a grain of salt. Like anything else, it may not be 100% correct, but there may be "some" truth to it.

    I already had in mind the idea to upgrade the shocks/struts before the article came out. So it only reinforced my own opinion that the suspension was a bit soft. I personally like cars that handle better.

    I THINK YOU ARE MISSING MY POINT. I am not trying to "MAKEOVER" my suspension. ALL I WANT TO DO is find heavy duty shocks for all 4 corners and that is not going to cost me more than $600 to install. If I could find them, I would install them today. IF not, I am going to wait until 60 or 70k when they need to be replaced anywyay, and hope someone makes them by then.

    You can bash the article all you want. If I was "scared" by the article I'd be selling my car. The article is NOT the reason I want to upgrade my suspension, it only confirmed my previous supspicions that the SUV's, vans and trucks in general may not be as safe (in fact the article says in a single car crash SUV's are worse, but better in multi-vehicle crash due to being bigger and heavier and more robust).

    I'm not saying everyone should sell their RDV, just saying the article "may" have some truth to it. By the same token, your idea to "completely dismiss" it seems a bit ignorant as well (no offense meant). Again, I am taking it with a grain of salt and honestly I think the truth lies somewhere in between your position and theirs.
  • spike99spike99 Posts: 239

    Every roll over stat has some truth to it. Heck. Even little go-kart that are 3" off the ground has a "roll over" number assigned to it as well.

    Declaring the RDV as a "3 out of 5", then stating its #1 worst vehicle for roll-over is a counter diction in itself. If its that bad, tag it as "5 out of 5". You keep missing my point.... And I'm sure the author of the article is as well. Were's the supporting truth in their "detailed" backup info. For example... Why isn't my RDV insurance triple its cost? Why isn't MTO/DMV pulling the RDV off the road - if the RDV is really "#1 for roll overs"??? No, I didn't miss the point at all. this article has more then a hole. It has a huge gap in it.

    Within your original posts, what is really driving you to upgrade the suspension in your RDV? Is it because of "oh - RDV design is the worst for roll overs. I believe them because they say so. Thus, what is the best suspension upgrade to use - instead of stock???". Re-read your initial post. What is really making you go into a frenzy to upgrade??? Sorry. I didn't miss the point at all...

  • "Within your original posts, what is really driving you to upgrade the suspension in your RDV? Is it because of "oh - RDV design is the worst for roll overs. I believe them because they say so. Thus, what is the best suspension upgrade to use - instead of stock???". Re-read your initial post. What is really making you go into a frenzy to upgrade??? Sorry. I didn't miss the point at all... "

    Look, the article was cited to as just one source. Although I said I belive them somewhat, I never said that everything about it was true.

    I do agree that the suspension is a bit soft for my tastes. As are a lot of other cars out there. If this weren't the case there wouldn't be so much manufacturer's selling upgraded and beefy anti-sway bars for everything from volvo's to ford trucks.

    I think you are "exaggerrating" my position. I never said I was in a "frenzy" to upgrade. In fact, I have been thinking about upgrading probably ever since I have gotten my car. It is my normal practice to upgrade AS THINGS WEAR OUT, so for example, if I need to replace an oem clutch in my car, I will probalby opt for a heavy duty one instead. Same thing with shocks.

    I don't know where you got the idea that I was in a "frenzy" to upgrade. Again, I may have asked the question and asked about all the possible upgrades, but again, that does not mean I would have done them all or that I was in some kind of frenzy. I WAS JUST LOOKING FOR MORE OPTIONS, THAT'S ALL. JUST BECAUSE YOU WANT TO KNOW WHAT YOUR "OPTIONS" ARE, OR YOU WANT TO INCREASE THE NUMBER OF "OPTIONS" AVAILABLE TO YOU, DOES NOT MEAN YOU ARE NECESSARILY GOING THROUGH WITH THOSE OPTIONS.

    Again, I think you misunderstood my original post and interpreted it as if I was in some kind of "frenzy" to upgrade, when in fact, all I was looking for was options. And yes, i did cite to the article because I also thought it was relevant to my original idea to upgrade anyway and provided somewhat of an additional supporting basis for my decision to do so, which PRECEEDED the article.
  • "Declaring the RDV as a "3 out of 5", then stating its #1 worst vehicle for roll-over is a counter diction in itself. "

    NOTE: You are the one who said the rdv is a 3 out of 5 for rollover. The rdv article online at the most says it is a 3 out of 5 for front crash testing. They (and I) never said the RDV is "#1 for rollover". All the article says is it the #1 most dangerous vehicles based on or the absence of, primarily 3 factors, 1) roll-over, 2)stabilitrack 3) side protection. Please get your facts straight. No one here, including me and the article, ever said the rdv was a #1 danger for rollover.

    "If its that bad, tag it as "5 out of 5"."

    NOTE: Again I believe you are mistaken here. The number of stars I belive equates to a postive rating. Therefore 5 out of 5 would be the best rating possible. Zero out of 5 would be the worst. I believe you have got it mixed up and the opposite of what it should be.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,013
    Maybe if y'all would spend less time playing he said, she said, we could kick around suspension upgrades. The bickering is getting old.

    btw, I think the car designers and engineers generally do a better job of designing shocks for a car than an aftermarket outfit. ;) Too many aftermarket companies seem to make a shock and then try to tweak it for every make/model on the road.

    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • "btw, I think the car designers and engineers generally do a better job of designing shocks for a car than an aftermarket outfit"

    Host- I think even spike99 and I would agree (surprisng and amazing in itself) that (cost aside), some aftermarket items are MUCH better such as shocks. Case in point are bilstiens. They are way better designed and last 3 to 4 times longer than OEM. In fact when I bought mine for the porsche it had a lifetime warranty. I believe spike99 has some for his vehicles as well. So if you have the $$, you can get better by going aftermarket in some instances. But again, this is subject to debate and everyone has different views.

    As far as he said she said, I am not going to let someone mispreresent what I said or what the article said. Or if they are misunderstanding me or the article I cited to, I just want them to get their facts straight, that's all.

    Having said that I've ordered a set of rear kyb gasadjust shocks for about $80 each, so total of $160. Labor is free and provided by myself. KYB tells me they will NOT make any HD or sport for the front. Their gasadjust line (firm shocks) are made in shocks only and not struts. They are 20-30% firmer than stock. The gr-2's they sell for the front are about 10-15% firmer.

    I probably will replace my rears now and wait till 50 or 60k to replace the front with gr2's, unless some other manufacturer comes out with a stiffer strut for the rdv in that time...
  • Host - another point is that mfg's design shocks for the type of ride they envisioned. For example, on the RDV, their goal i was told was to imitate the luxury ride of one of their luxury sedans. And I think they've generally done a good job of that.

    HOWEVER, if someone who buys the rdv wants a different type of ride, for example, maybe a car with more sporty handling like a bmw, now they're stuck with what the factory designed and intended. If an individual has a different idea of what he wants, and he has aftermarket options available to him, now he can pick and choose and change the riding and handling characteristcs of the vehicle in order to suit HIS OWN INDIVIDUAL and particular tastes.

    The statement that oem generally does a better job of desinging seems a bit presumptuous. Because you then have the question "design for what"? If OEM wants to design for ride comfort and that is their goal, yes, they've done their job. But the purpose of aftermarket is to allow someone who has a DIFFERENT GOAL (such as willing to trade off some ride comfort for better handling) to be able to change the OEM's design to suit their needs.

    So although you can say OEM design stuff better, it's right as long as you understand that what OEM's goal or design intent may not be necessarily what everyone wants.

    It's like comparing a regular ice cream shop just gives you an ice cream cone, but someplace like coldstone gives you options and you can "make your own creation". The problem with OEM is many times out of the WIDE range of choices they settle into a very narrow goal of what they envision the car should be. It is NOT like a coldstone where they allow you to pick and choose what you want. You are stuck with it. Having aftermarket choices allows you to have more options.

    In fact, even better than that would be if the factory allowed you to "custom design" your ride and add heavy duty shocks and springs, swaybars, etc. and order your vehicle that way. If that was the case every one who wanted something different could get exactly what they wanted up front.

    But I think this only makes a difference to people who understand their cars really well. For the average joe who doesn't know anything about cars, they rather let the factory make the decision for them. Which is why people who want a plush ride would generally go to cadillac or buick or lexus, and someone who wants a sporty feel, yet still luxury, will choose BMW or Infinity instead.

    I'm more of the BMW or Infinity mindset, however, I liked the "pricing" of the buick, so if I can just change the characteristics of the buick a little to meeet my preferences, then why not? Every car can be changed in any way. You can take a buick and make it handle like a bmw if you want. It is just that as far as "OEM" design intent, buick is designed for comfort as opposed to BMW's being designed for sportiness in mind.

    I think you need to realize that aftermarket just opens up options for people to customize their car the way they want even though it may be different than what OEM intended.
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