A well-functioning suspension system is intrinsic to pleasant journeys in your vehicle. Worn-out shock absorbers pose several issues, and if you notice a drop in performance, it’s time for a replacement. KYB and Monroe are two popular brands that offer excellent shock absorbers and related components.

If you cannot decide which you must purchase, this round-up of comparisons between Monroe and KYB is for you. As you read further, you will find the details you need to judge the two brands’ suitability for your vehicle. 

Key Differences Between Monroe And KYB Shocks And Struts

Here’s a brief overview of the differences between Monroe and KYB shocks and struts:

  • Monroe shocks and struts are manufactured in the US, while KYB ones are manufactured in Japan.
  • Shocks and struts from Monroe are more suitable for well-built roads, but KYB ones can handle rougher terrains.
  • Monroe shocks and struts work best at higher speeds, but KYB ones require slower speeds.

When choosing shocks and struts for your vehicle, there are two things you should always consider. First, you need to look at your vehicle’s configuration, and second, you must observe its performance specs. That way, you will be able to choose a brand that best suits your vehicle’s requirements.

Our Pick

KYB Excel-G Shocks And Struts

Best Overall

It comes with a durable piston and cylinder. Enhances initial control and handling abilities

Our Top Recommendations

With the variety of shocks and struts available in the market, choosing one for your vehicle can be challenging. So to make your choice that much easier, we’ve put together a list of the best of the best! 

That said, you would do well to remember that each of these offers unique benefits and performance enhancements. As such, you should always consider the specific needs of your suspension system before making a choice.

1. KYB Excel-G Shocks And Struts

Pros

  • Durable piston and cylinder
  • Maintains appropriate wheel alignment
  • Restores initial control and handling abilities
  • Limited lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Bolts holes might be too close.

KYB Excel-G shocks and struts are an OEM component recognized for the control and handling performance they offer. These shocks and struts are most suitable for those driving under normal circumstances. So installing them on your vehicle will likely restore its original performance abilities. 

KYB calibrates its Excel-G shocks and struts to work best with worn suspension components. As such, installing them in your vehicle can help enhance its handling abilities.

Not to mention, the durability of these shocks and struts will be the least of your concerns. KYB Excel-G uses high-grade materials, including chrome plating, steel tubing, and more! Rest assured, the parts will serve you a long time.

What’s more, these shocks and struts have specifically designed internal parts and valves. Since they are built with OEM specifications and vehicle configurations, installing them becomes a piece of cake. So you need not worry about extra fabrication or adjustments while fitting them into your vehicle. 

2. Monroe OESpectrum Shocks & Struts

Pros

  • Provides consistency in extreme road conditions
  • Enhances tire to road contact
  • All-weather fluid
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty

Cons

  • Paint may not be rust-resistant

Monroe OESpectrum shocks and struts are the brand’s most versatile product. They are compatible with several vehicles, from passenger cars to light trucks. You can enjoy exceptional handling precision and control while driving with these shocks and struts. 

At the same time, they will filter any noise, harshness, and vibration. Not only that, but the shocks and struts feature a 1⅜ inch piston! As such, product longevity and high performance are pretty much guaranteed. 

What’s more, these shocks and struts come with a self-lubricating fluid seal. This feature lets them retain gas with minimal wear. So it is likely that you will not have to replace the parts too often.

Many choose Monroe OESpectrum shocks and struts primarily because of their trademark valve technology. Their valves include special modifiers for smoother rod reactions and reduce friction. All in all, these shocks and struts will ensure a smooth ride no matter the weather or terrain conditions.

3. KYB AGX Shocks And Struts

Pros

  • Provides a wide range of damping rates, from street to strip
  • Excellent driving feedback
  • Improved trail-braking
  • Sharper turning with minimal body roll

Cons

  • Minimal bump resistance

If you engage in racing or drive a sports compact car, look no further than KYB AGX! These shocks and struts are designed specifically for high-performance vehicles. Depending on your vehicle type, you will adjust the shocks and struts either with an external knob or slot. 

Not only that, but the system includes a range of adjustable damping rates. As such, they can enhance performance regardless of road conditions. In fact, their damping range extends up to 125%, making them one of the most versatile options out there!

Sports car drivers will especially appreciate the KYB AGX’s velocity-sensing valving system. These valves ensure your ride is smooth in normal conditions. However, they steadily get firmer when conditions become more extreme. 

What’s more, these shocks and struts facilitate external tuning. So you don’t have to worry about removing anything or lifting your vehicle to alter the settings.

Overall, the KYB AGX shocks and struts are an excellent option for anyone looking for adjustable performance. 

4. Monroe Monro-Matic Plus Shocks And Struts

Pros

  • Super easy installation
  • Facilitates better steering and a smoother ride
  • Soft and ideal hauling lighter loads

Cons

  • Not as durable as other brands

Whether you drive a car or a truck, you can’t go wrong with Monroe Monro-Matic Plus shocks and struts! For starters, they feature a 1/2-inch nitrocarburized piston rod, ensuring excellent durability. Along with that, they have a 1-3/16-inch bore, so greater and more consistent control is essentially a given!

These shocks and struts do a fantastic job of minimizing friction. As such, you get a smoother rod reaction and, in turn, a more comfortable ride. Not only that, but they’re super easy to install! So rest assured, you won’t need to spend hours trying to fix them in your vehicle.

Since the Monroe Monro-Matic Plus shocks and struts offer a softer ride, they are especially suitable for hauling light loads. That said, they are high-quality and extremely versatile. So you can use them in almost any vehicle, from s 90s Nissan hardbody to a 60s Chevy pickup!

Core Features: Monroe vs. KYB Shocks And Struts

Dependability is a characteristic that Monroe and KYB share without conflict. Yet, their benefits vary in diverse manners. Before you choose, it is vital to review certain core features that compose a suitable shock for your profile. Here is an outline of the most significant traits of KYB and Monroe shocks and struts and how they differ. 

Installation 

The process of installation is a critical factor in deciding which brand’s shock is better for you. Ideally, it should be easy to install this component on your own with relative smoothness. 

KYB shock absorbers offer simple installation, eliminating the need to compress the spring to put the unit in place. On the other hand, Monroe shocks demand slightly more for a successful installation. While you can work with KYB shocks by yourself, you may need to seek professional assistance for Monroe shock absorbers. 

You must keep in mind that the ease of installing this unit goes hand in hand with how suitable it is for your vehicle. 

Performance 

It is ideal to buy shock absorbers that guarantee a performance that either matches or exceeds OE specifications. You can experience a better restoration in your OE ride control this way. 

The general agreement based on performance reviews and observations is that KYB shock absorbers are stiffer and more dependable than Monroe. KYB manufactures its shocks with a focus on handling and performance. It is part of the reason why several sports cars and premium vehicles run smoothly with them. 

The overall performance capabilities of KYB shocks are better suited to high-functioning vehicles. Monroe shocks are usually softer than KYB units, making them excellent for standard cars. 

If you plan on driving off-road, KYB is a better choice. However, for drives on paved roads, Monroe is more practical. 

Durability

The typical guideline for the replacement of shock absorbers is somewhere near the 50,000 miles mark. Some shock absorbers provide brilliant longevity and last longer, but most will require a replacement before reaching 50,000 miles. The durability of your shock relies upon how much you drive and the kind of surfaces you frequent. For instance, bumpy roads will wear out your shock absorbers rapidly. 

KYB and Monroe both offer durable shock absorbers. 

Price and Overall Value 

While shock absorbers are critical to smooth and safe driving, it is best to shell out only their worth. 

When it comes to affordability, Monroe shock absorbers outshine KYB- with their prices being at least $20 lower than the latter. However, for their more expensive costs, KYB shocks offer enhanced qualities overall.

Your vehicle’s model and other preferences will help you judge the cost-effectiveness of each brand’s product. When selecting the brand to buy from, you need to evaluate the driving you will be carrying out. The extent of improvements in performance that you expect is also a contributing factor here. 

Monroe Vs. KYB Shocks And Struts: Which Brand Is Better?

KYB comes out as the winner between the two brands when it comes to shocks and struts. While this victory is due to several reasons, a primary one is its excellent shock absorber system. KYB is far superior at absorbing shock compared to Monroe.

Apart from that, you’ll enjoy a much more stable and reliable ride quality with KYB shocks and struts than Monroe. KYB has the added advantage of being a lot more durable than its competitor. As such, KYB suspension systems will provide you with a performance that is both high-grade and long-lasting!

KYB is on the more expensive end compared to Monroe. However, its performance benefits and value for money make it entirely worth the price. So if you aren’t on a budget, it is best to opt for KYB shocks and struts over Monroe.

Shocks Or Struts: Can You Use Both For Your Vehicle?

Many people make the mistake of using shock and struts interchangeably. However, it may surprise you to know that despite serving a similar purpose, the two components are different. 

First, let’s talk about what both shocks and struts do. They essentially help in damping the spring’s movement and preventing bounce and oscillation. As such, they help stabilize your vehicle, ensuring a smoother ride regardless of terrain conditions.

Shocks and struts may perform the same job, but that doesn’t mean you can replace one with the other. So the component you use will depend on your vehicle’s suspension system. Also, you can find vehicles supporting struts at the front and shocks at the rear. However, always remember that you cannot interchange them.

The Difference Between Shocks And Struts

To begin with, shocks and starters look different in terms of appearance. You’ll likely notice this as soon as you see them side-by-side. However, a more significant difference between the two is that struts are a structural component in a vehicle’s suspension system. Shocks, on the other hand, are not.

Not only that, but a strut is also an integral part of a vehicle’s steering system. As such, struts can influence alignment angles quite a bit. In fact, you can even adjust camber and caster angles right on the strut. 

The strut also serves as the steering system’s pivot point. Not to mention, it contains a coil spring, making an alignment necessary whenever you choose to replace it. This is what contributes to the higher price tag of struts compared to shocks.

Signs You Need To Replace Your Shocks Or Struts

Driving with damaged or under-performing shocks or struts is a big no-no. So you should always watch out for any indicators that you need to replace them. Here are some common signs indicating worn down shocks or struts:

  • Fluid Leakage: Fluids can leak from several components in your car. That said, it is also a major sign of shocks or struts that need replacement. As such, it is best to watch out for fluid leaks accompanied by rides that are bumpier than usual. You should replace your shocks or struts as soon as possible in such cases.
  • Unresponsive Braking: Most people assume that this problem is the result of old brake pads. While that may be the case, it is also an indicator of shocks or struts that need replacement. So be vigilant if your braking is less responsive or if your car lunges forward when you hit the brakes.
  • Less Mileage: There is no set mileage at which you should replace your shocks or struts. However, the 50,000-mile mark is a good general guideline. Of course, less mileage may be the result of several factors, like exhaust issues. However, it is quite likely that your car needs new shocks or struts.
  • Rough Rides: The most obvious sign that your shock or struts need replacing is uncomfortable driving. When these parts wear out, you’ll find your rides are incredibly bumpy. So it’s time to pull out new components when you start feeling every little bump in the road.

FAQs

How long do shocks and struts last?

The life of shocks and struts depends directly on your driving habits and road conditions. As such, there is no definitive number for how long they will last. The 50,000-mile mark is generally a good time to replace them.

Are shocks and struts easy to install?

More often than not, the answer is yes. Even if you have limited experience, installing shocks and struts should take you no longer than an hour or two.

How long do front shocks and struts last?

Once again, the lifespan of your front shocks and struts depends on your driving style and road conditions. That said, they should generally last for at least 4-5 years.

Do new shocks and struts improve overall ride quality?

Yes, new shocks and struts do improve overall ride quality by making it a lot smoother. They enhance a vehicle’s handling capabilities and steering performance. That said, in some cases, you may need a tire rotation and balancing for your vehicle after installation. Only then will you be able to enjoy optimal and noticeable handling.

How much does shock or strut replacement cost?

The cost for replacing shocks or struts varies depending on whether you do the job yourself or hire someone else. If you plan on performing the replacement yourself, you’ll need to shell out between $200-$300 for parts. However, if you choose to hire someone else, you need to factor in 3-4 hours of labor. So you’ll spend around $400-$800 for all four corners.

Wrap Up

Monroe and KYB are both top brands in the automotive industry, and not without reason. As you’ve seen, the shocks and struts from each have their own merits. So it is best to consider all their features and factors before making up your mind. Also, give due consideration to your vehicle’s requirements.

Our comprehensive guide should make your decision that much easier. However, as a general guideline, opt for KYB if your priority is adjustable performance and easy installation. However, if affordability takes precedence for you, go for Monroe. 

Core Features: Monroe vs. KYB Shocks And Struts

Dependability is a characteristic that Monroe and KYB share without conflict. Yet, their benefits vary in diverse manners. Before you choose, it is vital to review certain core features that compose a suitable shock for your profile. Here is an outline of the most significant traits of KYB and Monroe shocks and struts and how they differ. 

Installation 

The process of installation is a critical factor in deciding which brand’s shock is better for you. Ideally, it should be easy to install this component on your own with relative smoothness. 

KYB shock absorbers offer simple installation, eliminating the need to compress the spring to put the unit in place. On the other hand, Monroe shocks demand slightly more for a successful installation. While you can work with KYB shocks by yourself, you may need to seek professional assistance for Monroe shock absorbers. 

You must keep in mind that the ease of installing this unit goes hand in hand with how suitable it is for your vehicle. 

Performance 

It is ideal to buy shock absorbers that guarantee a performance that either matches or exceeds OE specifications. You can experience a better restoration in your OE ride control this way. 

The general agreement based on performance reviews and observations is that KYB shock absorbers are stiffer and more dependable than Monroe. KYB manufactures its shocks with a focus on handling and performance. It is part of the reason why several sports cars and premium vehicles run smoothly with them. 

The overall performance capabilities of KYB shocks are better suited to high-functioning vehicles. Monroe shocks are usually softer than KYB units, making them excellent for standard cars. 

If you plan on driving off-road, KYB is a better choice. However, for drives on paved roads, Monroe is more practical. 

Durability

The typical guideline for the replacement of shock absorbers is somewhere near the 50,000 miles mark. Some shock absorbers provide brilliant longevity and last longer, but most will require a replacement before reaching 50,000 miles. The durability of your shock relies upon how much you drive and the kind of surfaces you frequent. For instance, bumpy roads will wear out your shock absorbers rapidly. 

KYB and Monroe both offer durable shock absorbers. 

Price and Overall Value 

While shock absorbers are critical to smooth and safe driving, it is best to shell out only their worth. 

When it comes to affordability, Monroe shock absorbers outshine KYB- with their prices being at least $20 lower than the latter. However, for their more expensive costs, KYB shocks offer enhanced qualities overall.

Your vehicle’s model and other preferences will help you judge the cost-effectiveness of each brand’s product. When selecting the brand to buy from, you need to evaluate the driving you will be carrying out. The extent of improvements in performance that you expect is also a contributing factor here. 

Monroe Vs. KYB Shocks And Struts: Which Brand Is Better?

KYB comes out as the winner between the two brands when it comes to shocks and struts. While this victory is due to several reasons, a primary one is its excellent shock absorber system. KYB is far superior at absorbing shock compared to Monroe.

Apart from that, you’ll enjoy a much more stable and reliable ride quality with KYB shocks and struts than Monroe. KYB has the added advantage of being a lot more durable than its competitor. As such, KYB suspension systems will provide you with a performance that is both high-grade and long-lasting!

KYB is on the more expensive end compared to Monroe. However, its performance benefits and value for money make it entirely worth the price. So if you aren’t on a budget, it is best to opt for KYB shocks and struts over Monroe.

Shocks Or Struts: Can You Use Both For Your Vehicle?

Many people make the mistake of using shock and struts interchangeably. However, it may surprise you to know that despite serving a similar purpose, the two components are different. 

First, let’s talk about what both shocks and struts do. They essentially help in damping the spring’s movement and preventing bounce and oscillation. As such, they help stabilize your vehicle, ensuring a smoother ride regardless of terrain conditions.

Shocks and struts may perform the same job, but that doesn’t mean you can replace one with the other. So the component you use will depend on your vehicle’s suspension system. Also, you can find vehicles supporting struts at the front and shocks at the rear. However, always remember that you cannot interchange them.

The Difference Between Shocks And Struts

To begin with, shocks and starters look different in terms of appearance. You’ll likely notice this as soon as you see them side-by-side. However, a more significant difference between the two is that struts are a structural component in a vehicle’s suspension system. Shocks, on the other hand, are not.

Not only that, but a strut is also an integral part of a vehicle’s steering system. As such, struts can influence alignment angles quite a bit. In fact, you can even adjust camber and caster angles right on the strut. 

The strut also serves as the steering system’s pivot point. Not to mention, it contains a coil spring, making an alignment necessary whenever you choose to replace it. This is what contributes to the higher price tag of struts compared to shocks.

Signs You Need To Replace Your Shocks Or Struts

Driving with damaged or under-performing shocks or struts is a big no-no. So you should always watch out for any indicators that you need to replace them. Here are some common signs indicating worn down shocks or struts:

  • Fluid Leakage: Fluids can leak from several components in your car. That said, it is also a major sign of shocks or struts that need replacement. As such, it is best to watch out for fluid leaks accompanied by rides that are bumpier than usual. You should replace your shocks or struts as soon as possible in such cases.
  • Unresponsive Braking: Most people assume that this problem is the result of old brake pads. While that may be the case, it is also an indicator of shocks or struts that need replacement. So be vigilant if your braking is less responsive or if your car lunges forward when you hit the brakes.
  • Less Mileage: There is no set mileage at which you should replace your shocks or struts. However, the 50,000-mile mark is a good general guideline. Of course, less mileage may be the result of several factors, like exhaust issues. However, it is quite likely that your car needs new shocks or struts.
  • Rough Rides: The most obvious sign that your shock or struts need replacing is uncomfortable driving. When these parts wear out, you’ll find your rides are incredibly bumpy. So it’s time to pull out new components when you start feeling every little bump in the road.

FAQs

How long do shocks and struts last?

The life of shocks and struts depends directly on your driving habits and road conditions. As such, there is no definitive number for how long they will last. The 50,000-mile mark is generally a good time to replace them.

Are shocks and struts easy to install?

More often than not, the answer is yes. Even if you have limited experience, installing shocks and struts should take you no longer than an hour or two.

How long do front shocks and struts last?

Once again, the lifespan of your front shocks and struts depends on your driving style and road conditions. That said, they should generally last for at least 4-5 years.

Do new shocks and struts improve overall ride quality?

Yes, new shocks and struts do improve overall ride quality by making it a lot smoother. They enhance a vehicle’s handling capabilities and steering performance. That said, in some cases, you may need a tire rotation and balancing for your vehicle after installation. Only then will you be able to enjoy optimal and noticeable handling.

How much does shock or strut replacement cost?

The cost for replacing shocks or struts varies depending on whether you do the job yourself or hire someone else. If you plan on performing the replacement yourself, you’ll need to shell out between $200-$300 for parts. However, if you choose to hire someone else, you need to factor in 3-4 hours of labor. So you’ll spend around $400-$800 for all four corners.

Wrap Up

Monroe and KYB are both top brands in the automotive industry, and not without reason. As you’ve seen, the shocks and struts from each have their own merits. So it is best to consider all their features and factors before making up your mind. Also, give due consideration to your vehicle’s requirements.

Our comprehensive guide should make your decision that much easier. However, as a general guideline, opt for KYB if your priority is adjustable performance and easy installation. However, if affordability takes precedence for you, go for Monroe. 

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