KYB or OEM Struts


Asked by Feb 01, 2016 at 10:12 PM about the 2009 Toyota Prius Liftback

Question type: General

Does anyone have an opinion about the ride quality or durability of either the
KYB or OEM struts for the 2009  Toyota Prius.    The original first set lasted
only 64,000 miles,  so,  I'm leaning towards the KYB,  but,  don't know if it will
be any better and don't want the car's ride to deteriorate significantly.

18 Answers


It all depends on what kind of ride you want, a stiffer riding shock will last longer than a softer riding one. KYB is a good brand but there are so many others out there, so decide on what kind of ride you want, do you want dual damping or single, soft, medium or firm ride. Personally I like Monroe shocks with sensitrack they firm up when getting it on and back off when just crusing down the highway. HTH


I did a little more research and it seems like the Monroe shocks have a warranty, but, not KYB? So, are you saying that the KYB product will last longer than either the Monroe or the original equipment.


I don't know what gave you that idea, I just stated that firmer shocks tend to last longer than soft shocks. Odd that KYB doesn't have a warranty, they use too. Guess they are just in for money now, based on that I would go with another brand, if a product doesn't have a warranty they not going to get any of my money that's for sure.


Sorry, when you said that- "a stiffer riding shock will last longer than a softer riding", I thought that you were infering that the KYB product would go more miles. Actually, the warranty is only a piece of paper and KYBs do come from Asia. Normally, I would go with Asian parts for my Toyota. I'll price it with my mechanic and see. I'm just still a little disappointed that my 2009 Toyota Prius with only 64,000 miles needs new tires and struts at this point. It's not a high mileage car for a 2009. The weakened suspension has caused the tires to wear out prematurely and they are cupped. Still lots of tread , but, the ride is not as comfortable.


I have heard other Prius owners say that the shocks are poor, and a lot of them have went with the Gabriel ultras, I haven't bounced tested any of them to see if they are much firmer but also haven't heard any one complain about then either. So maybe there is another one to consider.


Thanks, I'll check that out as well. My mechanic tells me that while the engine and transmission in these cars are VERY GOOD, they didn't build a very good suspension. I never had any suspension problems with my old 1995 Honda Accord with a four wheel double wishbone suspension.


My Subaru Outback seems to have a better suspension than my Prius. The only thing is, fuel economy in the Prius is pretty hard to beat.


tennisshoes,? Can you tell me if you have ever heard of any other car than Porsche that uses "Intermediate shaft bearings"?


That is what I am hearing also, strictly a stay on smooth highway machine, and where I am at the roads are so bad right now you need a 4WD just to go across town.


The Ford 2.3 used it, the 3.8 had a balance shaft, Mitsubishi used them, that is all I can think of right now but I'm sure there were more.


tennisshoes, as far as I can tell, Subaru uses a direct drive camshaft driven by the timing belt or chain, but, No Intermediate Shaft Bearing like Porsche. A friend of mine just purchased a 2002 Boxster and has to have this replaced or he runs the risk of blowing up his engine.


That's right the normal Subuaru engine doesn't use a balance shaft, or as they call it an intermediate shaft.


tennisshoes, Thank you for your direct answer. I raised this question on a Subaru forum, but, some people were reluctant to answer or did not know.


tennisshoes, I found this , complex-theory-behind-subarus-stout-boxer-engines/ The operative language is , In a Subaru Boxer engine, the pistons face opposite each other in a side-to-side symmetrical layout. The opposing pistons work to cancel out the inertia force of each other, resulting in less vibration, superb rotational balance, and a smooth feel when approaching the high rev range. The engine’s flat, low-profile configuration enhances driving stability and handling performance. Over a long period of time, Subaru has committed to maximizing the advantages of its Boxer engines and continued to enhance them to power its vehicles. Furthermore, opposing banks of pistons in Boxer engines reach top dead center at the same time as compared to V-type engines where the piston movements alternate from bank to bank. A Boxer engine’s vibrations are essentially negated by the side to side movement of the pistons, reciprocation, and ignition forces. Inline and V-type engines cannot reproduce the same result without constructing complicated crankshaft counterweight and dampening systems. With each opposing cylinder associated with its own crank throw in a Boxer engine, their axis is offset from one another, resulting in reciprocating torque. Tuning The Boxer Platform All the engines listed above are stars in the tuning community. To gain some insight into the pros and cons of tuning the Boxer, we contacted Aaron O’Neal of English Racing. English Racing is a tuning shop based in Vancouver, Washington that has a great deal of experience developing flash tunes, full engine builds, and everything in between for popular Subaru platforms, as well as 4G63 and 4B11 Evos, and the R35 GT-R. From an architecture standpoint O’Neals says, “flat cylinder motors are naturally dynamic balanced and therefore do not require balance shafts nor counterweights on the crankshaft. It decreases windage as a result because the crankshaft is far smaller in dimensions than a comparable inline or V motor. They are compact longitudinally which is nice, and though they are wider than a comparable inline motor mounted longitudinally, they are comparable if the inline is mounted transverse in that they occupy a space frame rail to frame rail.”

1 people found this helpful.

I would like to know if Prius used gas shocks originally as OEM. Are all shocks gas shocks now. I have a '05, and I think the ride sucks. But my wife's new Honda HRC rides terribly hard too and I noticed that the tires are about 3 or 4 lbs low on air. My personal view is that you should buy the best shocks you can and stop all the nonsense about having a stiff ride. I actually had the dashboard fall out of one of my cars. Didn't really fall out on the road, but came loose after all the screws fell out on the floor. Get Bilsteins or Konis and move on. All the standard brands are complete crap.

For as I know, Toyotas use KYB Excel-G as the OEM.

We have a low mileage 1998 Toyota XLE: We replaced the factory struts with an aftermarket suggested by the Dealer. I think it was KYB? The result is that is the worst ride I have ever experienced in any car I have ever owned. It feels like there are virtually zero shocks and "stiff" is an understatement. You hear and feel every bump. I rode in the back for the first time yesterday and It was noisy (bump bump thump) and shook at every bump or join in the road. Absolutely awful! The shocks and struts (total) replacement was pretty expensive and OEM would have added about $750.00!! to the price (which was over 2 thousand dollars at a Toyota Dealer!!!) ABSOLUTELY do not put anything but OEM shocks or your Toyota will feel like a sub-compact without any shocks.

Toyota might be using KYB excel-g as OEM but those shocks are optimized to the particular vehicle. Thats why we feel a smooth ride on OEM shocks, but when we fix any aftermarket KYB shocks we feel a stiff ride. So if you want a comfortable ride you should go for OEM shocks.

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