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2000 S430, 2003 S430, 2000 S500, 2003 S600 TT, and 2005 E320 CDI
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Discussion Starter #1
While this little story concerns a 1994 Honda Civic, it applies just as much, and I'd say even more, to our beloved W220's.

Five years ago, I realized that the rear suspension in my little econobox needed overhauling. This was my first ever major suspension work, a couple of years before starting on any Benzes. This was before I learned about the pitfalls of "Chinesium" on cars. So, in addition to new LCA's and other parts, I went to a local auto parts store and bought some rear struts. These were "AAA" brand. They seemed to be OK...

...until a few months ago. They started squeaking like a group of mice any time I'd go over a bump. Both of them started squeaking like this at about the same time. Given my experience with the project 2000 S500 (wife's car) and how that car's rear suspension squeak alerted me to a potentially VERY DANGEROUS problem, I got under the car yesterday afternoon and got to work.

Those struts are now replaced with made-in-USA Monroe Quick-Struts; they are even engraved, "MADE IN USA" on the strut itself. Had a look at these "AAA" struts after removing 'em. Couldn't see any "made in China" engravings on them (gee, big surprise there). However, one was already leaking oil from the shock. The other one was probably about to start leaking soon. MacPherson struts should last about 15 years in most parts of the United States before they start leaking. Walks like Chinesium, quacks and leaks like Chinesium, tries to hide country of origin...it's probably Chinesium.

Went for a one-hour drive this evening. There's just a little noise from the rear, but it's much, much better. The handling in the back of the car also feels tighter.

The Lesson: it doesn't matter what kind of car it is. If you want to drive it and actually have it be a solid car...AVOID CHINESIUM. Otherwise, you will be doing the job again. And if someone's trying to hide the country of origin, caveat emptor. Personally, I'd avoid it.
 

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2002 Mercedes ML320, Mercedes 190E 2.3L (sold), 2001 Mercedes c320(gone)
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In fact Sir, I believe these ones without a country of manufacture are the worst. The Chinese are proud to have it's 'made in China' stamped no matter what... I have always suspected these are some illegally exported stuff which makes them probably the absolute worst things to use as there may be zero quality control since it's all rooted in deception.

Sent from my Pace 2 Lite using Tapatalk
 

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2002 Mercedes ML320, Mercedes 190E 2.3L (sold), 2001 Mercedes c320(gone)
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I still remember the times when "Japanesium" was the "Chinesium" of today. We´ll see...
There's no doubt the Chinese are awesome at what they do, but getting from the right source is key and that's where it gets complicated as there are a lot of these parts in many websites.

One can get whatever quality you need from China, but buying unnamed stuff is so risky... they are quite passionate about the seal. A friend of mine was having a plan with the Chinese for a fair called the AfriChina trade Fair, when correspondences are sent they would rephrase the brand name as ChinaAfrica... so something made in China without the made in China is the worst thing to buy

Matter of fact here in Africa we would have not be able to have access to or afford a lot of things if it's not for the Chinese...

Sent from my Pace 2 Lite using Tapatalk
 

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2005 S500 with amg package
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Americans now drive an average of 13,476 miles per year. If you do the average and the struts lasted approx 5 years or 67,380 miles, then that's about the normal life according to the Monroe website. However I think most shocks last longer than monroe estimates.

From the Monroe website: -
How many miles do shocks and struts last?
Experts recommend replacement of automotive shocks and struts at 50,000 miles. Testing has shown that original equipment gas-charged shocks and struts degrade measurably by 50,000 miles*. For many popular-selling vehicles, replacing these worn shocks and struts can improve the vehicle's handling characteristics and comfort. Unlike a tire, which rotates a specific number of times per mile, a shock absorber or strut may compress and extend several times per mile on a smooth road, or several hundred times per mile on a very rough road. There are other factors that affect the life of a shock or strut, such as, regional weather conditions, amount and type of road contaminates, driving habits, loading of the vehicle, tire / wheel modifications, and the general mechanical condition of the suspension and tires. Have your shocks and struts inspected by your local Monroe Expert Plus dealer or any ASE Certified Technician once a year, or every 12,000 miles.

*Actual mileage may vary, depending upon driver ability, vehicle type, and the type of driving and road conditions.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Indeed, all the more reason to go with the good stuff then.

Monroe, naturally, wants to sell more struts. I'd imagine KYB says something very similar. However, we also know, from experience, that the OE struts last about 15-20 years. In my car's case, it apparently was 20 years. I still have them and plan to replace the shock part just to learn how. They are Genuine Honda, and apparently that's what happens when you get the good stuff.

Same applied to the shock absorbers on my truck. The originals lasted something like 15 years. I put some Bilstein shocks on there as replacements, and that should do it for a good, long time. My truck also required the steering linkage to be overhauled, so everything there was either Motorcraft or Moog Problem Solver (nothing made in China).

The W220 equivalent of that would be AIRmatic springs, which tend to last roughly 130,000 miles or 10-15 years. That's going to be either Bilstein (the OEM) or the Genuine-MB-rebranded Bilsteins.

I see Chinesium for our cars from various vendors all the time, including from Rock Auto. Fortunately, the OEM part is usually not that much more expensive, and it'll generally last longer as well.

Now, for the point made by @noetico about the Chinese being capable of making good stuff: he's correct in that they are so capable. Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to show up in the automotive parts industry, at least in either the UK or the USA. Experience has shown me that it's just too much of a gamble.
 

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/\ /\ /\ Absolutely 101% Correct :)

Experience lol ....................

3 years of testing "pattern" parts against OE and OEM on fleet Vehicles and dataloggng mileages, failures, etc has shown me and the Workshop owner I was doing the research for that a hugely high percentage is absolute SH1T JUNK !! ..................

THAT IS MY EXPERIENCE

I simply will not buy it and have to waste my time doing the job again, which is 96% more likely to happen than the odd part that will work properly and last the distance.

As just one single example we are talking fit a Febi Bilstein Ball Joint on one side of a Sprinter Van, and at the same time / mileage fit a Chinesium Green Box [email protected], (as sold by a lot of UK Factors, so not the worst Chinesium) on the other side. Van is driven 600 miles per day, by the same driver, on the same roads, from Kyle of Lochalsh to Manchester and back 5 days a week !!

3000 miles / 1 week later the Chinesium is worn so badly it is dangerous, 1 year / 150,000 miles later the Febi Bilstein still has no perceptable wear !!.

Some of the RUBBISH is downright dangerous straight out of the box, which is usually of better quality than the part itself !!

IRMC !!
 

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W219 320CDI -07 W220 320CDI -01 W210 270CDI -01 EX: W211 320CDI -04
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As long as ppl pay for that cheap rubbish, chinese keep manufacturing them. Like said old 'japanisium' has changed because they had to do better quality stuff to get it sold.
This was recently brought up in one star clone discussion (SDConnect quality is known to detoriated lately), they now figure out how cheap and totally wrong parts they can use in PCB (original chips does noe exists anymore, substitute parts needs to be used).
 
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