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Shock and Strut Replacement -- Cheap, OEM, or Upgrade?



  • obyoneobyone Posts: 8,054
    Hmm. If you think products like Bilstein or Edelbrock are superior to KYB, we need to take a look at the company. Kayaba Industries which markets in the US under the name of KYB far exceeds that of either Bilstein or Edelbrock.
    Kayaba Industry US

    Also a look a the types of products that they manufacture.


    All I'm saying is that due to their limited marketing efforts, the technology that this company represents is well understated. As an oem manufacturer one can understand their limited marketing efforts to the masses.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,604
    Regardless they still build to price like any other corporation. Toyota makes a Yaris and they make a Lexus LS.

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  • obyoneobyone Posts: 8,054
    Toyota makes a Yaris and they make a Lexus LS.

    True and Toyota doesn't offer a lifetime warranty on either.

    My point is that the person asking about KYB shocks has 256K on the car and doesn't want to spend $1K for replacement shocks when KYB could be had for $400. At this point any shock has to be an improvement over what is leaking now and with KYB he doesn't have to worry about shock failure for the life of the car. To me that's a deal with saving $600.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,604
    Well he still does have to worry about shock failure, but he doesn't have to worry about paying for the replacement shock. But I tend to agree with you, with 256K on the car, I'd cheap out and go with the KYBs also. I'd do the same on my own car as it is also older, high miles, and not a performance vehicle.

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  • dexmondexmon Posts: 8
    Thanks for the advice ,but not because my car has 256,000 miles do i want cheap parts on my car that will not last. What i would like to know is if KYB makes shocks for Lexus why then is thier shocks inferior?
  • dexmondexmon Posts: 8
    Also I use my car as a LIMO in NYC so I am very concerned about getting the same ride
  • dexmondexmon Posts: 8
    What i need to understand is if KYB makes shocks for Lexus under the Toyota brand name then why should the shocks that they are making for Lexus under the KYB brand name any different? Thank you for your advice
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,604
    I guess the best thing I can say is that Toyota engineers have worked out the characteristics for the OEM shocks. I have no idea how the KYBs will react to your Lexus and how you'll feel about that, because I don't know what you're used to or what you expect. My personal experience with KYB is only a database of one person so isn't valid as a judgment.

    Maybe you need to cruise our Lexus forums and see if you can find someone who's made this switch? That might help you a lot to make a decision.

    Lexus 400/430 Topic

    I'll join this discussion myself and maybe I can learn more about how successful this application is.

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  • obyoneobyone Posts: 8,054
    KYB as an oem manufacturer makes the shocks to Lexus specifications. Not sure what specification they use to make the replacement shocks. As Shifty says you may want to check the Lexus forums to see if they offer any advice or if any have actually replaced the oems with KYB.

    My point was that from a consumer standpoint I wouldn't worry about the reliability of the KYB shocks.
  • Need the above job doing. Local garage quoted $500 parts and labor, Wheel alignment not included. live North N.J. Is this a fair price ?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,604
    Depends a lot on what they put in there for parts, so it's hard to estimate. But the labor is about 2.6 hours, so where I live that alone is $300 bucks. I don't know the varying levels of quality available for your car. You may be limited in choices. You can get something inexpensive like a KYB G2 for as little as $65-$70 per strut assembly, or Monroe even cheaper, or you can get fancier with Koni Sports or Tokico.

    so you'd have to know what they are putting in there.

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  • Thanks for that.
  • johno1826johno1826 Posts: 2
    New to the forum. I have a 91 Acura Integra with 201K on it. It just started bottoming out recently, took it to my mechanic, he said it needs struts all around, costing around $600, plus $59 for alignment. I asked if the Struts were original, he said they looked like it. I bought the car in 95 with 77K on it and I've never replaced them. Just wondering if it is possible to get 200,000+ out of original struts and is $600 reasonable?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,604
    Well sure you can drive the car until the struts break in half if you want. It doesn't seem likely that the would be original but sure it's possible. It rather depends not on the strut but how much sloppiness you can tolerate. I believe my struts are original at 140,000 but I am certainly aware that they are pretty worn out. But passengers have never commented.

    $600 bucks sounds fine if they are a decent shock. Prices for labor can vary considerably in different parts of the country.

    Total labor is listed at 5.4 hours. So it sounds like a pretty good deal.

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  • zoomrx3zoomrx3 Posts: 1
    You dont have to. I have 280,000 on my stuts in my Mazda. Still original but now it is time to replace. My ride is getting too soft.
  • tschapiratschapira Posts: 1
    I realize I have to change my Struts on my 96 corolla; When the car hits a bump it hurts. But i don't know if I need springs and/or any other part. I want to save $ but i don't want to buy what is not needed or being sold by the mechanic. The car does not rattle, does not vibrate. The car does seem to sit lower and when I brake it will tilt a little forward. Any advice is greatly appreciated. If I need a kit, how much more would it be then just the struts?
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    Be sure to get the vehicle aligned, after the struts are replaced.
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,425
    To maximize profit, the manufacturer usually installed the most economical parts to get it out the door and on the ship. OEM was fine, but there are improved shocks and struts marketed by a few aftermarket parts makers and they are usually of better quality. KYB & Bilstein are just two brands I've invested in and they are worth the extra money in the long run.
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    This is a 14 year old Corolla. If the OP cared about performance or quality, the original shocks would have been replaced long ago.......and how much more 'long run' could there be on this vehicle? They're being replaced because they have to be replaced. I'm sure anything that fits and works would be fine and 100% better than what they have now.
  • obyoneobyone Posts: 8,054
    KYB would be the choice then often offering superior performance at less cost than OEM.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 25,379
    reading these prices for strut inserts, I miss good old shock absorbers.

    I have had to replace both rear shocks on my 2005 Odyssey (poorley designed, wear out too soon) by 50K. At least Honda paid for the 1st one under warranty.

    For the 2nd, I bougt the part at Honda (a ridiculous price. Something over $100). Local tire shop replaced it for about $30. Would have gone aftermarket, but turns out, only Honda OEM is available now.

    2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4i Limited Tech (mine), 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's) and 2015 Jetta Sport (daughter's)

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 25,379
    oh yeah, the reason I found this thread.

    I have a 2000 Acura 3.2TL. Just over 149K on it. At the last oil change (148K) the dealer reported that the RF sturt was leaking (I don't think much though, and it was fine 3K before that).

    These are original to the car (I only have had it since 146K though). Seems to ride and handle fine, no noises, and the tires are wearing perfectly (only the 2nd set, with 58K on them).

    actually, I need to look up what suspension I have. I am sure the real is multilink, so that means just plain old shocks. If the front is gold old 'bones too, won't that mean just shocks, so an easier time of it? Or do they still have strut cartridges to replace?

    Maybe I am out to lunch, but I also just though of a mcpherson strut as a fancy shock inside the coil spring, instead of mounted outside the spring!

    maybe I should crawl under the car tomorrow and look.

    2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4i Limited Tech (mine), 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's) and 2015 Jetta Sport (daughter's)

  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    With a plain old fashion shock, if the shock goes bad, the wheel still stays where it is supposed to be even if you take it off or break it in half. It will bounce around terribly, but still basically safe.

    With a strut, it does look like a shock inside of a spring. The critical difference however, is it is actually a major structural part of the of the three attachment points. It is the attachment point, that holds the wheel in vertical position. If the strut breaks, the car collapses onto the tire in the wheel well, and you have a wreck.

    You need to align the wheels after replacing the struts. At your mileage, they're way overdue.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,604
    At 149K your struts are on life support. You don't notice it because the deterioration has been so gradual. Once you get new ones, it'll be an eye-opener for you.

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  • stickguystickguy Posts: 25,379
    Well, going by the Shipo evaluatin method (if the car isn't bouncing, and the tires are wearing well, no problem!) I should be OK.

    But yes, new ones might improve the ride and handling, but the car is doing fine with the old ones one. Must be a testament to good suspension design.

    I did see that the KYB GR-2s are available (only about $58/each at tire rack) for the TL. The fronts are shown as struts, but the rears are shocks.

    Just have to get some install quotes for the labor, since not a chance I try it myself.

    2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4i Limited Tech (mine), 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's) and 2015 Jetta Sport (daughter's)

  • I have been informed that my struts migh have to be replaced. I have 90,000 on my 1987, Tercel. Prices have been unbelievable to me at between $850 for independent mechanic to over 1,700 from a dealer. Could this be true? I have never paid over 50 or 75 dollars for each shock on my truck or any vehicles. Is there any cheaper way to go?? A car this old is hardly worth more than 2 or 3 grand!! Thanks
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    Older 'shocks', can be easily replaced just by unbolting the old, and replacing with new.

    Struts are heavy duty shocks with suspension springs around them, and are an integral part of the suspension. They have to take the suspension apart to take them out of the vehicle, then take the spring off the strut (dangerous) to replace the shock, then put it all back together again and align the vehicle.

    Shop around, it's a very common repair, many many vehicles have struts now a days.

    Oh and by the way, if the old strut fails/breaks, the vehicle can fall on the tire causing you to loose control of vehicle.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 25,379
    I found the same thing when pricing strut replacement on my TL (although the rears look like shocks, they still are considered "struts")

    even various indy places (I never asked the dealer) were all over the map, from around $850 to over 1,200.

    The best price, by far? Sears. They are having a special on Monroe struts/shocks (common aftermarket units). For the TL, it was ~620 all together, then there was a mail in rebate on top of that. Their standard replacement price is not too bad, and right now, they have a 1/2 price on struts (and free on shocks) replacement special (for the labor).

    2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4i Limited Tech (mine), 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's) and 2015 Jetta Sport (daughter's)

  • minjiminji Posts: 6

    I dropped by a STS yesterday for oil change for my 1997 Taurus with 108k on it. I was told that all 4 struts need to be replaced and that's reason why I sense vibration on highway and when I brake. The price quote I got was ... as follows:

    2 Q Struts $398 * 2 (I guess it's for front, don't know what Q struts are)
    Labor 2.4 hr $216
    2 Q Struts $389 * 2 (rear?)
    Labor 3.5 hr $315
    Alignment $75

    Is it a fair quote? I hope not... From all past discussions here, I can understand it takes quite some time to replace struts so I'm ok with 6 hr labor cost. But why are those struts so expensive? Is it just for 1997 taurus? I searched online and I saw a lot of them were tagged $50-60 and 150 tops, am I looking at the same thing? What are my options now?

  • obyoneobyone Posts: 8,054
    Vibration when braking at highway speeds would more likely be related to warped rotors.
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