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What are your thoughts on how soon one should replace the original shocks on a car or SUV with normal (not heavy duty or off road) use?

If they are not leaking, they do not need to be replaced. That said, cars loosen up over time as they wear, especially when ball joints are involved. When the vehicle is floating around running down a secondary road, it is time for replacements. Maybe 100,000 miles plus. Replacements are nearly always firmer than factory and will compensate for that.

As for the old “replace after 50,000 miles”, complete hokum developed by marketing types to sell more shocks.

Avalon: 120 k and no visible problems. But the ride may have deteriorated so slowly we didn’t notice.
Tahoe: Rear were leaking and replaced; ride noticeably better, somewhat better in rear than front.
140k. Thinking of proactive front replacement.

Our Nissan Sentra was sold after 18 years of driving with over 140,00 miles on it and no leaking shocks. The ride was fine as well.

The advertisement hokum is cleverly disguised with the word ‘‘worn’’ so they can legaly hide behind their claim…’‘replace WORN shocks at 50,000 miles’’.
I heard that silly ad just today and pointed out to my daughter ( she thought I was nutso blurting out the word ‘worn’ ) as I then spoke aloud, ‘’ there’s their caveat…’‘WORN’’ shocks !

Shocks only ever need replaced…when they’re worn out .
Never on any mileage schedule .

I only replace shocks on an as-needed basis, not as a maintenance item.

my 1979 has the original shocks on it .
as do my 06 and 08.

I just have one thing to stay

Don’t buy Monroe shocks

In my experience, they have a short lifespan, are overrated, and often don’t even fit all that well. One time, the hardware kit was incomplete

let me add another . . . stay away from Tokico

short lifespan

I’ll second @db4690’s comments on Monroes. Pure crap. Heck Monroe uses the 50,000 lie more than any other aftermarket manufacturer.

Sensatrack = sensacrap

I hope this doesn’t get edited . . .

i don’t think anybody’s sensitive eyes will be too upset

No, @db4690‌, I’m not going to take that out.


New dampers do make a difference in any vehicle past 150,000, and probably most vehicles at 100,000. My own car is overdue for new front dampers (struts) at 210,000 miles. It feels fine and there are no wear anomalies or bouncing, but there’s no doubt in my mind that new dampers will bring back that new-car sharpness. I plan to do them perhaps in the next month or so. I only drive less than 100 miles a week now, so I’m not too concerned. The rears have already been changed.

@db4690 … I used to use Monroe shocks back in the day. They were a great product years ago but they are no longer a quality product. It’s a shame but that’s what happens when ownership and management changes over the years.

@db4690 Wow, “sensacrap”, that is exactly what we used to call those things when I worked for Delphi’s shock absorber division!

Oooo, floaty in the middle and hard on the ends, two-(click)-two,bad rides in one! (said by two ugly twins - credit to doublemint gum)

I plan to use KYB shocks on my car. I’ve been unable to find out who Toyota’s OEM supplier is.
Anybody have any thoughts on this?? I’m totally open to input.

I’ve used KYB for a while. They are good shocks. At one point they were the OEM supplier to Nissan. Replaced the struts in my wifes Accords with KYB - real nice ride. Replaced the shocks/struts in my Pathfinders with KYB - again real nice ride…and even after 200k miles they were still good. My 4runner I replaced with Bilstein - After 130k miles…still going strong.

I too am NOT big fan of Monroe. While they never leaked…after 2 years they seemed to stiffen up (a LOT). My experience with them is only for SUV’s and pickups. Used them twice and never will again.


KYB is/was the oem supplier on some of the Toyota vehicles

Can you still make out a name on your struts?

And KYB shocks and struts are made in Indiana. All the brands discussed here have some OEM business. The OE makes the supplier make better products. Aftermarket, no incentive at all.

Monroe is an OE supplier (Tenneco) to GM, Tokico to Ford, KYB to Subaru (I think) and Toyota. Sachs was also a Toyota supplier to the KY plant, not sure if they still are. Honda usually buys from Showa - a big motorcycle supplier to nearly every bike maker including Harley Davidson. Bilstein has OE business with Ford, Chrysler, and GM. All these makers have plants in the US now.

Oddly enough, Delphi, GM’s former parts division is now a British corporation, no longer makes shocks and the division that DID make shocks, no longer makes them in the US.

Thanks guys.
Db, I’m not able to see ant name or logo currently. Perhaps when I pull them I’ll see.
I used KYB on the rear and they seem good, but I was interested in other opinions. One never knows… but lots of ones often do!