I feel buying American is something I can do to support our economy. I have a 1998 Ford Contour, which is mostly a very nice American-made auto.
I thought manufacturers had some kind of obligation to support products they sell, especially high-value products like automobiles that some people take several years to pay for. Well, either I am wrong about that, or some manufacturers are failing to keep up with their obligations.
About six months ago we had our car in for oil change and inspection. The tech found a leak on the power steering pump. It was a fitting that had failed on a hose connection. The tech ordered the fitting, thinking it was just a part for a car. It turns out it is a non-standard fitting -- in that you can’t just go to Swagelok or Cajon or any other place than Ford to get that fitting. I think more than six months have now passed and that fitting is still on backorder.
Now, after driving with that leak for so long, it was again time we had it in for an oil change and inspection. Having the tech do the brake job proved to be detrimental to my inner peace. It turns out the rear brakes have some kind of pressure valves that had stopped functioning correctly. The car would pull to the left when applying the brakes. After taking the car back for this problem, the tech found the problem, but didn’t have the parts. He ordered them, and discovered they were also on backorder. The indication was there was no information when these parts would be available, if ever.
Now I have a part needed to fix the brakes that is on backorder, and it is unknown whether this part will ever be manufactured again. This is the second part that we or our mechanics have not been able to procure. The first part was for the power steering pump and now it is the brakes. Is any manufacturer really trustworthy anymore?
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