I buy auto parts from Autozone & O'Reilly's - usually lifetime warranty.
I have been doing auto transport round trips for the last week between Napa, CA & Virginia City, VA so there has been a lot of steep grades going up & down.
About a week ago - I replaced the water pump, thermal fan clutch, t-stat, serpentine belt, belt tensioner & idler pullies ( water pump started to leak out the weep hole- was only (6) months old ).
Today I had to replace the water pump & fan clutch again .....
I am getting tired of premature part failure.
It does not matter where you buy - I used to buy at Napa & I used to buy Motorcraft OEM from a dealer - the quality of parts has steadily declined over the years.
If I had to pay a mechanic for all of the labor related to premature part failure - I don't think I could afford to drive down the road.
I did not realize the failure rate was so high until an Autozone counter guy looked up my percentage of returns ......
Interestingly enough - they can see the return percentage for a customer but they can't show the percentage of the gross return that is warranty generated ....
Whats a water pump Jim??? LOL!
You would probably be ahead to buy an original Ford water pump. My Chevrolet truck pump has 210,000 miles. I would think a real Ford pump should do likewise.
Naw,I think the one on the old 7.3 had 170,000 on it when the org pump puked.Bud.
I had a friend that owns a repair shop tell me that is normal now. He plans to do a job at least two times now. Said it did not matter where the part comes from. Junk parts from China all of them.
I picked up a part for a Expedition from AZ and it was Motorcraft part with the Motorcraft burned off of it. ??
3 or 4 years ago my sons Suburban had the fuel pump fail at my house on Christmas Day. We trouble shot it and determined the pump was likely bad. Dropping the tank we confirmed the pump was getting power to the connector. Next day bought a new pump from autozone, put it in and put the tank back up. Bad pump. The next pump we made sure the thing ran before putting the tank back up!
I agree that the quality on most replacement parts just isn't there. It's aggravating.
It isn't just vehicle parts. I was going to spray weeds, but now I'm waiting for the co-op to open so I can buy a sprayer that works, at least for awhile.
That's because off-shore manufacturers can buy our scrap metal, ship it, refine it, cast it, machine it, assemble it, box it and ship it back cheaper than it can be made here in the US.
Have you tried to find a brake rotor made in the US. I have and can't unless you go with specialty parts at 5x the price or more.
Most of the parts I buy no mater where from what retailer are NOT MADE IN THE UNITED STATES. When Mexico labor is or was 3.00 a DAY---its easy to see why--- and why borders are crossed. Rebuilt parts are often from Mexico. New parts from a local parts house are often from China. That does not make them bad but when the quality control--cost or design is delegated in the US whos fault is it?
My tractor takes two like filters for diesel---NAPA had one in stock---auto zone the other. exact same filter made in Poland in a auto zone box.
Sometimes we get what we pay for!Long ago almost every town had a factory that made something and life was good!! Is cheaper really best in the long run? Bud?
Kenneth-to answer your question- it is for the corporate puke who cares of nothing but sort term profit.
Dan,Your right of course but someone bought all that crap,and i am not without sin either.Bud.
The current noise is Craftsman is not doing well. When you can buy a Craftsman 3/8 inch wobble ratchet for 35.00 that does the job when an Armstrong ratchet made in the US is over a 100.00 some what better what one would you buy?
Some things to consider:
All corporate CEOs of publicly traded companies are bound by law to do everything in their power to keep the company profitable and to protect the value of the stock.
Every business exists to make a profit- if they don't they go out of business.
If a competitor offers a product/service at a cheaper price then all competing companies have to do the same or they will be out of business.
And lastly, all products and services currently available are priced based on what consumers are willing to pay- if not that company will fail.
Ah yes, but it used to be that managers looked at the long picture, what things would be like 10 years down the road Now it's all about how good they can make the bottom line look right now. Then they gather their departure deal money and leave. They may have sold off much of the company's assets to get that great bottom line, and in a few years or less, the company is in trouble--but they're gone down the road by then.
My mechanic friend grouses continuously about the quality of parts, but even more about the problem of getting the right part.
It seems everything is done by the computer these days. The kids on the counter enter your make, model, etc. and the computer tells them the part number. In his case the parts store delivers to his shop.
His experience is that at least half the time the wrong part is handed to him. The delivery kids joke that he is a 3-trip customer. He always looks at the part before the kid leaves and sends it back if it's wrong, so what they mean is, it takes 3 tries to get the right part. No wonder he has a mean temper!!
If I need a part for something odd, which is pretty much everything I own, then I try to look up the part number before going to the store. You say International and they think big rig, Hudson and they're clueless, you say 1938 and they think they misunderstood. Some new parts I get for my 04 Chevy I'm super fast at replacing because they only last a year.
" That does not make them bad but when the quality control--cost or design is delegated in the US whos fault is it? "
If the major auto parts retailers got together & demanded higher quality parts - things might change.
The Murray water pump that failed after a week came in a box that said " Made in China ".
I ended up going back to the Autozone water pump - I don't know the country of origin but it is heavier than the Murray water pump.
The Murray thermal fan clutch came in box that said " Made in America ".
I try to use OEM whenever possible. Rock Auto's website is a great reference for looking up part numbers and differentiating OEM from aftermarket.
I also consult the respective internet forums to see if there is an aftermarket replacement that is considered better than OEM (however, my experience has been that OEM is typically recommended).
I use a mechanic who lets me provide the parts.
When I am not in a hurry, I buy parts on eBay, or from Amazon, GMPartsDirect or Rock Auto. I have saved a substantial amount of money purchasing parts from sellers on eBay that specialize in liquidating inventories from car dealers that have gone out of business.
I just put a new ignition coil and ignition control module in my dad's '96 Buick Roadmaster wagon (LT1 motor). Can you guess where they are located?
Good tips ...
Inside the oil pan ?
This spring I decided it was time to have some chickens around the yard again.
So, I went to my favorite feed store and put an order in for three sexed barred
rock hens. I asked for a 12 week out delivery to allow time to build a fortress
pen and coop (to keep the coons and skunks and owls at bay). When I got the
call to come pick up my chicks, I drove down and picked up three little fuzz balls,
some feed, grit, and dispensers for water and meal. With the intention of having
tame garden chickens, I handled them every day and growed 'em all up tame and
friendly like, but damn, they was the funniest looking barred rock hens I ever did
So, do the math with me here .... all three birds turned out to be Old English
bantams. Little tiny chickens, hens are a dull brown and the roosters a pretty
black body with red head and neck.
So .... 100% fail on that count, and TWO of the tree ended up to be cocks, so
a 66% fail rate there.
Now, I doubt any of these little guys were made in China, but the DO YOUR
DAMNED JOB level at the service desk scored a 5-out-of-6 fail rate. If my math
is any good, that is an 83% fail rate.
I am pondering Steve's comment about sprayers. Mine have held up pretty good
since coming home from AFG in 2013. I still have a wasp sprayer from before
the war going strong, and three chem sprayers for weeds and creepy-crawlies.
One went gunny sack last year, not for product failure, but because some dumbass
ran it over. I think that was me.
What never seems to fail though, is weeds, or unwanted consequences. I mean, if
you made the trip to Disneyland, and the mission objective was not to go on the rides
(each lasts a few minutes), but rather to stand in line (each line can take an hour), you
achieve vastly higher success rates, simply by shifting the mission objective ! Are we
tracking, people ?
So, if Jim adjusted his goals to rate roadside breakdowns, tows, and parts/mechanical
expenses higher than say, deliveries or profits, then his happiness quotient would overflow
exponentially ! It's all in how we see the problem before us. Right, Jim ?
Looks like I will be leaning into my friendly chicken dispensary with stern expression
and undefined threat this coming spring.
I read your post with amusement.
I have been sitting in a Camping World store in Sacramento, CA for about (3) hours now waiting for a cash refund.
Camping World will never get my business again.
I bought a trailer suspension control system called " Joyride " that turned out to have missing parts.
I paid cash - went to return it - was told they only refund $100 maximum in cash - they offer store credit or a check for the balance.
Your story reminded me of the one where the farmer buys a new rooster. New rooster goes up to the old rooster, "You're done old man, I'm takin' over this yard, just go down the road!"
"Wait a minute, there's over 30 hens here, Let me just have two, and I'll just leave all the others to you."
"No way, you just go!"
"Tell you what, let's race around the house, if you beat me, I'll go, If I beat you, I'll stay with just the two hens."
"Old man, I can outrun you so easily that wouldn't even be fair, tell you what, I'll give you a head start 1/4 of the way around the house, and I'll still beat you!"
"OK, that's a deal, let's go!"
So they start racing around the house, the old rooster is in the lead as they come around the front of the house. Suddenly the farmer jumps up out of his chair on the porch and "BLAM!" Shoots the young rooster. "Dag-nabbit Ma, that's the third gay rooster I've bought this week!"
Moral; Don't mess with old guys!
David, I feel stupid sitting here laughing at my phone! Thats funny my friend.
I have a cousin that owns a CARQUEST store. He is second generation. His dad started the store over 50 years ago. He knows his parts. He says even CARQUEST sells different quality parts. He buys only the top of the line. NAPA and O'Reily's sells cheaper stuff, but offers the so called "life time warranty".
His idea is the "life time warranty", just means a life time of changing parts that have failed over and over. Buy quality stuff, and forget it.
My nephew teaches metal shop at the local high school. Took his class to tour the local automotive battery factory. Kids were very interested in the whole process, but at the end, they were sharp enough to ask, where the different assembly lines were for different grades of batteries. Tour guide sheepishly admitted that the only difference in the batteries was the sticker that was placed on it at the end of the assembly line. Better guarantee, just cost more, construction was exactly the same in all grades.
I would like to know where he buys from.
I used to buy from Carquest but I travel all over the lower 48 states and there are large areas where you can't find a store.
Being on the road & ending the day in a different place means I have to buy retail parts where I am as needed most of the time.
For a few years I bought exclusively thru NAPA but then the smaller stores did not carry the lifetime parts line - they could order it but it usually took at least a day.
Out of necessity I have had to deal with Autozone & O'Reilly's simply because they have the most stores in the areas I travel.
Perhaps it is just a myth but I have been told repeatedly that there are just a handful of automotive parts manufacturers for common replacement parts - only the boxes are different.
Bishop, CA .....
Early evening after fueling I noticed my volt meter gauge showed my battery was not charging - luckily I had just bought a fuel filter at the O'Reilly Auto Parts in town.
Called & they had a lifetime alternator in stock.
Glad I caught it before the long haul up US Hwy 395 to Minden, NV.
Off came the Autozone lifetime alternator - on went the new lifetime O'Reilly alternator made in ..... Malaysia ?
Guess I will be returning the Autozone one in Carson City, NV.
It lasted just a few months ......
Unfortunately I've found out the hard way that brand name parts that always had a high quality reputation don't aren't afraid to outsource their production to increase profits at the expense of reliability. I always try to figure out where its made prior to purchasing. In some parts of the planet production and quality control seems much more consistent than other areas. I usually prefer components produced in the US, Canada, and northern European EU, as well as Japan over other areas. Had far better luck with them than those produced in other areas. I don't mind paying for quality and saving my knuckles and aggravation over continuously replacing failed lower quality components.
Eric,I looked for a Roadmaster wagon for a long time and never could find 1. My dad's 95 sedan is 1 nice ride though.
If the coils are like the starter on my Cadillac, it is under the INTAKE! They say it is cooler in there than under the engine. I was always taught heat travels UP?
When you buy a water pump or alternator, or starter from a parts store, you usually are sold a rebuilt one. That equates to used - worn out. I buy the same way expecting issues, but cannot afford to double the value of my vehicle by installing an OEM part. Honestly, even what they sell is often junk.
Erik's distributor cap / module is located behind the water pump. It's a real pain in the a$$ and you need a special little 4mm torx driver to remove it.
I was the Maintenance Garage Supervisor at a municipal garage for 20 years. We maintained about 240 pieces of equipment and used OEM parts as much as possible, however there was still a large amount of part failure. Even OEM replacement parts didn't last as long as the originals. I never got a good answer as to why this was true. One example was batteries. A large part of our fleet was made up of Ford cars and pickups. An original Ford Factory Motorcraft battery often lasted up to 7 years, but NO replacement of any brand including Motorcraft batteries bought from a Ford dealer would last even half that time.
Something else we noticed, was that OEM parts quality changed through the years, maybe due to different suppliers to the OEM. We had a fleet of Crown Victoria Police cars. There were little changes through the years, but the basic car remained the same. One year / series would have heater core failures where other years did not. Another series had A/C condenser failures. Each year model seemed to have it's own bad part, but I had to wonder why the same part in the previous model cars gave good service?
We ran these cars from their introduction in 1992 through their last 2011 models, always to between 125-150 thousand miles, and each year / series had different parts failures. We never had rear axle problems until about 2009 or 2010, and then we started having axle failures in those year model cars. It was so bad that parts were backordered, and the replacements also failed! One car was under warranty and sat at the dealer for 4 months because it needed the axle housing. We finally pulled it out of the dealership and replace the axle with one from a wrecked car!
This is why civilization will end. People not caring to make anything worth a darn.
On other car forums i complain that nothing is made properly anymore and the forum users tell me
"Suck it up b***"
"That's the world now. Get used to it or die f*g**t"
"If you're so good why don't you make your own parts?"
"No they're not, they're awesome! I can buy 5 for a dollar off aliexpress and replace them every day. You're just a whiner, eat s**t & die"
At least here i can say "Things an't made right" and people will not only agree with me but i don't get sworn at and told to GTFO.
DO you think anyone will try to save civilization through quality products? Doubt it'll happen...
Oh yeah.. some other things they tell me when i ask why things can't be made to have a better than 60% failure rate.
"It's called progress, don't like it? go live in a grass hut then."
"Shut up old geezer" (paraphrased as what they actually say isn't something I'd repeat)
Going through this right now with a Chevy engine that has 66k miles on it. The timing chain "stretched" causing OBD codes P0008 and P0017. The car runs fine but will not pass inspection with the check engine light illuminated. Really sad when timing chains only last as long as a timing belt! $1500 repair!