Struts: Brand X vs Monroe

Given the high mileage and age of my Sienna, I’m contemplating the cost difference between Monroe vs whatever Brand X struts I can find.

Does anyone have an opinion on the lower priced struts? The Napa store has their brand which is Monroe, and another for about $80 less each.

I don’t expect this car to last more than a few years, should I just cheap out?

When a vehicle reaches the mileage where you begin to wonder if you should fill the gas tank, is when you get most economical parts to keep the vehicle on the road.



check they might have a better brand for a lower price.

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Year/miles? You might be surprised how much better it rides with a good set, maybe enough to keep it longer. Then it would be money well spent.


I bought the suspension kit from rock which included two Monroe quick struts and two rear shocks. I don’t remember the cost but somewhere under $300. Fit and ride matched oem. It’s a lot of work to go through to install bad parts.

In my humble opinion, Monroe IS Brand X.


What’s the price difference for the oem part? Are you replacing just the shock component of the strut, or the springs too?

What are you, some kind of suspension expert?

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Why, Yes, yes I am! :rofl: :checkered_flag: :crazy_face:


Can you please tell us the model year and mileage?

That information might influence the responses you’ll get


319 k

Engine runs well, low oil consumption, recent brake MC, rotors, calipers, pads, hoses, and power steering pump. Transmission, timing belt and radiator replaced shortly before I bought it.

If not for a bearing noise from the left strut, I’d leave them alone.

Re: Rock Auto
I’d consider buying online, but I prefer to shop locally as much as possible.

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Well yeah I’ve heard the Monroe criticisms. Pretty much all I have used over the years with no issues. I’m not into performance driving. Then again four wheel Monroe kit for $200 versus kyb for $285. Bilstein not available. Brand x $80 cheaper. Don’t want a stiff ride and will never need to do it again.

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Oh, okay


319K is significant mileage, imo

Hopefully no major rust or body damage?

But I see that the major worry items . . . the transmission and timing belt . . . were replaced before you bought it, so that will let you sleep well at night

As such, I’d be tempted to install a set of Monroe . . . or equivalent . . . quick struts

Who knows . . . you might be asking us this same question 5 years from now, when the van has 400K miles :smiley:

Heck, with 319k, throw the cheapest anything on it.

The rubber is old and tired and any new damper will feel better than what you have now.


Monroes are fairly cheap, imo

It’s not as if @WesternRoadtripper1 is planning on installing Tokico or Koni

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Thanks @db4690.

Body is straight, no dents, glass is good, paint mostly good.

On my summer trip last year, I did 6000 miles and used about 3 quarts of oil.

This is a California car which had been well maintained for about 15 years. I bought it from a flaky used car operation for an absurdly low price, about 6 years ago. The intervening year is unaccounted for.

With the recent spike in used car prices, I could sell this car for twice what I paid 6 years ago - I’ve actually been looking, wondering if I should jump on another 1st generation Sienna with low mileage. But all those will be nearing time for a transmission…

So I believe that it’s cost effective to replace struts given that there’s something definitely wrong, rather than opt for replacing the car.

Forgot to mention above that last fall, I pulled the alternator and had it rebuilt at a specialty shop. It has a brand new high CCA battery.

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It’s not as if @WesternRoadtripper1 is planning on installing Tokico or Koni

Yep. You got that right. :wink:

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I see I need to fine-tune my question.

I believe that the expression “you get what you pay for” is generally true.

So do bargain priced struts have a reputation for more problems than Monroe?

Let me put it this way, companies build products for particular price points and to meet the expectations of the intended target market. Chapo whatever all the way to those expecting very high quality. Overbuilding a product that exceeds the customer requirements is foolish. So you have a choice, dollar store product, performance product, or middle of the road oem quality. Up to you as a customer.

Now years ago around the time of the Att breakup when we bought our own phone system instead, for fun we took apart a bell telephone phone. It had gold plated contacts. Likewise our old switching equipment had gold plated contacts on the solenoids. They were designed to last 50 years with now problems, but at a high price. New wired phones have pc boards for $10. You throw them away after 5-10 years. Each for a different market and a different price point. I saved us over a million dollars by throwing out the gold contacts. It’s your choice and money.