I am costing some suspension work and have been offered the choice of standard or premium parts. In just about every instance the premium parts are significantly more expensive. When I asked about the difference I was told that the premium parts carry a lifetime warranty, good for as long as I own the vehicle. Now what I am wondering is are the premium parts actually physically superior or are they just the regular parts with the extra cost of a warranty? Years ago when I had work done you could choose relatively more expensive brands but this regular vs premium quality with the price difference seemingly hinging on the existence of a warranty has me just a tad skeptical.
How long do you plan to keep the car? If only a year or three, why pay extra?
There is a differcne in parts from brand x to brand y far as quility is it improvement or a “problem solver”. the ? is what do you want from the replacement part, our you going keep the car or truck for a short time or the next 10 plus years i’ve replaced the sway bar end links twice in 2 years using privete label parts on my car trying to save a couple of $$s. if you put part x next to part y you can tell the differnce.
It is tough to answer questions about part quality because this has been such a dynamic market in the past several years. All of us are finding a different marketplace every time we go parts shopping. Most car parts come from China or India today, regardless of the name on the box, and plants in China and India will manufacture whatever you want and are willing to pay for, from worthless junk to world-class quality.
The only advice I can give is - although you will likely never use a lifetime warranty for any of several reasons, some of the low-price-point car parts that are available today are really garbage. Unless you have some reason to expect that they are passable parts, I would avoid them. You would hate to pay hundreds to have someone press in new suspension bushings only to have them crack and disintegrate after a couple of years.
I look for parts in the mid range, not the cheapest, not the most expensive, and not in a ‘white box’ with no name brand. I at least want some major company’s name on the line.
premium parts are at a premium price with a warranty.
look at it both ways, if you do your own work, the risk is low to go with cheapo parts, cuz you can always repay and slap in another cheap part and still be ahead price wise (not including your time). it is a risk but most companies don’t sell parts that fall apart.
or look at it the other way, your time is too valuable to do the job twice irregardless of price.
my time is valuable, but i also enjoy working on cars, so for simple stuff that I don’t mind using cheapo brake pads/rotors/shocks/struts, but I may go with more expensive parts when i am doing timing belts/water pumps/maybe even an alternator.
don’t belive the hype that cheap parts don’t last, cuz when you buy from AutoZone/Napa/Oreileys, these are reputable stores and their parts really do last…or atleast long enough.
Many times premium parts are better, sometimes they’re the same.
Yes, you’re paying for the warranty…
why would they offer that ?
Depending on the part…
–The name brand owns, or is paying for the rights to, the design patent—the copy cat doesn’t—so there’s something slightly different to allow for this.
– Brand name made to design specs — copy cat is , well…just a copy.
– Grade 8 steel in the name brand—grade 5 or less or even pot metel in the copy cat.
– brass bushings -vs- plastic
Sometimes ‘‘close enough’’ is good enough…
depends on the parts in question and the intended service life of those.