I'm reading all these opinions about various shocks/struts. May I ask how many people here have ever actually changed macpherson struts. It's a big job, with the rears often being especially troublesome. I'm not talking about the struts themselves. Once they're off the car, a good spring compressor will handle the disassembly/assembly relativly easily. Getting to the rear interior mounting bolts can be a chore (BMW E39 for instance). It's a very good idea to buy a Clymer manual for your exact car, at the very least, to have a guide for the procedure. If you're lucky, Youtube will have a video on the procedure. On many cars, don't forget to get an alignment when the job is done.
#1 ALL quick struts are crap. Keep your OEM springs or buy aftermarket ones from a brand that backs them up with a serious warranety.
#2 For the $200-$300 these setups cost, it's probably better to throw down $350 on some Koni STR.T damps. I'm not going to suggest people go out and buy Bilstiens or high end Konis --but Koni's orange shocks and struts are cheap. I just can't get on board with buying Monroe or Gabriel when one the big players with a serious warranty has entered the budget market.
How long should shocks and struts last (mileage)? I'm going on about 100K on my Focus with nothing replaced and it handles like an old Lincoln Continental...
Best way to test struts/shocks?
Gabriel has some great info on when to replace. Tricky things about shocks & struts is they wear out very gradually so most people dont even know they are worn out until you actually replace them then say... WOW, what a difference!
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