Great suspension systems are great news for that sweet ride you have put in your hard work and sweat into buying. Not only do they make the journey from home to office to partying with friends smooth, but they also ensure that no damage is taken by the car if a sudden pothole appears. People who do not correctly maintain their suspension systems or do not get them replaced to better brands like Gabriel or Monroe end up facing problems steering, braking, and simply uncomfortable rides.
Both brands have established several unique features that have made them stand out as the top shocks and struts brands. However, they have several differences between them as well, and if you are someone who wishes to understand that difference, you are at the right place. This article will explain the key differences between shock absorbers and struts and the key characteristics you need to look out for to get the right product for your car.
Gabriel vs. Monroe – What are the Main Differences?
- The first difference has to do with the quality of the ride. Gabriel products help the car drive firmer on the road, while Monroe products help make the ride smoother.
- The second difference depends on what kind of situation you wish to drive your car in. If you drive off-road, Gabriel shocks and struts are better, while Monroe products are better suited for driving on a highway.
- Gabriel products are manufactured abroad, while Monroe products are manufactured in the United States.
What is a Shock Absorber, and why do you need one?
A good shock absorber is important as it helps to reduce spring oscillations on rough roads to ensure that the car and the passengers are safe and comfortable. This results in your car being much more stable on the road or off-road (depending on the kind of shock absorbers you end up buying for yourself. The opposite of getting good shock absorbers is that your vehicle will end up bouncing too often, which can impact the entire structure of the car and affect the passenger’s back and tail bones in the long run.
The way shock absorbers help reduce bouncing of the car is by,
- Ensuring that the tires remain in contact with the road at all times.
- Ensuring that you get the most mileage from a full tank.
- Providing good handling of the vehicle as well as control.
- Ensuring that the springs have reduced oscillations to stabilize the vehicle movement.
Other than this, people hold several misconceptions regarding what shocks are capable of, including raising the height of a car or help in carrying heavy loads. While that seems likely, it is not true in most parts.
What are Shocks and Struts?
Shocks and struts are both considered to be the same thing in the market, so much so that people use them interchangeably. However, they work differently in the suspension system of a car. While it is true that both help to stabilize the car, both can be used in a mixed model for the car’s suspension. For example, you can have struts installed in the front and shocks installed in the rear, which helps to increase the stability of the car.
The key difference is in the way they look different when seen at first glance.
What are the signs you need replacements for Shocks or Struts?
When you feel that your car has lost the smooth drive it used to give you; you have a suspension problem. However, that is not the only indicator that your shocks or struts need to be replaced. Several other signs can help you decide when to change your shocks or struts.
From time to time, we end up looking at the fluid on the ground and worry if the fuel is leaking from somewhere. However, we never consider that it can also be from the shocks or struts installed in the car. If the roads you travel on have several potholes and you end up feeling very uncomfortable when your car passes through them at a certain speed, consider checking your shocks or struts to see if they are in good condition.
If both fluid leakage and the car have suddenly become uncomfortable to drive, it is most likely that it is a suspension problem.
While slow braking is a sign that your brake pads need to be replaced, it can also be a reason for concern for your suspension system. The shocks or struts you have installed may have become too old or damaged during the running period of the car; if the car ends up lunging forwards while braking, it is a sign for you to change your shocks or struts.
When the shocks or struts of your car get old, your car’s engine has to put in extra effort on the road. This means that it will end up consuming a lot more fuel to get you from point A to point B than before. Replacing your shocks or struts can help save you hundreds of dollars in cash in both car damages and fuel.
What are the features of Gabriel and Monroe Shocks and Struts?
When you buy a new pair of shocks or struts from Gabriel or Monroe, your first concern would be if they are compatible with your car or not. Fortunately, both Gabriel and Monroe products are easy to install into your car and can be done to you. A car has several parts that are too complicated to handle and require a mechanic, which means more money is spent on the car.
The easy installation gives each brand an edge over the market, and there are several tutorials online that can teach someone who isn’t car-savvy how to change their car’s shocks or struts.
Gabriel and Monroe shocks and struts are known to last for 50,000 miles of both on-road and off-road experiences. The way you drive is obviously not considered, but you can rest assured about everything else. The longer these brands last you, the more money you can save up on car repairs which is the goal.
This takes us to our third point, which is cost-effective. By now, you must have realized that the companies have engineered their product so it can become a way to save money for the customer. What’s more, is that both companies have affordable rates that are below or equal to the market price.
This, combined with the kind of quality you get, makes buying shocks or struts from these companies an amazing purchase. You can rest easy knowing that your car’s suspension system won’t break down at the end of a long journey.
Recommended Products from Gabriel and Monroe
It is important that you understand to pick the right product for yourself when it comes to improving or maintaining your car. We have described how good shocks and struts can help benefit you in the long run. Now, we’ll provide you a list of options from both companies that you can go for without having to search your way through them.
1. Monroe Shocks & Struts Max-Air MA836 Shock Absorber
What we like?
- Maintains ride height
- Hardened piston rod
- Roved handling
The Monroe Shocks and Struts Max-Air MA836 is a wonderful addition to your car, especially if you wish for the shock-absorbing tech to last a long time. The shocks and struts come with a hardened ground piston rod that ensures durability and longevity of use for the product. The shocks and struts can help maintain height by inflating or deflating 150 PSI of pressure and with a capacity of five people in the car.
There are no air leakages in the Monroe Shocks MA836 because of the exceptional air fitting resistance. Other than that, the product has been made to help sports car owners improve handling by using full-displaced valving. This is done to maximize the compression as well as extension cycles of the car for smoother rides across rougher roads.
The company also provides its customers with a 5-years warranty on the parts failing at some point which helps secure your investment further. Lastly, the consistency of the ride also depends on the use of a special friction-free fluid that helps reduce friction during drives and ensure smoother rides.
2. Gabriel 81490 Heavy Duty Gas Shock Absorber
What we like?
- Improved car stability
- For trucks and cars
- Corrosion-free piston build
The Gabriel 81490 is can fit into both cars as well as trucks which makes it a super-hardened product with an exceptional design. The company has designed it to hold nitrogen gas which helps with increasing the stability of the vehicle and also be more responsive to the changes on the road. The shocks have a tremendous potential to handle large bumps along the road while you take your car or truck off-road.
This opens up several avenues for you to explore and enjoy your long journeys without having to worry about your car wobbling. The installation time is less than an hour and a half, which makes them ideal for people who do not know much about car mechanisms and would usually hire a mechanic. The product also has a chrome piston that is corrosion-proof which goes to show how long the product can last.
The company has also added all-weather customized modifiers that assist with reducing friction in the suspension system and helping you move from point A to B smoothly.
3. Gabriel Ultra ReadyMount Spring & Strut Assembly
What we like?
- Nine-stage valve
- Smooth rides on rough roads
- High compression resistance
The Gabriel Ultra Strut has been designed to handle large loads without affecting the vehicle while you drive through rough roads. To start off, the strut has a 9 stage valve that ensures there is enough oil flow for better response time if a sudden pothole appears. All this ensures that the effects of bumps on the road are minimized so the passengers can have a comfortable ride.
The G57109 has also been designed to withstand large compressions if need be and absorb the impact fully without breaking or chipping. The installation time takes maybe more than most of the shocks and struts mentioned in this article, but it is worth the time you put in due to longevity of use. The piston is made of chrome which is both corrosion-free and also remains consistent in performance as well as a friction-free surface.
The company also provides a 2-year warranty for the product so you can rest assured that your investment remains safe. Lastly, the G-force tech installed enables you to your vehicle off-road if need be.
4. Monroe 139105 Quick-Strut
What we like?
- You can install it fast
- Smooth long drives
- Quick response time to sudden potholes
These struts from Monroe can be easily changed on your vehicle and are built using plated steel that helps improve the lifetime of use. The Monroe 139105 is known to help vehicles improve their stability as well as the response time on rough roads full of potholes. You will find that your car or truck has suddenly gotten an upgrade when it comes to steering the vehicle in the right direction.
You also get comfortable rides because the product is equipped with ultra-premium strut tech that helps you reduce damage to your vehicle. Proper alignment of the car must be carried out before you install the Monroe 139105, which is the only reason why it can take some time to install the struts. However, any car owner with a little bit of knowledge about cars can install the struts without having to bear the cost of hiring a mechanic.
Lastly, you don’t have to manually compress the coils when you get the product, as it is a pre-set coil size.
FAQs about Shocks and Struts
Is installing a shock or strut the same thing?
Not really. Installation of either shocks or struts in your car depends on the car type as well as the situation you are in. While both help stabilizes the vehicle as well as provide smoother rides, they are two aspects of the suspension system that need to be carefully considered based on the vehicle you own.
How long do Monroe and Gabriel’s products last?
There is no accurate answer for this question because each product has a different durable design and material use, which enables them to have a long life. It also depends on the owner of the vehicle and how they drive their vehicle as well as where they drive it. Between rougher off-roading and pothole-filled roads, the estimated number is 50,000 miles for both Monroe and Gabriel products.
However, it is no set number because, as we said, it all depends on the driver of the vehicle as well as the geographical location you are in. What kind of terrain you cross has a huge impact on the total life of your shocks and struts as well as your health.
Does installing new shocks or struts help?
Yes, it does, as you will see your vehicle drive smoother on the road as well as through rougher terrain. You will also notice the stability of your vehicle increase, as well as the car’s steering, becoming easy. Other than that, the vehicle also helps improve mileage as lesser fuel is consumed due to the installation of brand new shocks or struts.
That being said, Gabriel and Monroe shocks or struts are considered to be top-notch, which means you end up conserving lots of fuel in the long run.
Is there a need for shocks or struts for me?
If you feel that your vehicle isn’t performing like it should when you got it, or you find fuel leaking underneath every time you pass through a rough patch on the road, you can consider installing new shocks or struts. Old shocks or struts can also make weird noises which can become worse over time. This can end up damaging your car over large bumps on the road, and the only way to prevent that from happening is to change your car’s shocks or struts.
Both Monroe and Gabriel shocks and struts have a special function when it comes to improving the smoothness of vehicles on the road. However, neither one of them is affordable enough for ordinary people, which makes them hard to acquire. Out of all the products mentioned in the article, the winner of this round will be the all-rounder Monroe MA836 because of its shock-absorbent quality and premium-grade build.
You can rest assured that your car is upgraded to perfection after you get these bad boys installed.