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Any recourse for bad parts you bought?


Last year I replaced the front and rear struts of my 2004 RX330 with KYB Excel-G struts I bought from RockAuto. 6 month later the front set started to leak fluids and I was able to get a replacement set from RockAuto under KYB’s lifetime warranty. The sad story is that the replacement set also begin the leak fluid again about 6 months later. I guess I could get another replacement set but then I have to pay more labor cost when clearly there’s something wrong with these parts. At this point I’m just going to pay my mechanic to replace them with new parts that his shop sources and cut my loss. RockAuto is willing to refund the struts cost for store credit as a courtesy but I’m left with paying the labor of replacing the struts 2 times. Do I have any legal recourse to recuperate my labor cost?


Most new parts come with a 12 month/12,000 mile warranty.

If the new part fails within that time/mileage, it’s replaced.

However, the labor isn’t covered for said failed part.


I would say No. Anytime you furnish parts to a mechanic the mechanic will not warranty the parts or labor as a rule. That is why most of the mechanics on this site advice against furnishing your on parts. RockAuto sold the parts and had nothing to do with installing them. You might contact KYB about some kind of consideration. The worst is that they say no.

If my mechanic sources the parts he puts on my car, he will not charge me labor to replace them under warranty. If the warranty has expired he would charge me. That is one of the many reasons he marks up the price he pays for parts.

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Even with mechanic purchased and installed lifetime warrantied parts, you won’t be able to recuperate labor costs. We had a new radiator put in after we bought our minivan about 2.5-3 years ago. It developed a hole last summer (my guess is road debris got kicked up and punctured it). Our mechanic replaced it for no cost on the part, but we still had to pay labor. If labor is covered, it’s usually for a short period of time, and it would be specified on your work order.

Naw, it’s a four letter word “nope”. If you read the print it will clearly say no labor costs. Actually pretty reasonable if you think about it. I got a bad Delco water pump once too that leaked but I just threw it away and bought the one from the dealer. Sometimes you just take your lumps like a . . . I hate to say it.


That’s a good idea. It’s good that RA is a stand-up company like that. But buying replacement parts via the internet seems to be fraught with problems if the parts don’t satisfy the customer. I’d guess that for every 10 parts or other supplies I’ve purchased at my local inde auto parts store, I’ve returned 2 or 3 of them either b/c they didn’t work out of the box, were the wrong part and wouldn’t fit, or I discovered I didn’t need them. Other than for a few electrical parts, never a complaint.

Go to and read the “warranty details”;

The cost of any diagnostics, removal of a defective KYB
product and installation of a replacement KYB product is not included. The cost of transportation for the shipment of an alleged defective or replacement KYB
product is not covered by this warranty.

This is the standard policy for parts sales.

When you get the old struts from the mechanic inspect the piston shafts for damage, I have found vise-grip marks on new leaking struts. Surely nobody would use a vise-grip pliers to hold the strut shaft but I have witnessed it.

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Isn’t it normal for struts to leak fluid a little? Is it possible the OP is thinking the strut leak is a problem when in fact it is normal?

Common George?

If a new strut is leaking fluid, it’s also leaking it’s gas charge.



Other than fully agreeing with the others that you have no recourse (and rightfully so…) I will add that in the future you stick with garden variety parts.
Just because something is pricier does not necessarily mean it’s better.

I know in the past I’ve installed Bilsteins on a few cars and they were trouble from the get-go.
In one case when I worked for VW a guy bought a set of Bilsteins for his just purchased new VW.
I installed those units and over the next month all four of them failed; and failed badly. With each failure the car owner’s cursing got progressively worse.

Tester is also correct about struts/shocks and oil leakage. It means the gas charge is being lost.
It’s the same principle as an A/C system. You may notice oil on a compressor or line. That oil is being pushed out by refrigerant with the oil remaining and the refrigerant off to the heavens.

I might expect some “sweating” on a 10 year old strut, not a brand new part

I remember once some years ago sitting in a Subaru service school and the instructor (per the service bulletin) stated that it was “normal” for a shock or strut on a new car to have some oil visible around the top of the cartridge.

Of course being an instigator I had to politely ask if that meant the oil was there because of gas leakage and if this wasn’t an attempt to skirt warranty replacement for a consumer.
Skip forward to deer in the headlights look and a sudden topic change; followed by some snickering from the mechanics.

That wasn’t the first or last time I got on his bad side. If he didn’t like my inquiries then he shouldn’t be babbling nonsense.


Thanks guys, yeah I think I learned my lesson the hard way, I was hoping to save some money but it backfired.

We are not talking a little leaking, the first set leaked so bad that my new front tires that I put on shortly after the struts, its tread visibly had more wear in the center. When my mechanic took off the struts we had no problem pushing the piston to the end by hand to fit it back into the factory box.

The second set is not as bad visually, but I will find out when I take them off next week.

Just cut your losses and move on. You want to move on to a higher quality product in any case, and you didn’t have to choose to pay for labor if you were able to replace the earlier set yourself. You could have opted to order and install higher quality parts this time. The fact that they gave your a store credit for the second pair of struts is pretty good customer service.

Do you folks disagree with this auto repair shop owner’s opinion on strut leakage? Or is it an apple/oranges thing? Is the shop owner talking about the same type of struts the OP is referring to?

“Oil on the housing of the shock or strut does NOT mean it is bad. Some wetness around the shaft is considered normal, and is from oil that lubricates the seal. A shock or strut that is wet and has oil dripping does suggest a problem.”

Any time I see a hydraulic shock or strut leave oil behind when it decompresses, I consider that a leak.

I took the struts out last week and there is the picture of the leak

Did you inspect the pistons for damage?