Strut autoparts recommendation for Subaru Outback


I’m considering replacing the struts on my 06 Subaru Outback and I was looking around at what it would cost. I found these at for about $190 for the pair and I also found these ones at NAPA online for $261 each! I think that the 1A-Auto parts are made in china. I was wondering if anyone here is familiar with the TRQ brand from 1A-Auto and if it’s worth it to just go with the NAPA parts instead. I would certainly like to save some $$ (as anyone else would) but not at the expense of having to do this again just a few thousand miles down the road or compromising the integrity of the vehicle by using cheap parts. However, if the performance is the same in both then why not.


I would go with some more known manufacturer, like KYB or Gabriel.
Likely you will get all 4 for $200 at RockAuto, but would need to reuse hardware.
They do have preassembled sets, more expensive.
KYB often runs a promotion, it will be noted on RockAuto if active, I saved $50 a pair before

From my experience, NAPA auto parts are mostly made in China and, for example, when I replaced the front CV axles (made in China) on my Jeep Grand Cherokee, I noticed differences in the consistency from the Left and Right.
I also changed the rear axles, bought axles from NAPA (made in China) and also found inconsistencies between L and Right. I only ran the Jeep another 20,000 miles and sold it so I can’t speak for the longevity of the parts.
I am not a fan of Chinese made parts because of inconsensitives of steel used, rubber/plastic components, heat treat, etc. China does make some quality parts but it is typically controlled by the company ordering the parts. Too much of a crapshoot to know what you are buying.
What I do know is the OEM Jeep axles ran 150,000 miles. The OEM alternator and starter were still working ok at 175,000 iles.
I also recommend KYB or Gabriel. I’d estimate they control the quality of their products and wish I could say the same for NAPA but can’t.

Thank -you both for your replies!

Every time I ordered KYBs I ended up with “Made in Japan” parts for the front and “Made in USA” for the rears. My cars were Subaru Outback and Nissan Altima.

My opinion: suspension parts are too important to safety and take too much time to replace to justify any risk with unproven manufacturers, the potential savings is too small the the downside is too large. The same goes for brakes.

For what it’s worth, I replaced our 2006 LL Bean’s front struts with KYB’s ~ 25kmi ago and they’re still going strong. The next time I might seek something a bit stiffer, but their overall handling is satisfactory, they’re not too expensive, and are considered reliable.

While you’re about it, inspect your CV boots for damage, those near the catalytic converter seem to be particularly prone to cracking. I replaced ours with boot kits from NAPA, the innards still held clean grease and were unworn so I took them apart (keep track of orientation), wiped off the old grease, applied the supplied grease, and they’re also working fine.

If you haven’t previously replaced struts, read up on how to handle the loaded springs safely or consider having a suspension shop swap the springs to the new struts. Best of luck.

It might be worth looking at Monroe Quik Struts or the Gabriel equivalent. Saves you from messing with spring compressors and you get all new strut bearings etc. Just make sure you get the correct ones for your exact vehicle engine config because I think sometimes the springs are different baed on engine weight. I have done it both ways (spring compressor and quik strut). If I had to do it again I would quik strut it.

I replaced struts in 2003 Outback I used to own with Monroe and it held only for one season before the rear became bouncy again and I had to redo it.
I was very much pissed, so I did not even want to bother with their “lifetime warranty”.
Replacements were KYBs, held up for 3 or 4 years, then I sold the car and would not know how long they worked.
Had Nissan Altima struts replaced with KYBs - these held for 5 years and 50K miles, then car was sold and I do not know how much longer they worked, but they were still going strong at 50K.