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Original vs compatible

Question : I RECENTLY noticed some cracks appearing on the absorber mountings of my 1992 Toyota Corona.

My mechanic has advised that they should be replaced. I have asked around and found that the prices of genuine Toyota components are at least four to five times higher than non-genuine or so-called compatible components.

Is it advisable to use non-genuine components?

Also, can you advise me on what parts are to be replaced if I wanted to refurbish the suspension system of my car?

Answer : THE question of whether you should always use genuine manufacturer's components as replacements is the subject of much debate.

For instance, components such as bulbs certainly need not come from the vehicle manufacturer, and it is a fact that no vehicle manufacturer in the world makes its own bulbs.

Instead, these are supplied by some reputable specialist bulb manufacturer and repackaged in the vehicle manufacturer's colours.

However, safety-critical items are a different matter. One could argue that shock absorbers affect the road handling characteristics of a vehicle and could present a danger if these characteristics were altered, especially in an emergency.

Similarly, brake pads will affect stopping distances and may result in either longer stopping distances or cause the wheels to lock up, resulting in an uncontrollable skid.

In a similar fashion, rubber bushes will affect the road handling characteristics of a vehicle since the compliance of the material used to manufacture the rubber component will determine the flexibility of the suspension system and so can be considered safety critical although it does not alter the characteristics as much as a shock absorber does.

Shock absorber mountings serve to isolate the vehicle and the shock absorber unit from high frequency vibration generated by movement over the road surface.

Although the manufacturer's genuine part seems costly, bear in mind that what you pay is what you get.

Sure, there are cost savings to be initially had by purchasing a compatible component but, in the long term, the compatible item may not perform as well as the manufacturer's original nor last as long.

In addition, remember to factor in the cost of labour in the replacement of the said component.

e of the car and how bad the road conditions are, you may need to replace these bushes at yearly intervals to maintain the quietness and driving stability.


Suspension and tyres

Original vs compatible

Upsetting sounds

Sound from front suspension

Stiff suspension

Bouncy Avanza

Hard suspension


Wandering danger

Still vibrating

Rear suspension

Bumpy ride

Suspension change

Air Suspension confusion

Spark plugs
Timing belt


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