By on November 18, 2014

 

2009_infiniti_m35-pic-14982

TTAC Commentator CoreyDL writes:

Hey Sajeev,

I have had several questions floating around in my head for quite a while about proper suspension maintenance. My story begins a couple of cars ago when I couldn’t find answers, and ends here with this multi-part, OCD-approved question. My 09 M35x has just gone over 56,000 miles and I’m thinking I am past due for shocks (they’re originals, I believe). After riding in a G37xS the other day and noticing how much more compliant it felt over speed bumps and the like, my awareness of the issue increased.

When I go and look at various message board/etc. sources online, seems like whenever someone has tried to ask a serious question about their suspension, some dudebro usually replies with, “Aw man just put Bilstiens on there and lower it brah.”

So my questions are of the general variety. What sort of mileage intervals can someone reasonably anticipate a need for replacing suspension components? I’m talking passenger cars here, and what parts need replaced: shocks, struts, various bushings, sway bars, control arms, linkages… how far does this list go mayne?! I know putting new shocks on won’t be nearly as effective if the bushings and struts are worn out as well.

I want to take proper care of my suspension and keep it riding correct!

Second portion:

Since all these people here at the B&B love talking used (Cadillac), usually higher mileage (Town Car) rides (including myself) (LS400), what would you recommend as far as a “suspension refresh” if someone buys a decade-old car with 100k miles or more? I know you can help us all out.

Thanks for your help.

Sajeev answers:

Let’s quickly answer Question One about suspension wear and tear, partly with your comment:

“OCD-approved question. My 09 M35x has just gone over 56,000 miles and I’m thinking I am past due for shocks (they’re originals, I believe)”

There could be a good reason for needing new shocks at this age/mileage, but it’s just not that likely.  I’m pretty frickin’ OCD about car stuff myself (see photo below) but if an Infiniti M rides worse than a (newer?) G37 with a (maybe?) more compliant wheel/tire package, I wouldn’t blame the car.  Blame the manufacturer, and do a -1 or -2 wheel/tire package like we’ve discussed recently.

More to the point: odds are the shocks are fine, but you go right ahead and test them.  Now for Question Two, using a quote from Question One:

“What sort of mileage intervals can someone reasonably anticipate a need for replacing suspension components? I’m talking passenger cars here, and what parts need replaced: shocks, struts, various bushings, sway bars, control arms, linkages… how far does this list go mayne?!”

Well, okay mayne…I’ll show you how OCD you can be:

How ’bout ‘dem Chocolate and Caramel coated Apples?

At some point a “keeper” could get stripped/reconditioned.  Because at some point all the rubber goes bad.  Or too many potholes busts up the ball joints.  And maybe the wheel bearings might be shot. And if you’re gonna spend the time/effort/money to do all that, fully addressing suspension wear and tear via 100% replacement isn’t totally stupid.

I know what I just wrote about the above photo is an illogical extreme.  But your question merits discussing all aspects. So if you live in Boston, you probably need new control arms/shocks/ball joints before you’ll need new shocks in Wyoming.  And if you drive something fragile (which these days is more of cars than we’d like to admit) with tiny tires on pristine roads, don’t be surprised if they need more replacement “stuff” than a Panther on somewhat horrible roads. (i.e. not Boston)

This is the part where we list common wear items, and let the B&B take it from there:

  • Shocks, too loose or too tight (they can gum up inside).
  • Springs, they get softer, saggier and even (sometimes) break.
  • Spring pads: the rubber underneath the springs can go bad too!
  • Control arms: changing bushings (or ball joints) here isn’t that common anymore, now it’s easier/cheaper to get a new control arm instead.
  • Tires: even if there’s plenty of tread, rubber degrades over time and ride/handling suffers.
  • Swaybar links/bushings: these tend to work very hard, but they’ll get noisy before they totally die.
  • Swaybars: check if yours are hollow.  Don’t be surprised if they are toast, especially if you live in the Rust Belt.

 

Send your queries to [email protected]com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

Recommended

76 Comments on “Piston Slap: Suspension Wear and Tear to Infiniti?...”


  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Geez, that Corey fellow sure asks a lot of questions

  • avatar

    Before you spend a lot of money, do the sway bar bushings and end links. This alone usually has huge effects beyond the minor money it costs. USE OE PARTS not some plastic ones. I’m not smarter than the guy who designed the car and I don’t autocross it. The type of rubber in that bushing is specified after R and D, and “close” won’t work…so OE only. BMW uses massive sway bar bushings. Acura uses tiny hard ones. Both sets sack out, Acura in about 30k and BMW in 50k. These rubber donuts take a beating, especially if you have speed humps in your world, or potholes. You can make them hard to last forever, or soft for cushy-ness, but the rubber eventually wears out.

    Roadforce your tires-and look for bent rims. I spent a lot of time chasing vibrations in suspension that turned out to be mildly tweaked wheels. Make friends with your local wheelsmith.

    I’d guess 60-80 for shocks before they get wonky, here in the northeast.

    Control arms are 100k plus parts for most cars. Front Control arm bushings vary. Soft, like BMW last 60k. Hard, like Honda/Acura, last longer. When they go, you get a braking vibration oft mistaken for warped rotors.

    I always replace all rubber bits when I do struts…You are there and this isn’t the time to save money.

    Here in the chi-chi burbs northeast of NYC, no one keeps the car past the three year lease (hey, had to meme you, elipses and all !!!) but I have one 300k senior citizen and mom’s DD has 108k. My “new” car has 68k. They all drive “new”.

    I’m sure a lot of folks buy new cars because they get a loaner, exactly the same as the ‘old’ car, but because the rubber bits are fresh, start thinking they want a “new” one.

    Replacement of these parts is part of TUV or MOT inspections overseas, but we over here don’t spec a replacement interval and our vehicle inspection joke doesn’t look that close at suspension.

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle

      Totally agree about using OE parts if you want to retain OE ride. I find it amazing that people who wouldn’t buy a cheap car new often end-up building their own Walmart car over the years. Then they repeat the cycle by dropping $30-50k on a new car that they will treat like a $2k beater until it becomes one.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        Sometimes OE is clearly the way to go, but not always. Manufacturers have to blend cost, ride, durability, performance, etc in making a decision and sadly, cost is often the highest priority. So always going OE can saddle you with designed-in compromises that will cause part #2 to fail as quickly as part #1. Mind you I’m talking premium top quality stuff, not generic or budget parts.

        • 0 avatar
          MBella

          Many times the “OE” parts at the dealer will be whatever company has agreed to supply the current batch of that price for the cheapest. For example, I would rather buy a wheal bearing from an aftermarket source that is an SKF or Timken, and not the Chinese one you might be getting at the dealer for three times the price. KYB or Sachs for shocks. Jurid, Pagid, ATE, or Brembo brake products on a European car, or Akebono on an American or Asian car. Many of these parts can end up being junk from the dealer.

    • 0 avatar
      Eiriksmal

      There is much wisdom in this post.

      I did like the hard-rubber Energy Suspension bushings I put on various parts of Maxima #1’s suspension. Sway bar endlinks seem to go out most frequently on the Maximas, maybe your vaguely-Infinified Maxima* will experience similar issues.

      I couldn’t tell much different in the sway bar bushing replacement, to be honest, but I like speedlaw’s assertion that bushings are either comfort- or life-oriented. The “sport” Maximas seem life-oriented, but I’m not sure about your non-sport M.

      For what little its worth, my struts or end links need to be replaced, front and rear, on my ’05 Max. 140,000 miles, clunks on bumps. I drive over a ton of speed bumps rather, um, aggressively, which has put a larger strain on the suspension than Maxima #1 experienced over its 130,000 miles.

      *Not sure if you ever responded to my jib in the Nissan sales thread, I understand the M is on a different platform, but your car is within an inch of my car in every dimension, looks EXACTLY THE SAME (only yours has a far less hideous front clip), and is overall suspiciously similar to the 6th generation Maxima. If the Maxima is an Altima with slightly nicer interior and suspension components, an M is a Maxima with a much nicer interior and improved suspension components.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        The M is not at all related to the Maxima. It’s from a RWD JDM platform, called the Kuga. It’s on the Enhanced Nissan FM platform (FR-L: Front engine, RWD, Lengthened), where the Maxima is on the Nissan D front-wheel drive platform. Nissan D underpins the Quest, the Samsung SM 5/7 in South Korea, and some Renaults.

        The 3.5 is an HR version (higher tune), and is not the same one found in the Maxima.

    • 0 avatar
      TrenchFoot

      +1 “Roadforce your tires-and look for bent rims.”

      Roadforce balancing is a lot more expensive than a standard tire balancing, but lots cheaper than throwing money away on new tires/wheels/everything else.

      I had a suspicion that the older tires on a used truck were out-of-round and Roadforce confirmed it. The techs worked hard, for a couple hours, to get the best balance out of the set and the results were well worth the cost and time traveling to the nearest shop with a Roadforce setup.

      • 0 avatar
        MBella

        The biggest obstacle to road-force balancing is finding a place that knows how to do it. I worked for a dealer when I was first starting out where everyone just used it to balance it normal. A place that does do road-force balancing shouldn’t charge you any more than normal to do a standard balance, and tell you if road-force matching is required on any of the wheels, then offer to road-force match that wheel.

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    I will echo the others in saying that if they are not visibly blown (leaks) then the shocks are fine. Most will lose their gas charge after 10+ years but still have damping force. My brother finally replaced struts on a 1989 MPV with 200k miles on, many of which were fire roads. They still had life left in them damping wise, but the spring perches were rusting out. Conversely the front and rear shocks on my 4Runner were toast at 99k miles, so this varies by vehicle as well as their use. The 4Runner sat in a garage for the most of the past decade seeing almost no use, I’ve heard shocks go bad from not being used (seals dry up?).

    As far as smooth rides go, I just test drove a 1963 Chevy II 4 door this past weekend, the suspension on that thing was bombproof, it barely felt the worst that Indianapolis ghetto roads could throw at it. Modern cars definitely place more of an emphasis on handling/control over a ride the smothers potholes. It’d be interesting to see if in this age of increasingly deteriorating infrastructure whether we’ll start to see more ‘boulevard rides’ again.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I will be checking my swaybars soon, since I do live in the Rust Belt. Though until 3/2013 the car lived in North Carolina. So it might just be the tires (though still fairly new) because they are Goodyear Eagle RS-A’s. The ride just feels a bit too jittery over bumps, with thumping.

    • 0 avatar
      PonchoIndian

      I’ve been through probably about a dozen sets of RS-A’s of various sizes since they replaced the GT+4

      RS-A’s are not known for their ride quality, quietness or long life. Come to think of it, most people hate them (I actually like them for sentimental reasons mostly).

      I think your biggest bang for your buck would be to get something a little more “touring” instead of performance. The Goodyear Comfort tread tires make a huge difference over the RS-A’s, and last a boat load longer too (this is knowledge from experience).

      I’m sure you could find another brand that will also make a huge improvement over the tires you current have.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Thanks for the info on these. I knew they weren’t popular but they were the stock tire on this car. The prior owner replaced them (must have been) shortly before I purchased. Like they still had little colored dots and the most the fringe around the edges.

        But at driving 4k miles/year, it’s going to take me a long time to need new tires!

        • 0 avatar
          PonchoIndian

          wow, I am jealous of your short commute.

          Maybe keep an eye on craigslist or ebay for a low mileage set of something else that may work better for you desires? It does seem like a waste to toss away a good set of tires to improve the ride, but then again, you gotta pay to play right.

          Ever get a set of snow tires for it like you had been talking?

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Yep just 3.3mi each way. Takes me 7 minutes roughly.

            I can’t imagine throwing away nearly new tires, though I guess I could try and sell them. What a hassle.

            My big snow tires debate was when I was choosing between doing snows+wheels on my GS, or purchasing a second winter vehicle that had some 4×4/AWD. I ended up just getting an AWD car and calling it a day. It’s actually got a pretty good AWD system, and with adequate all-seasons (which I guess these are in snow) I can make it up my driveway and to work easily enough. The driveway was the primary block to keeping the GS. It’s under the house, and has a narrow, semi-steep grade flanked by a block wall on one side and a block and stone wall on the other. Less than 1.5′ of clearance either side, which was just not working with a very slippery GS.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I’m 2.5 miles from home, and I put 2,400 miles on my Pontiac this year (but 4K on my Saturn). If I didn’t have friends forty miles away all of the cars would probably be less than 1,500 miles a year.

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            Wow, I have put 11,000 miles on the Verano since April…

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Well that must be because everything is so spread out up there in Canada.

          • 0 avatar
            PonchoIndian

            Dave
            I’ve done 20K miles since April and I live just north of Boston…I feel your pain.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @CoreyDL

            You forgot the “eh”.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            @28

            What are you on aboot, eh?

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            Ive also put about 2k miles on rentals….frakin useless GM service departments.

            In my case, my commute is short, but my lady lives clear across town, and we spend a lot of times hiking in Banff National Park, as well I have friends in Edmonton, and my family in Winnipeg.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Did I miss something? Did Pa. secede?

        • 0 avatar
          slance66

          Wow..you beat even my 7k a year. Ironically (or not), I sent in the last letter on a similar topic, cars that can handle potholes (Boston).

          I think the biggest culprit is the ultra low aspect ratio tires and huge rims. Next vehicle for me, which like you will be some time, will be a little more ride focused and capable on broken pavement.

      • 0 avatar
        tubbsbright

        I’m in the same boat. I have an ’07 M35 with 56k miles and iffy handling- too much steering feedback over bumpy roads and tramlining. I’ve had the suspensions looked at, an alignment, and tire rotation with no luck and was starting to worry that is was shocks, bushings, or steering rack and was not ready to chase down the problem.
        After reading about the Goodyear RS-A’s on NicoClub – I’m convinced these are the problem. Apparently they are OK when new, but get pretty rough as they start to wear. I ran my tires at 28-30 PSI to get more contact area and a softer sidewall and the handling really improved. My RS-A’s are about 4 years old and have 30-40% tread left, so I’m looking forward to picking up some new tires in December.
        I’m going with the Pirelli P7s (quiet and good dry handling) but Nico members love the Continental DSW, Michelin Pilot Sport and MXM4.

      • 0 avatar
        tubbsbright

        +1 on the Goodyear RS-A’s being rubbish. From what I’ve read they start off as average tires and don’t age well. I have 2007 M35 (55k miles) with 4 year old RS-As and iffy handling – too much steering feedback over bumps, tramlining, and poor braking. I tried an alignment, tire rotation, and had my suspension checked out, but after reading about the RS-As on NicoClub and seeing the symptoms improve with lower PSIs I’m convinced its the tires.

        I’m looking forward to getting new tires in December. Currently looking at Pirelli P7s. Good dry performance and quiet – I don’t need to worry about rain or snow in AZ.

        NicoClub guys love the Continental DSWs on the M’s.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          I will go with the DSW’s as my next tire. Just ditching almost new tires makes my head hurt.

          • 0 avatar
            05lgt

            YMMV, but I was disappointed (eventually) with my DSW’s. For the first 20% wear they were better than the pole positions I replaced ever were. The next 40% or so they were only almost as good as the last breaths of the poles. The last 40% (at least so far) have been miserably loud, hard, slick and extra slick when cold. Damp roads and 30* to 40*s are the norm here most of the year so I’m not waiting until they’re properly worn out. Baby needs new shoes, and they won’t be DSW’s.

        • 0 avatar
          tubbsbright

          I finally put the P7s on yesterday – I love ’em.
          They are quiet and smooth. The RS-A’s (4 years old with 30-40% tread) followed any irregularity in the road (broken pavement, manhole covers, potholes, etc) enough to make the steering wheel feel loose and shimmy around. Even breaking on smooth pavement would sometimes cause the steering to pull in one direction. The M35 feels like a brand new car with the right tires on.

      • 0 avatar
        MBella

        I’ve never had much against the Eagle RS-A. Are you sure you’re not referring to one of the Eagle GTs? I always felt that the RS-A was a good bargain option compared to the ContiProContact.

    • 0 avatar
      Eiriksmal

      I like Sajeev’s point that the rubber ages and gets harder over time. I, uh, had a bit of excitement when I went around a sharp bend at my usual summer speeds yesterday in the 20* weather. The tires skidded and hopped and fishtailed a bit, scaring the BAJIMMINIES out of the cars around me.

      It was a great reminder that even though the roads are plowed, my super-hawt Contintental DWSs suffer the same as everyone else’s 3-season tires in the cold. They’re aren’t very old (2 years?), but I’ve noticed a significant difference in the cold this year.

  • avatar
    PonchoIndian

    I’ve upgraded to Bilsteins but have never lowered. I highly suggest the shock upgrade from factory.

    Too many variables to place a time and number on a cars suspension parts go give you an answer you’ll like and that will be accurate.

    I’ve had shocks/struts be shot at 30K miles (not leaking, just way down on their ability to do their job) and I’ve had shocks/struts that seems to have no real loss of performance after 90K miles.

    With the exception of shocks/struts (and I know someone will disagree with me), I’d try to stick with all factory parts if I was to replace them on a daily driver. Start adding aftermarket bushings and things start to get wonky or go in a direction that isn’t typically what you’re looking for. As already said, I fully support a shock upgrade from almost anything factory.

  • avatar
    Windy

    i had a 1967 M-Benz 250SE from new euro delivery new england garage kept till 1998 well over 200,000 miles till it died of the tinworm still sold it for over $4,000 to a man who wanted the green leather interior for a convertible restoration he ended up using a lot of the suspension bits as well and i had replaced very few of them over the 30 years i had the car.
    i am convinced that one of the main reasons of that was the dozens of grease fittings that i attended to every 1,500 to 3,000 miles
    the car spent 4 months a year at the end of almost 2 miles ov very bad dirt road and that summer place garage was under a home perhaps 50 feet from a salt water harbor and that is why some of those oil change filter change and grease job intervals were just 1,500 miles

    If properly cared for cars with old fashioned zerk fittings everywhere could have very long suspension life cycles.

    The Benz had 2 different types of fittings most were the common zerk type but the door hinges used an oddball cone type that was serviced by a special mini piston type of greasing tool that was in the cars toolkit..most usa service stations did not have that sort of gun fitting and in any case it used a different grease type from the suspension points.
    Hence those points i ether attended to myself or the vocal service station had learned to get the little gadget from the trunk themselves.

    now the down side to all this was sometimes spending an hour or so every 2 weeks at the local service station for the oil change and greasing work… but that was the norm of ownership at the time and every gas station had service bays and mechanics actualy working on cars in the space where today is an overpriced sort of 7-11 type of store

    Sealed for life can mean the life of the component rather than the life of the car even more so if you regularly drive on dusty dirt roads

    • 0 avatar
      greaseyknight

      The OE’s have found that in the real world, sealed bearings and such last longer then greasable units. People who regularly grease things could get a longer lifespan, but the vast majority of folks aren’t going to have a car greased every oil change. From a cost/benefit standpoint, is it worth all the extra time and expense (at shop rate) of greasing vs a sealed component that doesn’t last quite as long?

      • 0 avatar
        MBella

        Actually, a Ford engineer told me that they found out that greasable joints get overgreased, and many contaminants get introduced into the joint. These two factors actually cause the joints to last less than the sealed units.

  • avatar

    +1000 on Bilsteins. Get the “comfort” or OE ride ones, not the WINNAH AT AUTOCROSS MON multi-adjustable F1 version. Shocks are one part that OE always cheaps out…it only has to last warranty. I had shocks replaced in three of my cars as a recall, as the supplier clearly bid a low price, but a bit too low….I’ve 80k on my Bilsteins and they still work perfectly. Sadly they aren’t for all cars, so when the MDX was up for shocks/struts at 100k, I had to use OE again, because no one credible made a replacement shock. Interestingly, there were new part numbers and a new front spring rate….

  • avatar
    gessvt

    Surprisingly the struts on my Legacy GT were in OK shape after 125,000 miles. The new KYB’s restored the ride quality quite a bit though.

    I was chasing down a rattle over railroad tracks and had already replaced the sway bar end links, LCA upper and lower bushings and ultimately the struts. The culprit? Worn strut mounts. Don’t forget those if you ultimately replace the struts.

    Oh, and if you decide to use poly bushings and live in a cold climate, grease them regularly unless you like the sound of aggressive squirrels while you drive.

    • 0 avatar
      mr_min

      +1 On the worn strut mounts, I know them as the top hat. I’m surprised they are not higher on the list of parts to replace.
      I’ve driven a few car with worn top hats, there is a rattle from the front end which makes the front of the car skitter on mid corner bumps, and clunk when the front suspension drops into a pothole or off a bump. Hard to diagnose because you have to un-load the suspension to find it.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Bilstein makes damn good shocks though. If you do replace them, go with Bilsteins and keep the stock springs. It’s worth it for the low speed damping alone.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    This is a completely different kind of car but my GP’s beancounter strut/shocks were shot at 70K, meanwhile my 98 Saturn never needed *any* undercarriage work last I saw it at 167K. I doubt your M needs shocks but I wouldn’t be surprised if it could use bushings or possibly a control arm depending on the quality of factory materials used.

    The other factor you discount is if I recall you have the AWD implementation of the Infiniti M series. How does AWD put additional stress on the undercarriage vs the RWD it was originally designed to spec? Do some research brah, I wouldn’t be surprised if the additional weight wears out certain components faster than what was originally spec’d by the engineering team.

    • 0 avatar
      PonchoIndian

      28
      Just goes to show how unpredictable things are…My Wife’s 08 GP with 110K miles is just starting to show signs of needing new struts. It’s getting a little less controlled in the ride/handling department, but they aren’t leaking and pass our nazi like state inspection with flying colors.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Mine were harsh over the local third world road conditions for some time and I finally had them checked. Does your wife’s car squeak a little on less than smooth roads? Mine still does despite the new shocks which I believe are bushings in need of replacement.

        • 0 avatar
          PonchoIndian

          No squeaks that I’ve heard. The rear strut mounts have passed their sell by date however. Some clicking and clunking can be heard (only inside) at low speeds.

          I suggest replacing the front sway bar bushings and links if you haven’t yet. I did have to replace the two links (something like $5.00 each with poly bushings for the links). This will be the easiest and cheapest to do before going full bore into bushing replacement. There is only one more bushing in the front end on each side that would squeak, the front of the control are is located by a trailing link, so no real opportunity to squeak there.

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    If your Infiniti is like my Lexus GS, just start replacing everything in the front suspension. I’ve never owned a car that ate front end parts like this Lexus. I’m convinced it’s all due to the camber-arm design and the huge rubber donut bushing that Lexus asks to work in a direction quite opposite to what logic would dictate.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      I’m almost certain it isn’t like the GS, since that was my previous ride albeit the 430 and not the 400. I recall reading they beefed up the suspension when they switched to the 430 versions with the mid-cycle refresh.

      That being said, in that car around 100k miles it needed new front shocks and some ball joints. It was wandering around the road.

  • avatar

    +1 for everyone recommending a mild Bilstein (or Koni) to replace a worn shock on an otherwise stock suspension. Most vehicles become much, much better…because shocks of this quality are usually reserved for ultra high performance factory tuned models. (BMW M, for example).

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Probably I would go with a comfort Bilstein after reading all of this. And some better tires. Maybe those Conti Extreme something people are always on about in here.

  • avatar
    Macca

    My ’08 Mazda3 came with Goodyear Eagle RS-As as the OEM tire – I replaced them early (~29k miles) with Continental’s ExtremeContact DWS. 30k miles later, the Contis have been appreciably better in every metric.

    The Goodyears were horribly loud, lacked grip in any setting (dry/wet/snow) and had poor tread life. The Mazda is my second car to have RS-As as the factory tire. Awful, awful tires in both instances.

  • avatar
    STRATOS

    What do people do with these cars to require suspension work? Sway bar end links ok.Most issues are defective tires and wheels.Maybe a wheel bearing.On modern cars ,most suspension components should last the life of the car.If a car starts out with cheap components,i would not call it wear and tear.Not normal maintenance.There is no magic mileage figure to tell you when something will need repair.

  • avatar
    tresmonos

    Oh that Continental. Makes me weep a bit inside.

  • avatar
    KindaFondaHonda

    As the owner of a 2010 Infiniti M35 (no x) I can say it is not normal.

    I am in Florida and while the roads here are exponentially better than up north, I cannot see how the suspension could be considered rough or not-compliant enough. Mine is fantastic (only 20K miles or so, though).

    In fact just a month or so ago, I had some extended family come down here to vacation and we spent a week in Del Ray Beach. On the drive there/back in the M35, they commented profusely on how magnificent it rode and how much nicer overall it was than their 2007 G35 Coupe. They were very impressed.

    I can’t imagine how a newer M35 could become so loosened up and sloppy or harsh. The thing is beautifully built and feels tank solid.

    Oh, and I have the same standard 18″ wheels as the “x” model and they don’t ruin the ride at all.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      “I am in Florida and while the roads here are exponentially better than up north”

      You just answered your own question.

      “On the drive there/back in the M35, they commented profusely on how magnificent it rode and how much nicer overall it was than their 2007 G35 Coupe.”

      Roads.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    I bought a ’95 Altima in ’96 and drove it until last year. I never did anything with the suspension, just brakes and tires. Of course, the ride deteriorated, but gradually, and I got used to it. I started driving more slowly, took fewer chances, and avoided rough roads and construction zones. When I rode in a friend’s 2007 Versa hatchback, I mentioned the great ride, thoroughly confusing him.

    Then the paint started peeling off the Altima and people were leaving notes on my windshield, offering to buy the car as-is. Then I heard about a 2005 Buick LeSabre for sale by a Lincoln dealer, a trade in with 60k, owned by a little old lady, and bought it, selling the Altima to the first guy I called.

    You might not want to keep a car for 18 years and let it slowly deteriorate, but it sure saves money.

  • avatar
    davefromcalgary

    2 thoughts:

    1) Am I the only one who has bought a used car and hated the rubber it came with enough to buy new tires, even though they weren’t worn out yet? (and I am not talking about going straight to winter rubber, either)

    2) At 285,000 kms I did the struts/shocks all around on the Alero (they were original, believe it or not). Found a broken spring (right at the bottom), as well as control arm bushings, sway bar links, etc. Found it didn’t ride or drive differently at all.

    But that’s obviously a much different class of car than the M.

    • 0 avatar
      GS 455

      I would not hesitate to replace even fairly new tires on a used car if I didn’t like their ride, handling or quality. To me it would be worth the extra money. By the way, what winter tires are you using on your Verano?

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      I would dump cheap tires on a used car purchase in a heartbeat. Often people will put bottom line tires on a car before sale and advertise “New Tires!” To me, junk tires have no value; I’d rather just replace the worn tires with quality stuff.

  • avatar
    dr_outback

    I really like the Monroe quick strut assembly. It comes with a new spring, strut bearing, dust cover and hardware. The labor costs saved from not having to remove the spring make up for the added cost of the assembly. Other manufacturers offer a similar strut assembly.

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    Strut wear is highly dependent on quality, road condition and driving style. Some manufactures, such as Honda, provide struts that, on reasonable roads, will still be serviceable for most drivers at 100K. Rough roads or “beancounted” OEM will be ready for replacement at 80K or less. For example, I drove an Altima at work with 15K so I was able to compare it to my same year Altima with 70K. The difference was immediately apparent – I had mine changed. I may be more “strut sensitive” than most but still, the idea that struts are lifetime parts is fantasy. Because they wear so slowly it may not be immediately apparent but do a back to back and the difference jumps out at you.

  • avatar
    SOneThreeCoupe

    I bought an M3 with 165k miles on it and proceeded to replace literally everything in the suspension (to include wheel bearings and repacking axle joints) that is considered replaceable. The difference is night and day. I had to buy some tools and borrow a press but it took me no longer than two days to replace everything, including subframe and differential bushings. I suppose the ability to completely align a car in my garage is a significant help as well.

    I cannot understand why anyone would allow their cars to go 50k+ miles without refreshing bushings, dampers and revisiting spring and sway bar choices. A tighter car is a safer car for you and everyone else around you, especially if it’s an econobox to begin with. Not everyone’s an enthusiast, and not everyone has the luxuries I have, but if I’m piloting a 3400lb (with driver) machine capable of causing death or destruction, I’ll do everything I can to ensure that it is safe.

    Maybe there’s bias involved- my track car has spherical bearings or solid bushings everywhere and the purity is impossible to beat. A small increase in NVH is acceptable for a large increase in predictability.

    • 0 avatar
      PonchoIndian

      ” cannot understand why anyone would allow their cars to go 50k+ miles without refreshing bushings, dampers and revisiting spring and sway bar choices.”

      Seriously? I’d be doing it less than every 2 years. I applaud your enthusiasm, but replacing all of these things is not only not economical, but in most cases, pretty wasteful. Of the 2 dozen cars+ I’ve owned through the years I can only think of two that have had any kind of bushing replaced, and those two were only sway bar links, and that was at over 100K miles.

      Most drivers, even in faced with an emergency situation, don’t use their car’s full handling/braking capabilities anyway.

  • avatar
    dr_outback

    I am amazed at how many people balk at the idea of replacing their vehicles struts/shocks. A mechanically inclined co-worker mentioned that his 200k mile ’03 Taurus was on its third set of end links. I mentioned that the problem is likely that the struts have lost their dampening ability. He didn’t realize that the condition of the struts could be at fault.

    • 0 avatar

      Tires: We’ve had four sets of Conti DWS in the fam, everyone has had good experience, from caddy grandad to the more sport oriented amongst us.

      The only tires that I like better are the Michelin A/S 3, which has summer levels of grip but is all (3?) season. Either are great.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Sounds like there are plenty of recommendations for this tire.

        • 0 avatar
          Eiriksmal

          Corey: Here’s my experience with them.

          First Maxima came with terrible, generic summer tires (on a rust-belt Ohio car!). They were awful, but I could do everything but drive on even the most mild of snow powder.

          Replaced with DWSs when they first came out. That day, it happened to rain. When braking to come to a stop at the edge of my work’s parking lot, I almost ricocheted my face off the steering wheel.

          The brake distance in the rain went from scary to, lock-the-seatbelt-nearly-imprint-Nissan-logo-in-face. From 5-10 MPH.

          They similarly have dominated all kinds of moderate snow driving (up to 4 inches in varying levels of wetness/powderiness). I’m on my 3rd set between the two Maximas.

    • 0 avatar

      BMW guys learn that you have to replace the set, as the good parts will gang up and pass the forces back to the older part and kill it. These parts all work in concert.

      Oh, and I fully admit Stockholm Syndrome where BMW is concerned…..


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • Felix Hoenikker: Given the absurd bed height of full sized pickups, any feasible gadget to lower cargo should be...
  • JimZ: Yeah, I’m sure Gwynne Shotwell and SpaceX’s 7,000 other employees do nothing but sit around...
  • JimZ: SpaceX is working so well because it’s run by someone (Gwynne Shotwell) who has discipline and good...
  • JimZ: “As long as mfrs hedge their bets by not going all in on EVs, they are effectively planning to fail in...
  • ttacgreg: I remember GM advertising bragging about all the rustproofing on the 1980 X-bodies. Riiiight. Living in...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributors

  • Timothy Cain, Canada
  • Matthew Guy, Canada
  • Ronnie Schreiber, United States
  • Bozi Tatarevic, United States
  • Chris Tonn, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States
  • Mark Baruth, United States
  • Moderators

  • Adam Tonge, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States