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Suspension brands

Hello folks,

I have 2006 Sentra. The suspensions are leaking for a while now. Since we decided that we are not going to sell the car, I plan to invest in new set of suspensions. Does anyone have brand recommendations, other than OEM?

RockAuto is selling Monroe. Would love to have other trustworthy brand to compare.

Thanks in advance.

And another ten characters to meet the site’s ridiculous 10-character minimum.


From what I see on Rockauto, I’d also go with the KYB shocks/struts.

I suggested KYB because I know it’s an OEM supplier to Toyota, and because I personally have had good success with KYB.

I wish I knew the OEM suppliers to Nissan. Anybody?

I also like KYB and have a pair one the rear of one of my cars and Bilsteins on my truck.

I don’t like Monroe as they tend to be cheap junk. I think Gabriel generally is a better brand.

I think Tokico is a Nissan supplier as is Sachs in some countries. I have Tokico adjustable dampers on My Mustang and I like them a LOT.

Sachs is also a quality supplier to OEM and aftermarket.

Check what they charge at the Nissan dealership before deciding. It might not be much more for the oem components.

I’d go KYB. Tokico is a great brand, but if you’re not looking for performance improvements and an adjustable shock, I don’t see the need.

Nissan OEM is now made in Mexico.
KYB seems to be either Japan or USA made.
I had to replace my Altima’s OEM struts around 65K miles due to wear (became way too soft), which is too soon in my view, went with KYB and very happy with them.

Not all Tokicos are adjustable

On a recommendation, I installed a set of non-adjustable Tokicos on a Corolla

Big mistake

The ride was too firm for my taste, and they lasted less than 20K . . . about 1-1/2 years of driving, in those days . . . until they were worn out, and that’s being kind. They were completely shot. When it came time to change them, as soon as I removed the spring, the pistons dropped straight down, without me even pushing on them. The springs had been holding the car up, the struts weren’t doing squat, the ride was like a yo-yo. Boing, boing . . .

I am not too sure if Nissan offers ready to install or I have to install springs (which I do not want to do to). RockAuto has Monroe only for 2006 Sentra that is ready to install, hence I was looking at them. But I will check for sure.

Thank you everyone for the comments.


  • How do the suspensions with spring and without springs compare? KYB has EXCEL-G and STRUT-PLUS line and the price difference between them is almost 100%. Excel-G for ~$50 and Strut-Plus are ~$105 each. Which one of these are good to go with.
    Same goes on with Gabriel, on Spring ones are $75 and non-spring ones are $27.
    I am really confused about this. Will be great if someone can explain me a bit.

  • Which retailers do you folks suggest?
    This question is in two parts, not only for price and service but for return without restocking fee. If I search for assembly on, the part numbers suggested for my trim are different than what their general search engine suggests. For e.g. My trim is S, so if I go by trim suggestions I can choose the ones for S but if I put license plate number/VIN and search, all parts that it shows are for SE-R trim…

  • Does this stuff come with warranty? I plan to install it myself and will it void the warranty?

Many thanks again.

Which engine do you have? I found KYB with springs on Rockauto for your car with the 1.8 l.

If you are doing the work yourself, the units with springs are far easier for the novice to install. Period. But they may not come with the better quality struts (cough Monroe, cough cough). If you re-use your springs, you will need a spring compressor (you can rent them for free from auto parts places) to compress the spring to un-do the strut rod from the mount. If you aren’t comfortable with this, I’d go with the spring and strut assembly.

The parts are warrantied even if you install them yourself although not for labor cost.

Rockauto shows strut assemblies for a 1.8 '06 Sentra in KYB $102, Gabriels for $158 and Moog (unknown struts - Moog doesn’t make their own) for $85. They don’t differentiate between S or SE-R. Economy models are available for $60. The 2.5 liter model shows Gabriel and Monroe. Why do you say that only Monroe is available??

If you want to buy them locally so you can return them if needed, use that as your price guide. They will still likely take a day or 3 to arrive.

@ texases, I have 1.8L, QG18DE engine, S trim, Special Edition.

@ Mustangman,
Do you know the difference between Gabriel Ultra and Guardian series. Gabriel’s website says, Ultra is best and Guardian is good, but wonder if you or anybody else has experience with the Guardian series. The reason, primarily, the cost.

This vehicle has 103,000. While I would like to take this vehicle to the grave, I am afraid if it gets involved in even a minor crash, it will be totaled and I doubt I will even get $2000. So I am thinking a little more on how much money I should be investing. I live pretty close to Bronx. Probably, we will take a crown in idiotic impatient driving.

Gabriel’s Guardian ready mount is available for $75 on AutoAnything and RockAuto sells Ultra ready mount for $126. Overall, I will be saving abt $150 in total purchase.

Since I am a total noob in suspension purchase business, as a matter of fact, looking at these for the first time in my life, all I was looking at was the kit. I wasn’t sure if I should be purchasing individually because I don’t know if they would fit or any other issue. With the kit, either all will fit or none (presumably) so was looking at kit and Monroe is available as a kit. But, now you folks have educated me a bit so I can consider buying individually.

A little stupid question, can I use cheap suspensions in the back and good ones in the front, or I should maintain consistency.

I prefer to use good dampers (struts/shocks) on both the front and the back. Your dampers are a crucial part of not only impact damping, but also keeping the tire tread properly seated on the pavement. The latter is crucial to traction and safety. Besides, there’s too much work involved not to want the dampers to be good as long as possible. Cheap ones will cost in the long run.

One additional point. Should you decide to do this work yourself, replace all the rubbery bits while you’re at it. The spring dampers (rubber seats), mounts, dust boots (if you have them) etc. are all cheap to buy and make a difference on the result. The rubber gets hard and compressed over time and transmits a lot more vibration and sound to the vehicle than fresh rubber. If you have a shop do it, ask them specifically to replace the rubbery bits.


How many ways are there to say: Really bad idea !

1 Like

Thank you. I thought so, still wanted to confirm.

I’d say there may be a small difference in the Utra vs Gaurdian. Better seals, better chrome and maybe better internal bearings. It may be nothing more than a better warranty. Lifetime vs 3 years, something like that. Not worth the $50 in my opinion.

Use the same grade of parts on the rear. They are designed to work together - damping levels mostly. You don’t want a mis-matched set front to rear. I.e. Gabriel fronts and Monroe rears. It may work but it may not. Why risk it for a few dollars?

You won’t take this car to the grave unless you expect to pass in the next 5 years, especially in NY state. Just put it out of your mind. Rust will kill this car long before parts are no longer available to maintain it.

Thanks a lot for very clear and quick answer. Appreciate everyone’s comments. Things are a lot more clear to me now,