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Monday, August 4, 2014

Car parts and the end of quality



Well it happened again. I ordered a part for my van and was shipped the wrong part. I ordered a filter head for my veggie fuel filters. Twice in the past the auto parts store successfully presented the part needed. This time around they presented the correct box, with a totally different part inside. Over the years I've learned to open boxes and inspect parts.

This goes in my personal hall of auto parts shame: the time I was handed Ford brake pads for a Dodge car, the time two left front rotors where shipped when I needed both sides. That fiasco cost me two nights in a Louisianan hotel room waiting for the correct parts. Then there's a long list of things like wrong thermostats and electrical parts. The list of wrong parts in the right box is longer than it should be. Can anyone in the the warehouse read English?

Then there was the recent saga of the Chinese built fuel pumps. Right out of the box they sounded like dying electric can openers -a sickly sound. The original Ford parts are dead quiet. The Chinese ones go about 500 miles before burning out. Now I'm running a Ford original again.

Anybody buy a new car a few years back and have the alternator fail in about 6 months? A major car company, which shall remain nameless, (their lawyers are bigger than my lawyers) shipped a lot of cars with suppar alternators. When it came time to replace the alternator, the choice was another one with a short lifespan or a much better one for just a few dollars more. Darn few ever went with the good ones. Go figure.

Sometimes I wand to just go live on a sailboat -one without an engine.

-Sixbears





16 comments:

  1. I have run into what you are describing many, many times over the years.
    The one that REALLY pisses me off is the brand new, out of the box part that is NFG.
    NFG for you non mechanic types, stands for NO FUCKING GOOD and there is a good reason they are called that.
    Imagine spending several hours wrenching on something that is in a horrible place, that you may very well need some special tool and stand on your head to get at and you finally get this brand new part installed, wipe your hands of, mutter under under your breath and then turn the ignition switch on and nothing has changed.
    Now you start double guessing yourself and have to rediagnose the problem all over from scratch because there is no possible way that brand new part is bad, right?
    Right?

    Wrong.
    I have a saying for this. Just because it is a new part does not mean it is a good part.

    My condolences Sixbears and my apologies for taking up so much space. As you can tell this is a touchy subject with me.
    ;)

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  2. In today's world of ultra fast transportation, disease can be spread world wide at jet speed.

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  3. Seems I can never go to the auto parts store just once. Unless I have the old part in hand to match up with the new they always give me the wrong one. Grrrr......

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  4. Just paid $800 to get the water pump and timing belt/pulley done about 4 months ago. It has a whistling, some sort of weird whine sound already. Who knows how long it will last.

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  5. quality been gone for years, especially when most replacement parts are made with poor subsitute materials or the metal alloys have been cheapened to quick failure

    even in the marine industry this can be a nightmare...

    so buyer beware

    Wildflower

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    Replies
    1. I find that in the marine industry prices are still very high but quality has gone down the scupper.

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  6. you cannot even trust stainless steel if made in China

    Wildflower

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  7. Since retiring last October I know some day it will be wise to give up driving. Honestly that will be a happy day for me when I hand the keys to the Salvation Army and never have to face another stinking car repair or preventative maintenance issue again! :-) :-)

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    Replies
    1. There are days when I want to give up driving, but being out in the woods, my options are limited.

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  8. I have come to think we blame the Chinese somewhat unfairly for the decline in the quality of the stuff they produce. Built in obsolescence by the western designers of those products are probably more to blame. The Chinese manufacture the stuff to the parameters they are given by their customers, the western businesses!

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    Replies
    1. Darn good point Joel. If QC sent that stuff back and said to build better, then that's what would happen. Everything is price driven, not quality driven.

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