|Original vs compatible
: 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
Also, can you advise me on what
parts are to be replaced if I wanted to
refurbish the suspension system of my
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
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
In addition, remember to factor in the
cost of labour in the replacement of the
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