Shock and strut quality and longetivity


#1

I was wondering if shocks and strut quality varies by car models (make & model) and how long do they last on average with typical careful driving.

Also, on that topic is there much difference to the shocks and suspension if you drive over a speed bump at 5 mph vs 15 mph or 20 mph? Will it last much longer driving really slow over them or you could just speed on over it at low speed. Assuming you had to go over such speed bumps every day.


#2

Yes, the is a big difference in shock/strut quality from auto makers. Ford seems to use Sachs as a supplier, which is decent. Toyota uses KYB, which is better. Stay away from Gabriel and Monroe. Both are garbage. Bilstein or KYB are much better for replacements. As far as speed bumps, the faster you go over them, the more shock and wear the suspension suffers. Keep going over them at 20, and you’ll be replacing struts, bushings, and even wheel bearings sooner.


#3

I agree with @BustedKnuckles. Monroe is the aftermarket name of Tenneco. Tenneco is used on some GM cars and trucks and is not so good. Gabriel (aftermarket) is Arvin I think is OE on some Chrysler products, also not so good. Sachs is found on many European cars and some domestic. Ford still uses Tokico products. Both are quite good although I’ve heard Sachs has some issues on some cars. KYB and Showa are both used on Japanese cars and are quite good as is Bilstein.

Any shock or strut should last 100,000 miles on any car and truck. There are early failures of anyone’s brand that can occur. Mostly leakage. If it isn’t leaking it is most likely still working fine. Ignore the “replace shocks at 50,000 miles” marketing hoo-ha, it was created for muffler shops to sell you shocks.

And yeah, don’t hammer speed bumps, they are just hard on everything. Don’t creep over them at 2 mph, either, as it ticks off the cars behind. Be prudent.


#4
There are early failures of anyone's brand that can occur. Mostly leakage.

I’ve never had a Monroe shock leak…but after a couple of years…the stiffen up (A LOT). They became almost undrivable.

Never had that problem with KYB or Bilstein.

Don't creep over them at 2 mph, either, as it ticks off the cars behind.

We have these speed bumps in the back part of our companies office park (unfortunately that’s where we’re located). And 2mph is WAY TOO FAST for them. They are so damn high. Good thing I have a truck. Many people have gone to driving on the curb over the grass to avoid them.


#5

I find that I can cross speed humps at under 15 MPH without strain on the suspension. But I have to slow to about 5 MPH for speed bumps in parking lots.


#6

Some special shocks like Honda adjustable rear shocks, sold a number of years ago, lasted only 9-12 months, and cost $700 to replace.

When cars could be ordered with Heavy Duty suspension, I found those setups had much better shocks.


#7

Mexico is the land of speed bumps. It is 52 miles to the Sam’s club where I have photos developed, once as many as 478 photos. There are either 52 or 53 speed bumps on that trip, and that is mostly open country.

Here if you must do 2 mph on a speed bump so does everyone else. It is part of driving.

My 2002 Sienna with 206,000 miles has original shocks and struts. And, at least 50,000 of those 206,000 miles are in Mexico. I do try to be careful, but there is a limit on how careful one can be in a rough environment.

Edited to point out as Docnick says, my Sienna came with HD suspension.