Aftermarket Parts - What the Heck

Had leaky power steering lines. Standard GM leak where rubber hose meets crimp connection on metal line. So, went to a local shop that put in NAPA pressure and return lines. They looked like factory lines, to include plastic sheathing. I tell them to be sure to change out little seals where lines go into the rack. Get truck home, notice a couple of days later that lines are leaking where they connect to rack. “I told those clowns to change the seals.”. So, I change the seals out and still major hemorrhaging when wheel is at full lock. “What the heck?” On a hunch go and buy OEM lines and two more new seals. Get everything installed, (noticed the connection even felt tighter) and no leaks. Dry as bone.
I don’t know how the aftermarket can survive selling parts that are ALMOST right. It really chaps me. The experience just reinforced my usual habit of going OEM for most things. I figured I would give aftermarket/NAPA a try since the GM originals (and in all GM vehicles I have had) leaked. End of that experiment. You guys have any jobs you’ve had to redo because of poor fitting parts?

Sure. Even with factory OE parts. You might check the Ford bulletin re getting their power steering O-rings to fit and seal properly. I’m pretty sure that I still have a dozen or so of the Ford plastic O-rings that were bought to be ready WHEN the one included with a new hose or rack failed to seat properly.

One bad experience with Aftermarket Parts. I’ve been using Aftermarket parts for over 40 years and NEVER EVER had a problem.

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GM doesn’t make hydraulic hoses,

They’re supplied to GM by a vendor.


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And every original brake pad I’ve had wore down eventually. :laughing:
I’ll gladly pay twice as much for an OEM part if it lasts more than twice as long as an aftermarket one.
Or infinitely longer than the aftermarket part that wastes your time right from the start.
If I’m not keeping the vehicle then it may be another story.

My father’s '03 Trailblazer had a leaky PS pressure hose. I replaced it with what I believe was a Napa hose (made by Plews Edelmann). That hose came with new cup seals for the rack connection for both lines. When installing that seal in the rack pressure port, it seemed kind of loose, but I went ahead with the installation anyway. The seal seemed to fit better in the return port. It was leak free, but only for a few weeks, when the pressure hose connection started leaking.

When looking for solutions to fix it the second time, I discovered that those cup seals have been problematic for lots of people. Luckily, I also found that the aftermarket (maybe OEM too, don’t know) had come up with an alternate design for the pressure hose that replaced the funky cup seal with a good old fashioned o-ring. I installed an ACDelco-branded alternate-design hose, and it has been fine for almost 3 years now. The return line still has the cup seal, but it has been okay so far.

I’ve never checked to see if that alternate design is available for other GM vehicles.

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Yeah, I just wish Napa’s supplier built theirs to the same tolerances.

Ill fitting parts happen no matter what. It could well be that whoever supplies NAPA also supplies dozens of other parts houses with the same parts. No supplier goes into the manufacturing business to service one customer.

Who knows. It could be that same supplier also provides hoses to GM, Ford, or any other car manufacturer.
TRW provides steering and suspension parts to many car manufacturers along with providing them to many parts outlets. I don’t think that NAPA can be solely ripped on this.

Ford used to have a massive remanufacturing plant in OK City and shipped nationwide to Ford dealers. They also remanufactured transmissions for General Motors and shipped those nationwide also.

Yeah, I figure that there are a few manufacturers supplying numerous different retail/OEM customers. I’m figuring the OEM’s specs must just be more stringent.

The OEM asks suppliers for the lowest price for a certain part.

The lowest bid gets the contract.

OEM doesn’t always = Better!