Sometimes during auto repairs we have to make the choices between adding aftermarket of original parts from the factory. Often you can find generic parts for much less than you would get from the dealer. This includes everything from bumpers, fenders, front grills, and even tail lights. Sometimes it is even possible to find parts that are of higher quality by going elsewhere for parts.
For instance, Jeeps drivers in the 80s or 90s often experienced what was called death wobble because of a bad part in the suspension. A few manufacturers have built a piece to correct what the OEM part failed to do well.
Far from a Dealer
Sometimes you may find yourself somewhere that the parts are just not available. While driving through Mexico for instance, I found myself needing a new radiator hose. With no Chevy dealer around, I found a radiator shop nearby. They had spools of different size hoses and were able to cut a piece the right size and bend it to fit right where I needed it. At AutoZone in this country they would have had an aftermarket hose, but it would have been already formed and made specifically for my engine. Six months later and that hose is still doing fine.
A starter is a pretty typical replacement for a car as well. Many times the factory starter is built much better than an aftermarket piece. This is also an item that many people buy rebuilt. If you find yourself at a parts store, it may be better not to choose the cheapest one. If they give you a choice of choosing one with a longer warranty, that is often a better way to go. I have had the starter on my car changed about 4 times in the 180,000 miles I have driven it. It seems to be the piece that wears out the fastest.
A window regulator and motor is the part that rolls the window up and down with power windows.? This is another part that often wears out.? The Pontiac dealer wanted over $100 a piece for each one.? At one point, I had three of these go out with in a very short period of time.? So once I got around to replacing them it looked like it was going to cost close to $400 just for the parts.? I went to rockauto.com and had the parts mailed to me for closer to $40 a piece.?? Then I called the guys over at mobilemechanicphoenixaz.com and had them come install them.? One of the windows regulators was wired backwards, so it rolled up when I pushed down, and down when I pushed up.? A little cut and splicing of wires and everything is good.? And I saved so much on the parts that getting them installed was practically free as long as they don’t need replaced again within a couple of years.? Its been three years now, and all two out of three are still great.? The backwards one still works, but is really slow on the way up.? It often does better with a little helpful pull.? It would likely still be working fine if I had paid the triple the price, but the car isn’t worth the additional investment.