Niagara Gazette — PART OPTIONS
There are quite a few different types of parts you can pick from. One of the best sources for inexpensive repairs is to look for used parts. A good used original equipment part can be better to use than a really cheap aftermarket part. OEM parts have carmaker specs built into them and usually perform well under the right circumstances. Your service advisor will know what is best if you want to choose this option. Obviously the part will have to be inspected to make sure it is okay before installing it.
Good rebuilt or remanufactured parts are another great option. These are used parts that have been taken apart and cleaned and had wear items replaced to return the whole to a “like-new” specification. I always look first for this type of part unless the repair process calls only for OEM parts.
So what type of repair would call for a new OEM part only? Well, years ago, Chrysler had a problem with head gaskets on their 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engines in Neons. They used a laminated head gasket that leaked oil on the left hand backside of the head. No one seemed to be able to make a gasket that would seal the leak. After several failed attempts at offering a workable head gasket solution by aftermarket as well as OEM parts suppliers, Chrysler came out with the cure - a head gasket kit, which included a redesigned laminated head gasket, new head bolts, and a special water jacket sealer. No other kit solved the problem aside from this cure. In this case, only OEM parts worked.
OEM parts can be the best choice in other situations, too. Some years ago I owned a ‘91 Chevy Lumina Eurosport. While on a business trip, my wife called and informed me that the steering was malfunctioning. The rack & pinion had failed and our local tire store quoted her over $800 to replace the rack with a lifetime guaranteed unit. I advised her to contact our local Chevy dealer to get a quote. The dealer came back with a quote for a GM rebuilt rack with a lifetime warranty for under $500. A savings of over $300 -- and from a dealer at that! These days, with the economy in a downturn, dealers aren’t selling as many vehicles so they have to generate profit any way they can. Consequently, they are very competitive in the service and parts departments.