Aftermarket replacement for items that needs replacing
At some point, the car will require replacements. Tires will wear and need replacing. Brakes pads will need replacing. I am wondering if there are better alternatives to the factory. I am not talking about doing something extreme like adding a coilover, but thinking about replacing things with something a little better.
* Tires - when the original ContiProContact wears out, they could be replace by a better set probably something like a Continental TrueContact Tour, which would improve handling.
* Brakes - Could we replace the OEM brake pad with something that would improve stopping distances? This could be combine with a better set of rotors when the original wears out.
* Suspension Bushings - when they wear out, they could be replaced by Polyurethane bushings, which would be firmer and probably longer lasting.
* Lights - not sure if there are better lights than the OEM. Looking for something as longer lasting.
For parts try RockAuto
Tires, any local tire store....or online and put them on yourself
Lights are usually easier to pick up at any local auto parts store when you need them.
I heard OEM tires (except for true sports cars) are junk. They don't last long and the handling is not great. The Auto manufacturers put these tires on just to help boot the fuel economy for their fleet.
I've have never owned a new car from the dealer. Can anyone confirm my tire myth?
I have often struggled when to go OEM vs Parts Store. Now these days because of cost, I usually stick to the Parts Store.
The stock contipro were installed for the sole purpose of getting better gas mileage. They are low resistant tires that were popular on Hybrids However, all tire attribute are a compromise, so reducing rolling resistant means you lose handling and stopping. The newer low resistance tires are actually better.
On certain vehicles, the aftermarket parts may be a terrible fit. I used to own an Acura Integra that I essentially had to get OEM parts for. The aftermarket parts tend to not fit properly, particularly the brake pads.
I would suggest otherwise. Some FEW aftermarket parts have slight troubles but even most of those if one knows what they are doing can make them fit or work. Providing of course the correct part was picked to begin with, and a huge problem there for the uninformed.
I have bought aftermarket for 45+ years and so long since I took parts back I cannot remember. Maybe 2-3 parts returned in all that period, and those likely due to previous installer breaking them due to incompetency. I buy at Rock Auto or wherever I get the cheapest price but then I am aware pretty much of the crap brands to avoid since I sold parts for years. Doing all my own work as well as years in the garage also added to that.
Lack of attention to detail is what causes most wrong part buys.
I quit buying at OTC parts counters some 10 years ago unless part was under $10, you save instant roughly 40% and often more going online. And that is after the 30-40% more you pay for honest-to-God Nissan parts which are nice but last no longer than aftermarket in 90% of all cases. if brand and part carefully picked. OEM parts being better is a myth except in a very few extremely specific circumstances.
The lifetime warranty the chain stores went to when one store was stupid enough to go there first has totally priced OTC parts into insane territory but you MUST have a second car in order to wait for online mail order parts to come as the car has to sit to make that cubic money there. And why I always say get a second car, it can often pay for itself in the savings not using the chain stores.
I have kept 3 and most of the time 4 running cars at pretty much all times for that 45 years and I save roughly $2K a year just in parts buying and installing myself. Often more. Multiply that $2000 X 45 years and how much is that saved? And that ain't nearly all of it. I've paid myself as much as $2500/hr. by not doing what the common man usually does there, I find ways to do it all over the place. The cars actually become money generators as compared to most others.
Most will not be able to do what I do, it takes a certain amount of eccentricity along with a liberal dose of obsessive compulsive, but it CAN be done if you push for it and most of it is not hard at all, you just have to ditch the pre-conceived notions of how you do things as taught by the people who want into your wallet every chance they get.
Would any of you REUSE a fuel filter or air filter? How about a $250 alternator that just went bad and fixed for maybe 30 cents? How about conventional oil rather than synthetic, and the cheapest (Walmart) at $2.74/qt. and OCI at 9000 miles? BTDT, can't kill the cars doing it either, 3 of them are well over 200K miles. FYI, running Ford Mercon V fluid in my Versa 4 speed ATX right now to lower fluid price about 40%. I typically reuse the drained fluids in other things like chainsaw bar and old lawn mower. Used oil often goes into my oil can too or used for honing fluid. If I am forced to do a 3X ATX fluid change I save the last change since relatively clean and use it for the first change next time since it only stays in car maybe 2 days. Or I let it stay in if the car is older, instant $25 in my pocket there. I install drain plugs in all ATX pans that do not have them to allow it, I quit changing ATX filters years ago too unless needed for a specific reason, waste of money changing them.
I know what you are thinking, I would never do that and how you lose so much money, I never break ANYTHING doing that sort of stuff, you just have to use some sense doing it. The only things I worry about breaking are those built or maintained by somebody else, it is just not a problem.
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