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I have to replace the suspension in my 2000 Chrysler Neon, and I'm trying to obtain the parts myself to save a few bucks.

I was quoted $250 a corner ($1000 parts) for parts only using a combo shock/spring from Monroe which seems high to me, since I was able to find a Monroe Sensa Trac combo shock/spring for $200 a pair ($400 parts).

I'm looking for a life expectancy of 2-3 years tops, as the vehicle is already over 240,000 km (144,000 miles).

Can anyone advise if the Sensa Trac combo parts (#181580 and #171578) should meet this life expectancy?

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My normal annual mileage would be around 10-12,000 miles. –  Stephen Aug 4 '11 at 18:55
    
Is this at a dealership? I could swear when I worked at Sears while going through automotive training, they charged a lot less. –  FossilizedCarlos Aug 5 '11 at 15:48
    
@PetroEkos No, this is at a repair shop that's usually pretty good with me. –  Stephen Aug 7 '11 at 0:46
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The final result is that I had the whole job done for $1000 all in. The parts originally offered were a premium grade part and by subbing in a standard duty grade I trimmed the price about $2-300. –  Stephen Aug 15 '11 at 12:29

2 Answers 2

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The 181580 is a "cheaper" version of the 171578. They both should definitely last 3 years or much longer, but the 171578 would cost more and might last longer than the 181580.

Not those are only one side/corner of the vehicle. You don't want two of the 171579. Specifically the 171579 is the right rear, whereas the 171578 is what you would need for the left rear. Also the 171580 is for the front.

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What's actually worn? Are the original springs damaged?

Normally the wear part is the shock absorber so unless you're trying to achieve other goals at the same time (like improving the handling/lowering so it'll hit every speed bump etc), I don't think it makes a whole lot of sense to change out struts and springs.

Given that Monroe makes a bunch of different types of shock absorbers, you might not be comparing apples with apples here - you really need to know which type/model your $1k quote was for in order to find out if it was high. They might have just quoted you a different type...

Despite what people say, 144k Miles on a modern car isn't that much, I'd expect you have more than 2-3 years life left in it. You don't state what sort of mileage you do in a year but I would expect a quality shock to last at least 50k miles under normal driving.

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Nowadays, the full strut/spring assembly is being heavily pushed by the vendors. Strut without the spring/plates has become special order in most cases. Probably due to the liability/trouble with having to compress the springs and break loose the gland nut (both of which can be troublesome even with the special tools). –  Brian Knoblauch Aug 4 '11 at 20:41
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Completely agree with Brian. I think another marketed advantage is faster repair time with the full assembly. This is good for the shop but can also be good for the customer if it reduces the labor charges. –  jzd Aug 5 '11 at 11:46
    
I'm obviously a little bit behind the times, thanks for the clarification. –  Timo Geusch Aug 5 '11 at 14:54

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