There is a lot more to the suspension of your vehicle than just how it feels when you’re riding in it. Yes, your suspension does control whether your ride is stiff or soft, bouncy or smooth; but, bad suspension parts can do a lot more damage to your vehicle than you’ll ever want to pay for. Getting quality parts when your factory suspension goes bad can save you tons of money in the long run. Bad suspension parts can cause serious wear and tear on tires, steering parts, brake parts, even the body and frame of your vehicle. To ensure your suspension is performing to its peak standards, if you’re in the market for replacement parts you should look into the ones made by the best aftermarket suspension parts manufacturers listed below.
Monroe suspension parts are not to be confused with the Monro Muffler and Brake Service Centers, although Monro does install Monroe. Got that? It gets confusing sometimes, but just remember to put the “e” on the end if you’re looking for suspension. If you do that, you’ll be getting some of the best suspension parts being made. Monroe offers an economy line, Reflex, as well as premium lines like Sensa-Trac. They have won the Frost & Sullivan Automotive Technicians’ Choice Award for Best Aftermarket Shocks and Struts twice (2007 and 2008), and are consistently one of the biggest-selling shocks and struts in America.
Koni is a suspension parts manufacturer that specializes in adjustable shocks and struts. Mostly, they are used in the sports line, but they are available aftermarket for several vehicle makes and models. They offer a lifetime warranty, but they are difficult to find at times. There aren’t many dealers, so if you’re interested in this brand, you’ll be looking at shipping charges. If you’re in the market for performance suspension parts, however, there isn’t much better than Koni.
Bilstein is another performance suspension dealer that sells mostly through performance parts stores. That doesn’t mean they are not available for OEM replacement parts, they have a full line, including air suspension models. The B4 Series of Bilstein shocks and struts have consistently been rated as one of the best at providing the original equipment feel and ride performance. Not only do they provide shock absorbers and struts, they are one of the leaders of cylindrical, pigtail, and barrel-type coil springs, as well as various types of stabilizer bars.
KYB shocks are installed at nearly as many service centers as Monroe. That says a lot when you’re creeping on the heels of the American industry leader. Worldwide is a different story, as KYB is the largest supplier of OE and aftermarket shocks and struts in the world. All KYB shocks and struts are covered by a limited lifetime warranty (except for the Strut-Plus and Self-Leveling Units which carry a one-year warranty), and are available for nearly every line of vehicle regardless of make or model. They can get pricy, but the quality is top-notch.
Gabriel does have some economy lines to choose from, which means that not every driver is going to have the highest opinion of their products. But don’t let a few bad apples spoil the bunch for you here. Gabriel has been around for more than 100 years, and they are still going strong; they must be doing something right. Their MAXCONTROL line is great for light trucks and SUVs, and the Ultra line comes equipped with Gabriel’s G-Force technology, making it a premium choice for passenger cars.