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Discussion Starter #1
The suspension on my 2007 EX with 130K miles is starting to show its age. I'm shopping online for OEM shocks and struts. Which related suspension parts can be reused and which should be replaced along with the struts/shocks? The Majestic parts lists for both the F/R are below.

Front

Rear
 

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For the front, my opinion, the spring is the only part that could be re-used

And another opinion from me, do not get the Monroe Quick-Stuts for the front. I've tried them, and they lasted 6 months.
 

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By the time you take the thing apart and replace all the wear parts but keep the springs, you're not far ahead of just replacing complete assemblies, certainly for the front, I don't know why the rear springs are so expensive these days. But I would replace complete assemblies on the back as well. Chances are you'll be doing it for the first and last time on this car. That's what I did a couple of years ago, no regrets so far. Rear assemblies were about $100 cheaper back then as I recall, but I would still go this way today.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Got it. Thanks for the info. This might be a stupid question but on the Majestic site front and rear assemblies are shown in an expanded view - I'm assuming they come fully assembled and ready to be installed?
 

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Got it. Thanks for the info. This might be a stupid question but on the Majestic site front and rear assemblies are shown in an expanded view - I'm assuming they come fully assembled and ready to be installed?
If you buy the most expensive one - yes, fully assembled
 

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My opinion is buying these assemblies OE is a crazy waste of money on a 13 year old vehicle with 130k miles. RockAuto has fronts complete strut assemblies for $105-ish to $150-ish, and rears for $70-ish to $110-ish. I would avoid the cheaper parts that are listed under "Economy" in their catalog though. But still you're gonna pay $260 EACH for OE front replacements, or pay LESS than that for BOTH assemblies. I sell Monroe Quick-Struts every day at my job and 99.9999% of customers are satisfied with them for years. I also sell MacPherson complete struts that are less than Monroe, but RockAuto does not seem to be a MacPherson supplier.

 

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My opinion is buying these assemblies OE is a crazy waste of money on a 13 year old vehicle with 130k miles. RockAuto has fronts complete strut assemblies for $105-ish to $150-ish, and rears for $70-ish to $110-ish. I would avoid the cheaper parts that are listed under "Economy" in their catalog though. But still you're gonna pay $260 EACH for OE front replacements, or pay LESS than that for BOTH assemblies. I sell Monroe Quick-Struts every day at my job and 99.9999% of customers are satisfied with them for years. I also sell MacPherson complete struts that are less than Monroe, but RockAuto does not seem to be a MacPherson supplier.

Break it down and be specific. Why, in your opinion, is replacing suspension parts with originals a waste of money? Is it simply that you think after market parts are of the same quality at a lower price?
 

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Break it down and be specific. Why, in your opinion, is replacing suspension parts with originals a waste of money? Is it simply that you think aftermarket parts are of the same quality at a lower price?
Using expensive OE parts, in general, isn't necessarily a waste of money, especially if the party in question doesn't mind paying that much. In this specific scenario, with a 13-year-old vehicle with 130k miles, yes I view it as a waste of money. Monroe and MacPherson are very decent quality. That's why they sell like hot cakes all over the world. Are they going to last quite as long as OE parts? I don't know, maybe not in the long run and if you are considering a decent sample size like 100 vehicles. Will they last plenty long enough to validate the cost saving of buying them? Yes absolutely. If they fail early, they have warranties for that exact reason. MacPherson and Monroe Quick Struts have a limited lifetime warranty, so as long as they're not bent in half, you can get your money back with free replacements. We're talking about paying $1K for a full set of OE shock/strut replacements, or half of that for aftermarket. You want to throw a grand at your 13-year-old/130k mile vehicle just for suspension, go for it. In my opinion that is silly.
 

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Just because I feel like arguing today :).

  • No personal experience recently, but read plenty of stories of Monroes failing within 6 months, just search this board.
  • Yes, they have lifetime warranty, but you still have to realign the car after you put the new set on, and the warranty does not cover that. And depending on where you're buying, you still need ship them and the replacements, or go in person to the store that may no longer be around.
  • To me, the fact that my car had 150-160K on it when I was replacing the struts was inconsequential. What was relevant was how much longer I wanted to keep driving it. The answer was at least another 150K. Made OEM an easy decision.
 

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For the front, my opinion, the spring is the only part that could be re-used

And another opinion from me, do not get the Monroe Quick-Stuts for the front. I've tried them, and they lasted 6 months.
That must explains the issue on buddy's Silverado sitting on monroe quick struts after 8 months. Gonna check it right after we finished installing the parts from Napa and 4WheelOnline on the Wrangler.
 

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I'm pleased with my kyb excel-g struts/shocks.
I think they were $90 each, which included a $100 rebate at the time.
I may be wrong, but I would put the kyb line above the other aftermarket units...in terms of quality.
 

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So I sell aftermarket auto parts for my day job. Monroe Quick-Struts fly off the shelves. We stock an insane amount of them in my company. The problem with reviews on Monroe products, as well as many aftermarket parts, is that they suffer from what is referred to as "negativity bias." In a nutshell, this means that you are always going to hear more of people's negative experiences with a product or experience than you are going to hear of people's positive experiences. Sometimes this can be explained by using the "80/20 rule," that is to say that 80% of your customer calls/complaints only come from 20% of your customer base. So in reality, about 80% of your customers are completely satisfied with their service/parts and never need to call in or ask for support or need warranty replacements. So in this specific case, one can assume that 80% or possibly more customers who buy Monroe have an absolutely satisfactory experience with the product, you just don't hear as much from them, because unsatisfied customers are going to be much more vocal about their experience, therefore skewing the perspective when you hear reviews. A small percentage of actual customers are having a bad experience, but they are the majority of reviews you will read/hear. This can be applied to almost anything in the retail universe, as well as other aspects of life. Another thing is that we humans are a very biased species. It's ok, we all do it. Once we get an idea in our heads it's hard to change that idea. Getting a negative image of a certain product or brand seeded in our heads is very powerful, and it's hard to convince us otherwise, even with facts and statistics.

All I'm trying to say is you shouldn't be scared of aftermarket struts and shocks. Monroe, MacPherson, KYB, I've had plenty of success with all of those brands and returned a very small percentage of them for warranties. By no means do I think spending extra cash on OE replacement parts is a waste of your money. If it's my money, and a car with high mileage, I would save the $$$ and buy aftermarket all day long.

If you're interested - Negativity bias - Wikipedia
 

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Seeing as I've got a blown passenger front strut mount, I'm in the market for new struts. I'll be replacing both front ones even though I don't have an issue with the driver side one. Not replacing the spring does open up possibilities since there are more strut options that fit the E than there are complete strut assemblies with the spring that fit the E. For instance, KYB does not make a strut assembly that fits the Element but their Excel-G's do. If you want a complete assembly, you're limited to Monroe, Gabriel, OEM, and certain questionable generic offerings. Personally, I figure if I'm going to take the time and effort to replace the strut then why not replace the spring, too? Having said that, I'm likely going to go OEM because I've got a 3rd party extended warranty (anyone have experience with Freedom extended warranties?) that should cover the repair. If they don't accept the claim 1) I'm going to drop their coverage and ask for the additional $2,000 I paid when I purchased the car and 2) I'll do the work myself and probably use Gabriel's ReadyMount Ultras.
 

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And we're not experiencing the same negativity bias with regard to the OEM struts because?
I agree with your point. I'm driving an '03 on the original Honda struts. I just recently had my first issue with them and it's not even with the strut but the strut mount. So my experience with OEM is that they lasted 17 years. If I do decide to go OEM over Gabriel then I expect (or at least hope) to get another 17 years out of them.
 

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And we're not experiencing the same negativity bias with regard to the OEM struts because?
This is just my speculation, but I can think of several possibilities.

Firstly, a whole lot more of the aftermarket units are sold than OEM. Main reason being most people prefer the cheaper option in these scenarios. All of the independent/non-dealer shops out there are putting aftermarket parts on customer cars, because if the customer wanted OE parts they'd just be taking the car to the dealer in the first place. If this is true, then it follows that the pool of reviews is going to be much greater for aftermarket parts than OE.

Also, you can find all sorts of aftermarket parts online with reviews attached to them. You're not going to find as many sites with OE parts that actually have reviews. Many sites that sell OE parts (many times these are the sites of actual dealers that also sell parts online) don't have review systems in place like Amazon does, for example. So anyone buying those parts doesn't have the option to leave a review, positive or negative.

If someone takes their car to the dealer and has OE parts put on, and the part fails at some point in the future, they are just going to take it back to said dealer and have the parts replaced under warranty. There is no online dealer involved where people can leave a review. Sure, people can leave reviews online for specific dealerships, but that is almost overwhelmingly to do with the service they received, not the quality of parts put on their car.

And finally, we probably don't hear many bad reviews of OE parts because they are overall usually better quality. I've put plenty of OE parts on my cars in the past when there were actually aftermarket versions available. There are a lot of times when OE parts are not really that much more expensive than quality aftermarket parts. In that case, if it's readily available and not much more, why not go with factory parts? In the specific case of this vehicle and OE suspension components vs aftermarket, we're talking double the price for OE parts, and it's not $20 instead of $10, it's $1000 instead of $500. To many people that is worthwhile savings. All I'm trying to point out is that the failure rate of most quality aftermarket shocks is actually very low, especially in the case of Hondas. I'm not trying to say someone is an idiot for spending twice the money on OE parts, it's your car, your money, your decision. If it's in your budget and worth it to you for peace of mind and the better quality, go for it.
 
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