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Made by Monkeys

Entering the Auto Part Abyss

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viperteeth05
User Rank
Iron
Re: You will need to DIY...
viperteeth05   5/11/2015 8:46:33 AM
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Sorry to say it this way, but being a design engineer, it's always a laughing moment when I see people blaming part flaws on engineers. not taking into consideration manufacturing or managment, that usually forces engineers to cut cost, which leads to parts degredation over time. 

 

I do work on cars myself, and have ran into those issues, and alhough a bit frustrating, but solution is simple 

1) don't trust your mechanic, even if you're the one doing the work on your own car :) 

2) think outside the box, stripped thread? weld/braze it then re-thread it. 

3) can't find parts in time? junk yards, after-market. or similar parts 

4) you're in America, Buy American. believe it or not, more parts are available than foreign. 

5) do some reading, before posting. you're not the only one with an older car. I'm sure you can find similar , if not matching parts, for your car. just need to get creative. 

6) if you know nothing about cars, and take your car to a mechanic, be ready to hear " this is broken and can't be fixed, needs to be replaced" as most of them don't diagnose issues, just replace. 

 

and my personal favorite, I understand we are all limited by cost, but vehicle prices usually saturate around 2k. for a good running car. beyond that. cars become highly unreliable due to age/wear and tear or rust. so here is my recommendation, taken from the movie "Frozen" 

 

Let it Gooooooooooo, Let it goooooooo :)

zeeglen
User Rank
Gold
Re: American Made Crap
zeeglen   5/9/2015 11:51:26 AM
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@Hal B  Good one! Love your sarcasm!

Hal B
User Rank
Silver
Re: American Made Crap
Hal B   5/8/2015 5:20:29 PM
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Seems to be a common thread here. Why do engineers have such an unreasonable expectation of product life? Cars, appliances, you name it. This car is 16 years old! Heck, in a few more years it could be classified as historical. Don't know about you but I have better things to do than change my own oil and keep some old junk running for my day to day transportation. If we can't afford a new car every 5 years or so then maybe we should be complaining about our pay instead of this.

creamysbrianna
User Rank
Silver
American Made Crap
creamysbrianna   3/24/2015 11:34:22 AM
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Your post does not surprise me most of the "Big Three" have worked Quality out of their products back in the late 1960/early 1970's.  

I have found from owning three different Garbage Motors products that they skimp on the parts that really matter and invest all their money in cosmetic parts like the body styling and interior design (fluff features like fancy radio's, etc.).

Ex:1983 Pontiac Grand Prix rear main seal failed, seat lever failed and caused seat back to not stay up propted it up with a 2X4 instead of wasting money on replacement parts.

1988 Buick Skylark had to replace three altenators within 100k miles, three starters replaced within 100k miles.  Had a timing belt snap pre-maturely too and had to scrap it due to excesive cost to repair.

1994 Chevy Caviler replaced three starters within 100k miles.

Replaced brakes constantly on all of these vehicles probally less than 20k out of brakes on any of them and I live in the mid-west with very few hills or steep terain. Freeway speeds are under 70mph too.

Won't buy another American Made crap vehicle due to them cheaping them down where it counts.  I would rather spend a couple grand more for a Honda or Toyota any day which my 2001 Honda Civic LX has 200k + miles on it with only having to do the brakes every 100k, front struts lasted 100k which is much longer than my american ones which only lasted about 50-60k.  

Buyer beware stay away from Garbage Motors, Chrysler Crap and Fix Or Repair Daily (fill in approriate explitive for last one).

warren@fourward.com
User Rank
Platinum
Back order
warren@fourward.com   11/6/2014 7:41:34 AM
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Can you take the old part to a machine shop and have them make one? A little more expensive but only days away- not 6 months!

Larry M
User Rank
Platinum
Re: You will need to DIY...
Larry M   11/5/2014 4:01:37 PM
J.Lombard wrote "What does the average apartment dweller do with 5 quarts of used oil?"

By US Law, any retailer which sells motor oil must accept used motor oil for proper recycling. Just carry your used oil to AutoZone, Advance Auto, O'Reilly's, or any of the other chains and they will be happy to accept it.

autoengineer
User Rank
Iron
Design Life and Parts Support
autoengineer   9/4/2014 9:08:31 PM
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As a retired auto design engineer I'd like to clarify some points made by several posters to these issues. First, cars are designed to last at least 10 years or 100,000 miles. The vehicle and laboratory tests performed on every component and system, as well as the complete vehicle, ensure the vast majority of actual vehicles and parts will last that long without failure. However every part and vehicle sold to every customer can't be tested - there's a statistical probability some will fail before this goal and some will never fail. Part of the reason for this is there are minor variations that occur in the manufacturing processes - materials, dimensions and fits, assembly, etc. Second, every car manufacturer pays particular attention during the design phase to serviceability and accessibility, however with so much hardware packaged into tight spaces often compromises have to be made. This doesn't excuse this, but it's a fact of life. Third, Federal law requires every manufacturer (not just autos) to provide service parts for 7 years or as demand dictates for economical operation. Every auto manufacturer has a Service Parts operation - I used to get called often for parts that could be used for older vehicles with discontinued parts. Therefore, if your dealer can't get the service part you need, ask them to contact their Service Parts representative to obtain a part that can be used or for a recommendation for what you can do. There are regional Service Parts representatives in every part of the US who are very knowledgeable and conscientious to satisfy the customer.

William K.
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Known old problem
William K.   7/24/2014 4:45:35 PM
NO RATINGS
In regard to the power steering hose being an odd-ball type, I had a similar problem with brake lines on an older van. But my choice was to cut off the special fitting and install standard industrial 5000PSI hydraulic tube fittings. Not that they were cheaper, but that they were available from stock at many distributors. I did need to add a couple of additional clamps to support the brake lines, but those probably should have been put in when the van was built. As long as adequate rated fittings are used they should work quite well in automotive applications. It may not save any money, but the parts are almost always in stock.

SherpaDoug
User Rank
Gold
Not all dark
SherpaDoug   7/24/2014 3:32:18 PM
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I had the opposite experience with my VW Rabbit a few years ago.  The oil pressure switch had started to leak oil.  I went to the parts store with the all the usual info, make, model, year, engine size, etc.  The clerk looked it up in the book and grinned.  He showed me the entry" Oil Pressure switch, fits Volkswagon - All models, 1943 to present."  If you don't NEED to change something, don't.

T.W. Day
User Rank
Iron
Re: Very good thread
T.W. Day   7/10/2014 8:18:58 PM
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I think this response is typical of the children who are involved in manufacturing today; from the design and manufacturing engineers to the complete fools squattingin the CEO's offices. When you are asking $15,000-90,000 for a consumer product, that product has more expectations than simple minded "design life." For most American consumers, a car purchase is the equivalent of a year's expendable income or, even, an actual year's salary. Regardless of the poor quality, designed-to-fail 10-15 year specification (which if it were expressed clearly to consumers would result in a massive loss of sales for a brand), new car buyers expect to be able to sell their car for a reasonable return on the original investment. While that reasonable return is typically a completely foolish 20-50% of original cost, if it were well known (as it is with some brands and models) that manufacturer support, aftermarket part availablity, and expected useage were limited to 10-15 years those brands and models would be worthless in resale.

Several brands have taken that exact step and had to be bailed out during the most recent depression. They aren't knocking down the barn door now that the economy has rebounded somewhat, either. Companies like Volkswagen that arrogantly cut off factory support at exactly the German required 7-year support limit are almost gone from the US market (fallen from 30%+ of the market in the mid-80's to less than 2% and falling today). A throwaway product (one with a 10-15 year expected lifetime) would be expected to be well inside of discretionary income levels for the average middle class family. Which is why companies like VW, Chrystler, and GM do not rank higher in consumer quality surveys than the Chinese and Korean cars that are at that price point.

Companies that ignore customer service expectations will, eventually, earn a reputation for poor quality, lousy service, and their products will become worthless in the used market costing new sales and consumer confidence. Children who have yet to consider long range consequennces to their actions do not belong in decision-making positions, but in most US corporatiosn they are exactly the characters who rise to the top. There is a long distance between making cars with similar components, so that those parts remain available over a reasonable period, and buying off-the-shelf parts from NAPA. However, I doubt that many American corporate clones will figure that out before they need, again, to be saved from their own incompetence by the American taxpayers. Next time, I would recommend that the government clean house a lot further down the corporate ladder than just the CEO. The rot goes a lot further than one or two layers from the top. Mercedes figured that out when they foolishly assumed there was some talent in Chrystler's management in one of the dumbest corporate purchases in history.

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