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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I own a 2008 Accord 4 door sedan 4 cylinder. I drove it for about five years and the place where I take it for service told me I needed new struts. I put it off for about a year but got new ones about 6 months ago.

They lasted about 6 months. I take them back to the service station and they refused to honor the warranty telling me that I carried a too heavy load in my trunk -- apparently they found a single bag of manure/compost in my trunk.

At most I carry 12 bags in the trunk which weigh about 30 pounds each for a total of 360 pounds. I drive these for about 20 miles with me the sole passenger - 190 pounds. 360+190 equals 550 pounds total. The Accord is supposed to be able to handle 850 pounds total.

They say the load is unbalanced and thus won't even ask the supplier to honor the warranty. I say that the Honda carried this much weight in the trunk for five years with the original struts. That the ones they installed most be inferior quality or defective.

So the total weight was 360 plus 190 pounds equals 550 pounds. Who is right -- was I carrying too much weight unevenly distributed?

Note -- when doing the work, they never gave me a single hint that that the Honda could no longer carry as much weight as it did with the original struts.

Note -- you may have gathered that I know nothing about cars and have trusted these guys for years.
 

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Kinda seems like a lot of weight in the trunk to me for an accord.
 

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My owner's manual doesn't say a thing about "balancing" the load and it sounds as if you are well within the limits. You should be able to exceed the 850 pound limit by quite a bit and not damage anything, I am sure they build in a respectable safety margin. You are correct they installed defective struts.
 

· Elvira
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My owner's manual doesn't say a thing about "balancing" the load and it sounds as if you are well within the limits. You should be able to exceed the 850 pound limit by quite a bit and not damage anything, I am sure they build in a respectable safety margin. You are correct they installed defective struts.
Kinda seems like a lot of weight in the trunk to me for an accord.
360 pounds isn't that much unless the weight was biased toward the rear of the trunk (closer to the bumper). The tongue weight allowed on a 2008 Accord is 200 pounds and that weight is usually further back on the car than the cow poop would be. So if the weight WAS concentrated at the rear of the trunk you might be putting enough torque on the suspension in the rear than it can handle.

Remember that the GVWR is with 5 adults evenly distributed as well as cargo.

You are increasing the effective weight due to the distance from the fulcrum identified as the line between the struts. Think of it this way, you have seen cars,trucks, with the front end tilted up making the lights shine up. Enough weight in the back can lift the engine, trans, cabin etc.

If the weight is directly over the struts, the struts would hold up better. In the future I would balance the load directly over the struts if at all possible.

Now, add the possibility that the struts are not rated at the same load as the OEM struts with the suspension jouncing up and down during normal driving.

But I also agree that the struts you have as replacements should hold up at least as long as the OEM's and not blow out after only 6 months.

Are you transporting this load on a daily basis over bad roads?
 

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This does not make enough sense to me. Look for a white sticker on your driver’s side door jam. It will state GVW for both axles. For my coupe it states 2,425 lbs. for the front and 2,050 lbs. for the rear. Let’s assume the car weighs 3,450 pounds and has a 60/40 weight distribution. That means an empty Accord with NO fuel will start with 2,070 lbs. and on the front axle and 1,380 lbs. on the rear axle. Now add 120 pounds to the rear axle for a full tank of gas. That brings the rear axle's start weight up to 1,500 pounds. It is rated by Honda to carry 2,050 pounds. That implies it can carry up to 550 lbs. more on the rear axle. If your numbers are correct, you should not have exceeded the rear axle's GVW limitation.

However to cover this potential angle, let’s suppose that 100% of the 360 pound load was located over the left rear wheel. I think we can assume that each rear wheel can support 50% of the 550 pound total load, or 225 pounds. Obviously 360 pounds would have easily exceeded the 225 lbs. limit. But common sense tells me that to transport 12 bags, you must have spread them evenly in the truck.

However as Miker pointed out, the leverage of having that much weight concentrated near the bumper could have increased the “effective” weight of the 360 pound load to much more than 360 pounds. Was the tail end of your car really sagging when you transported the compost?

Can you get the specs on the aftermarket shocks and compare them to the specs of the OEM rear shocks? If you can prove that the aftermarket shock was weaker, you may have a stronger case. I don't know who is right or wrong, but how can the shop prove their accusation that you overloaded the rear suspension? Did you arrive with 12 bags of compost? What made them conclude you carried too many bags and therefore too much weight?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you all for the answers. I’ll try to respond to all the points/questions raised.

Was the load evenly distributed in the trunk?
Yes, you could probably put 14 bags in the trunk, but even with twelve they simply occupy most of the trunks. In addition, I tried to put the 12 as far forward as possible while keeping them equal on the two rear wheels.

Was the rear noticeably lowered or the handling affected?
No, to both questions. I have driven a truck with too much in the rear, so I know how it handles and frankly it scares me. The Accord showed no signs to me of overloading either visibly or in handling. If it had, I would have switched some bags to the floor of the rear seat.

How often did I carry 12 bags in the Honda?
With the original struts there were times I did it numerous times a month with no adverse affects. However, I am 75 years old and various physical problems meant that I did it significantly less than once a month with the new struts.

The distance the bags were transported?
20 miles.

Condition of the roads?
Paved, good condition all the way. Three speed bumps. I slow for these.

Why did the owners of the service station think I carried heavy loads?
One of the owners found a single empty manure/compost bag in the trunk and then accused me of transporting 100 pound bags of gravel. I was honest and told him that I had transported up to 12 bags of manure/compost that average about 30 pounds each. The other owner later said I was carrying bags of concrete. Frankly, I think they were looking for an excuse not to honor the warranty.

The specs of the struts?
I’ll try to get these. The parts rep was there by accident for one impromptu meeting I had with an owner. He said he had two lines of struts and asked the owner which he installed. The owner did not answer.

Thanks again.
 

· mobiless2
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What's the difference if you always carried 4 adults weighting 180 each in the car? I think your shop is full of manure.

The warranty is with the shock manufacturer not the shop. The just don't want to do the labor for free.

Ask them to show you in writing, where it states you cannot carry anything in your trunk.

Probably cheap Monroe replacements.
 

· Running NYC
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See this is why no one trusts dealerships, I'm curious if they only found one bag in the trunk how did they end up saying you carry too much weight? did you tell them you carry loads of bags in there? or are they assuming that because you had one bag in there you must have had many more? Did you ask to speak to a manager? or did you just say well ok..and leave being very upset which I understand? at least go back and speak to a service manager and take it from there.
 

· Elvira
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Thank you all for the answers. I’ll try to respond to all the points/questions raised.

Was the load evenly distributed in the trunk?
Yes, you could probably put 14 bags in the trunk, but even with twelve they simply occupy most of the trunks. In addition, I tried to put the 12 as far forward as possible while keeping them equal on the two rear wheels.

Was the rear noticeably lowered or the handling affected?
No, to both questions. I have driven a truck with too much in the rear, so I know how it handles and frankly it scares me. The Accord showed no signs to me of overloading either visibly or in handling. If it had, I would have switched some bags to the floor of the rear seat.

How often did I carry 12 bags in the Honda?
With the original struts there were times I did it numerous times a month with no adverse affects. However, I am 75 years old and various physical problems meant that I did it significantly less than once a month with the new struts.

The distance the bags were transported?
20 miles.

Condition of the roads?
Paved, good condition all the way. Three speed bumps. I slow for these.

Why did the owners of the service station think I carried heavy loads?
One of the owners found a single empty manure/compost bag in the trunk and then accused me of transporting 100 pound bags of gravel. I was honest and told him that I had transported up to 12 bags of manure/compost that average about 30 pounds each. The other owner later said I was carrying bags of concrete. Frankly, I think they were looking for an excuse not to honor the warranty.

The specs of the struts?
I’ll try to get these. The parts rep was there by accident for one impromptu meeting I had with an owner. He said he had two lines of struts and asked the owner which he installed. The owner did not answer.

Thanks again.
Thanks for your update to all the questions. Doesn't look like you did anything that out of the ordinary or overtax the struts.

Looks like you got some bad shocks or the shop charged for heavyduty (near OEM) shocks and put on lower capacity junk shocks.

Good luck
 

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Sounds like you found a sleaze-ball shop that sells inferior parts, happens to a lot of us from time to time. As mentioned above the people who made the parts are responsible for the warranty but the shop that put them on should be trying to help you not lie to you and insult you.

Get some good quality ones at a reputable shop. I wouldn't go back to the place that put these on, you'll never get anything out of them anyway. But it might benefit others if you report them to the BBB, Angie's List, etc.
 
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