Replacement Parts Quality Is Better Than Ever – Fact -

Replacement Parts Quality Is Better Than Ever – Fact

Despite what some people may believe, high-quality replacement parts are more common than ever.

I have heard a lot of complaints about the declining quality of aftermarket parts. Poor-quality fit, incorrect function and multiple comebacks seem to be common rants online and at shops. Some parts are so bad, they say they are safety issues.

Are replacement parts getting worse? Absolutely NOT. What is driving the perception is that it is easier than ever to purchase a low-quality part. Cheap auto parts have always been available. These low-quality parts were once sold in mail-order catalogs. Some of the veterans in our industry will remember the 300-page newsprint parts catalogs and classified ads in the backs of automotive magazines. 

Back in the day, professionals never touched this type of part because of the shipping cost, shipping times and overall quality. Now, these parts can be ordered online and delivered quickly thanks to improved logistics. In some cases, they might be the only option due to parts shortages.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Parts-Quality-1.png

Some technicians have claimed high-quality parts have ceased production. I say NO. The aftermarket is making more high-quality parts than ever with greater levels of sophistication. Every year I attend AAPEX, there are always new parts and brands being introduced. High-quality brands always have stories about how their parts are just as good as or better than the originals. Parts are continuously being refined, and new parts categories are constantly being introduced.

The best example I can think of is the shock and strut category. Twenty-five years ago, you had three options for a strut for common import or domestic vehicles. Most jobbers might have stocked one or two lines. Today, if you start looking at some electronic catalogs, you may have nine brands and options for loaded struts. All have different price points. It is up to you to make the call. With some of the options, you will be complaining about the quality. Other options will have you and your customers singing the praises of the brand.

What are your options? The old ways are still the best, in my opinion. The old-school distribution model still works. Local jobbers and warehouses have a vested interest in selling you a high-quality part. They realize they have a limited customer base due to geography. They do not do business using online reviews; they go on the power of the handshake and trust. They are not looking to be the lowest-priced part source – they want to win your business with quality and service. Are there good online parts sources? Yes, just do your homework.

You May Also Like

Putting Yourself First For Safety

Learn from a fearless technician’s wisdom.

I once worked with a Romanian technician named Alex. He was a tiny guy who chain-smoked. His greatest fear was not a totalitarian dictator. It was fire and falling cars. 

Back in those days, we used drop lights with incandescent bulbs. This was long before LEDs and rechargeable batteries. The bulbs would typically stop working when they were lightly jostled. If they were dropped, the glass bulb would shatter.

Coffee, Cars and Casual Conversations

Vendors, suppliers, manufacturers and shop owners got the chance to visit the Babcox Media headquarters.

Staying Sharp Over Summer Break

Here are five tips that will help you stay sharp over summer break.

Engine Bay Covers: Cosmetic or Comedic?

Each year, it seems engine bay covers get bigger and more difficult to remove.

Catalytic Converter Theft Update

Converters are still being stolen at record rates.

Other Posts

Managing Your Time

Here are 5 tips to follow to help with time management.

Being More Motivated

Set and reach your goals together.

Electrifying The Next Generation of Techs

The future is bright and exciting for vehicle repair.

Parts and Artificial Intelligence

In the past 25 years, things have changed with the Internet.