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Old 14th March 2010, 12:56   #1
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Default Uncle says "replacement shocks aren't as good as OEMs"

I have an uncle who has been owning cars since early 80s and he has been in and out of all makes of cars. He doesn't keep any car for more than 3 years and his reason is this. He says first thing to give way in a car with passage of time is suspension. Much before body or engine. Not that suspension breaks down but he says our bad roads take heavy toll and shock-absorbers harden up resulting in your car feeling every undulation on the road. And he says replacement shockers are not at all like the OEM shocks a car ( any make ) comes with from showroom. He says after replacing the worn out shocks at the dealer ( he always goes to the respective car dealer ) he felt that the new shocks are just as bad as the worn out shocks he just replaced. In short, he says never replace shocks of any car. when the time comes, just sell the car and go buy a new one. Is he right?
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Old 14th March 2010, 14:09   #2
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Well, we cannot make a blanket statement that replacement shocks are not as good as OEMs.

There are lots of brands which are as good as OEMs if you pick up the right one based on your preference(handling/ride quality).
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Old 14th March 2010, 14:20   #3
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If they're being replace by the dealer (assuming they use OEM equipment), i don't see why they aren't as good as the ones that came with the car. It's most probably just a feeling, or a case of spurious parts fitted.
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Old 14th March 2010, 15:03   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pgsagar View Post
He says first thing to give way in a car with passage of time is suspension. Much before body or engine. Not that suspension breaks down but he says our bad roads take heavy toll and shock-absorbers harden up resulting in your car feeling every undulation on the road.
No way - there is no difference in quality of the suspension components. IMO, its probably the crappy stock tyres that need replacement to restore the ride quality. The tyres harden up with age.

You will be surprised at the difference in ride quality that a decent set of tyres can make.
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Old 14th March 2010, 22:30   #5
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CrackedHead, you have a point about bad tyres. After all tyres play a role too. May be shocker change should be accompanied by tyre change as well.
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Old 14th March 2010, 22:34   #6
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Default Shocks for SWIFT

My 60K km run SWIFT needs Shocks inspection and may be replacement. Do experts have any suggestions for me on whether to go for OEM shocks or any other brand?
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Old 14th March 2010, 23:52   #7
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when some maruti MGP came packaged with Escort shocks. I installed after market Gabriel or delphi on couple of friends. It works as good as the original that it came with.
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Old 15th March 2010, 08:33   #8
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I was suffering from a bad suspension too, but all i needed to replace were the front & rear bush kits. they cost more than the TASC rates ( got it done outside) but the mech claims because he used superior aftermarket parts.

Dont believe him, but the ride quality is back
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Old 15th March 2010, 08:49   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pgsagar View Post
CrackedHead, you have a point about bad tyres. After all tyres play a role too. May be shocker change should be accompanied by tyre change as well.
Hi pgsagar, I feel both tasks should not be done together.

Changing only the suspension bushes (or if at the most required, shocks/dampers) should be the first option.

Change the tyres only if they are very old or worn out.

Also, play around with tyre pressures as well. I keep lower tyre pressures if I am going to drive slowly on rough roads, as in the case of the bad roads in my neighbourhood. This gives a cushioned ride. But for a highway drive, I increase the tyre pressures to get good fuel efficiency, and have lesser chance of a tyre blowout. Higher tyre pressures do give a harsher ride, but then on a good highway, the ride is going to be comfortable anyway.

To answer your primary question, replacement shocks can also be directly bought from the OEMs authorised distributors, if so desired.

Last edited by mooza : 15th March 2010 at 08:55.
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Old 15th March 2010, 22:36   #10
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Thanx Mooza. Actually, the car in question is my Lancer Diesel. The ride has become very bumpy on potholed roads. It is a 2000 make and has logged 1.6 lakh Kms. The dealer says it's not so bad and I can see post 2 lakh Km mark. But I hate to feel the unevenness of the road. The car's body moves up and down alongwith the wheels at slow speeds over bumpy roads like there is no suspension. The thud sound it makes when it falls in a rut is sickening. My uncle is sceptical about replacement shockers as he has had a tough time with 'em in the past. I am extremely happy with my Lancer and it performs brilliantly otherwise. So it's not time yet to change the car. Should I go for a damper change ( F&R ) at Mitsu showroom or should I go for any aftermarket ones? I give importance to ride than handling ( I am not a high-speed cornering type ). Also, what else is required to be changed along with the dampers and any idea what the bill might roughly come to?
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Old 16th March 2010, 11:46   #11
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Quote:
No way - there is no difference in quality of the suspension components. IMO, its probably the crappy stock tyres that need replacement to restore the ride quality. The tyres harden up with age.

You will be surprised at the difference in ride quality that a decent set of tyres can make.
Yup, have experienced this when i upgraded to G3s. The old S322s used to make the car feel unstable (twitchy) and uncomfortable but the moment i put the new tyres, it felt as if someone had just paved the road and layed a roll of smooth carpet on it (even though i had upgraded from 65 profile to 60). I just couldn't believe the diff it made.

Now, i've got the shocks stiffened and still using the same G3s. But the ride quality is still much better than what i had experienced with those worn out S322s.

Shan2nu

Last edited by Shan2nu : 16th March 2010 at 11:52.
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Old 16th March 2010, 12:19   #12
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Very interesting thread. Ill add my experiences as well. I think it depends on the fitters workmanship & the fact of getting an original part or not.

Hyundai Accent: It had an excellent suspension. Had been changed twice. The first time it got changed, it was perfect, felt like it had just come from the showroom. Second time, it was again time for a change after a checkup & personal experience of bad ride quality. This time, it didnt feel any better. Hardly any difference & that too after spending over 30 grand & changing every possible component even relating to the suspension. When told this to the dealer, he said that the shocks have changed from gas filled to oil filled (or vice versa, i dont remember) by the manufacturer & hence they are harder than before.

Hyundai Sonata (the old one, not the new Embera):
One of the best suspensions ive ever experienced. Literally soaks up the bad roads & feels like your driving on clouds. The suspension was overhauled & it did feel like new again. But soon, it developed a glitch of making loud thud noises on any unsettling road (which is almost any road here as you all know). Got it checked at the dealer & he said nothing seems to be wrong or out of place. So the "thuds" continued, but the suspension worked just fine like new.

So after all this, id say that replacing your suspension is no problem but its your luck depending on the fitters workmanship & the use of original parts.
(PS - Of course, keeping in mind that your tyres are not worn out & have been replaced when the tread has worn out or after 3-4 years from manufacture of the tyre irrespective of the condition of the tread, whichever is earlier)
(Also keeping in mind that some tyres give much better ride than others)

Last edited by Xehaust : 16th March 2010 at 12:25.
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Old 16th March 2010, 22:57   #13
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Thanx Xehaust! Looks like my uncle isn't entirely wrong. Yeah, the tyres are very crucial to a good ride. I think soft supple tyres ( like Michelins ) offer very good bump-absorbing ride. Of course they wear out faster but that is a small price to pay for a good ride.
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Old 17th March 2010, 02:14   #14
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Your uncle is wrong technically as he says the suspension components are not upto the mark. Well, they are. Its the fact that you should get them & not spurious ones & also the fitment should be done properly. Thats it. My suggestion to you would be that if you like your car, keep it & try getting the suspension work done from a reputable garage which is known for its professional work.
Personally, i do not know, but have heard that HM's service is pathetic.

@mooza - You shouldnt lower your tyre pressure on bad roads. In fact, your tyre pressure should be as per manufacturers recommendations or perhaps even 1 or 2 psi more. This is because on bad roads, the tyres will be even more susceptible to damage & even punctures at lower pressures. Even on the highway, its best to stick to manufacturers recommendations keeping in mind the load on the car. (Manufacturers always give 2 pressure readings, one for normal use & one for fully loaded i.e. 4 passengers or more)
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Old 17th March 2010, 07:07   #15
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Thanks xehaust. I forgot to add that when I talked about varying the tyre pressures I meant keeping about 1 or 2 psi less (or more) than recommended, which was supposed to be allowed without much damage, I thought
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