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A question for you car people

Sorry to use the blog for something obscure and personal. But I’ve got a car-parts question that’s puzzling me. And I’ll bet anything one or more of you geniuses can help.

I’ve acquired an old beater car that needs work. Specifically it needs a new ignition coil. I’m buying my own online because the auto shop’s price was more than I can justify for this vehicle.

The part they want is a Standard (SMP) UF355. If I buy that brand, the absolute lowest price I’ve found is $122 (including shipping cost). That’s lower than the shop’s price.

However, I see dozens of knock-offs that appear to be exactly the same thing for as little as $18 (and free shipping). Some are as high as $40. But between there and $122 — nothing.

I wouldn’t usually hesitate to buy Brand X. But in this case the cost difference between the “real” thing and the knockoffs is so enormous that the needle on my hink-o-meter has zoomed into the red. Either the SMP is grossly overpriced. Or the look-alikes have got to be total junk.

I don’t have the expertise to know which is which, and on this subject the ‘Net is being strangely mum.

So, automotive experts … Why the huge, huge price difference and am I safe trying a knockoff or had I better just bite the bullet and go with the name brand for (yikes) six times more?

My apologies to you who want only politics, freedomista lifestyle, or dogs. But inquiring minds need to know!

54 Comments

  1. water lily
    water lily April 18, 2012 1:46 pm

    Please be careful.

    My hubby bought a “rebuilt” auto computer on ebay from a company with great reviews.

    Well, it turned out to be a scam. He received an old, rusted, never used part.

    Hubby returned said part and seller said oh sorry, no refunds.

    The purchase is now in dispute, and a fraud investigation is being done.

    Hubby says, “Compare prices at all the typical auto parts places and if all of them are around the same price, then carefully research the seller of the knockoff.”

    If you need more specific info, email me.

  2. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty April 18, 2012 1:48 pm

    Oh boy… I have no idea. 🙁 I used to do a lot of my own car work in the 60s and 70s… but then they came out with those fool computer things and I couldn’t cope.)

    Since then I’ve worked hard to find a trustworthy mechanic and let him fix things when necessary. I had a great one for more than 20 years in the desert, but so far there is only one here I feel I can trust and his prices are not cheap. But he doesn’t try to dazzle me with BS and only fixes things that really need it… so I make out pretty good in the long run. Since the labor cost is almost always more than the parts, it’s better to have a mechanic you know will do the job well the first time and use parts that won’t fail.

    When I turn the key, it runs. That’s all I really ask. sigh So far, so good.

    Good luck!

  3. Claire
    Claire April 18, 2012 1:54 pm

    Thanks, MamaLiberty and water lily.

    MamaLiberty, I have almost exactly the same view of cars. The shop I go to is honest and competent; that I know. They’re also within walking distance of my house. All to the good. But they’re also notoriously the highest-priced shop in town, and in this case I just can’t justify their parts prices (though I will go to them for the installation).

    water lily — Man, crappy experience. I hope your husband comes out to the good. I’m looking only at sellers who offer money-back returns. Even then I realize there are no guarantees. Worst fear is having the part look good, install properly, then not work. Or quit working in short order.

    I’ve been trying to research the knockoffs, but I’m not finding much info at all.

  4. UnReconstructed
    UnReconstructed April 18, 2012 2:15 pm

    what kind of car is it?

  5. Joel
    Joel April 18, 2012 2:16 pm

    I’ve had some bad luck with cheap aftermarket electronics, Claire. I’d be tempted to try that $18 knock-off if I already had it in my hand, but not if I had to pay somebody else to install it. You might end up paying somebody to replace it twice.

    Parts prices have done horrifying things since I got out of the trade, but I think you’re better off just sighing heavily and paying the money for the “real” one.

  6. UnReconstructed
    UnReconstructed April 18, 2012 2:17 pm

    see, there are coils and then there are COILS…sometimes it might make a difference, sometimes not…..

  7. Claire
    Claire April 18, 2012 2:19 pm

    1993 Plymouth Colt Vista. I thought it had the 2.4L engine, but the shop and the auto parts store swear that’s been replaced with the 1.8L. Me, I dunno. It all makes my head hurt.

    Sigh. Joel, I fear you’re going to be right. But for the possibility of saving $100 (which may be more than the wretched old beater is worth!) I’m going to hold out a while before taking the plunge and ordering the part.

  8. Claire
    Claire April 18, 2012 2:20 pm

    Coils within coils within coils, UnReconstructed. This is why it’s worth the risk of making a fool of myself by posting publicly for the experts …

  9. UnReconstructed
    UnReconstructed April 18, 2012 2:41 pm

    Oh my stars and garters…..thats a REAL fancy one. Ain’t never seen one like that. Its got brains in it, no doubt…..

    I see the wide variation in cost.

    Well, let me say this….

    My direct hands on experience in cars pretty much stops at 1975, and those puppies had SIMPLE ignitions. My truck doesn’t have ANY ignition.

    BUT. with all the cars I’ve worked on, the coil has rarely been the culprit. If the labor you pay is reasonable, I’d be awfully tempted to give the $20-$40 dollar one a shot.

    If it makes the engine run, fine.

    But thats me, I do my own labor…..

    I can’t seem to get a reliable pic of the coil, the websites are all over the place…..Is it an integral part of the distributor (with 4 bigish sockets for wires to go into) , or is it a basic cylinder type with a single socket??

  10. Claire
    Claire April 18, 2012 2:54 pm

    Well, UnReconstructed, I can’t exactly answer your question. At the shop I think they said it “goes inside” the distributor. Here’s an eBay listing that shows three views of the thing, with one of those views looking like a three-or-more pronged socket.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/SMP-STANDARD-UF355-Ignition-Coil-/170781041148?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&hash=item27c357e1fc

    But you know, although I can change a battery or a tire, when it comes to more complicated car parts, I suddenly go all “girly pink.”

  11. Tom
    Tom April 18, 2012 2:54 pm

    I’m with Joel. If I had the part in-hand for $18, I would install it … and hope. Otherwise, a quick Google shows new Bosch coils for that make/model for $76. Somewhere between the $18 and the $122.

    And, knowing that you have skills that you often didn’t admit, even to yourself (like installing and maintaining a solar power system), I would suggest you buy the part on-line and take a shot at replacing it yourself. Worst case scenario if you can’t get it installed, any shade-tree mechanic could do it for you.

    Cheers (and good luck).

  12. Matt, another
    Matt, another April 18, 2012 3:01 pm

    1993 Plymouth Colt Vista? Claire, you should really stick to rescuing dogs. You’ll never outrun the Zombies with a Colt Vista.

  13. Claire
    Claire April 18, 2012 3:07 pm

    Tom — While I thank you for the vote of confidence, my role in planning that solar power system mostly involved asking the right people the right questions. My role in installing it involved sort of vaguely helping to build the mounts, then getting the installer’s truck stuck in mud. My role in maintaining it involved recording hydrometer readings in a book. I can safely say that “even a girl” can do all three of those.

    As to that Bosch coil … I believe a quick Google that that’s for the 2.4L engine. Pity. The shop first said that’s what mine would cost. But then when they realized somebody had installed a bogus engine … different story.

  14. Claire
    Claire April 18, 2012 3:20 pm

    LOL, Matt, another. You’re absolutely right. I can barely outrun snails with it.

    Someday I might tell the embarrassing story of how I made the (in retrospect) truly lousy decision to buy that thing. But … well, it IS embarrassing.

    But the darned little car-ette is just as cute as a button sitting there uselessly in the shop parking lot. 🙂 And if it actually ran properly, it would make a fine dogmobile and ’round-town errand-running car in these so-far zombieless days. With the XTerra (uber-reliable, bless it) getting 15 MPH, the Vista’s alleged up-to-28 MPH sounded good.

  15. EN
    EN April 18, 2012 3:35 pm

    I would be tempted to buy it from one of the big auto parts places like O’riely’s. What I’ve discovered is that ignition parts are good about 80 percent of the time and a coil really can’t be #$%^ed up, at least not easily.

  16. Steve
    Steve April 18, 2012 3:40 pm

    I think it is worth it to get a proper part. There are all sorts of junky ‘after-market’ parts. I recently had to replace the starter on my old Tacoma. I talked to some people who have old cars they work on. These cheap parts often aren’t worth it. One friend got a great deal on a starter and it died in two days. Someone else had one die quickly. I found a pretty good deal on a Toyota re-manufactured one and it has been solid since. (I no longer have to park on a hill.)

  17. Kyle MacLachlan
    Kyle MacLachlan April 18, 2012 4:09 pm

    Claire, if you want to try doing it yourself (and saving the labor rate of your shop) you should buy a Haynes Repair Manual for your particular make and model.
    They are pretty cheap (about $ 20 around here in the auto parts stores) and are filled with pictures and step-by-step directions for every repair on your vehicle, grouped by different areas (body, engine, transmission, etc.).
    While you might need some specialized tools for certain repairs, I was amazed at how much I could do with just a socket set and some basic hand tools when I first started doing my own work.
    If you decide to go the DIY route, though, be prepared for some (well, maybe a lot of) grease and dirt on you and the air thick with a few choice words (that will no doubt escape your mouth) about car designers and the location of the part you are trying to take out or put in 🙂
    Once you get it done yourself, however, the feeling can’t be beat!!

  18. Rooney
    Rooney April 18, 2012 4:25 pm

    Ms. Claire:

    I would suggest buying a manual for the car. The initial cost is low relative to the knowledge gained. Chilton’s works as a good starting point and is widely available. While not as comprehensive as a full-blown shop manual, the book serves as a hard copy resource for evaluating a task that you might want to attempt yourself or leave to people with more experience. Knowledge is never a bad thing.

  19. NMC_EXP
    NMC_EXP April 18, 2012 4:26 pm

    Claire

    I cannot comment on the reliability of aftermarket parts.

    I will say that if you provide the replacement part, your mechanic/repair shop will not warranty the labor if the part fails.

    Just another factor in the equation.

    Good luck and best regards.

    Jim

  20. Claire
    Claire April 18, 2012 4:37 pm

    Did I express a desire to do DIY auto repairs? If so, shoot me before the degree of my madness becomes dangerous.

    My actual desires could be expressed more along the lines of, “I’ll lie on the beach in Tahiti while some hunky guy devotes himself to my car.” Or “Let the chauffeur take care of that.” Or, “Oh, let’s just go get a new one! It’s so much more fun.”

    Reality may stand between me and my true desires. But it doesn’t have to stand between me and getting bargain parts installed by the chivalrous neighborhood mechanics.

    For the record, I had a Haynes manual for my old Subaru. Tried to use it to replace some part behind the dash (which basically meant, on that car, taking the entire interior apart). Eventually a shade-tree mechanic had to rescue me.

    I now have the official Nissan shop manual for my XTerra (on DVD) and I know what you mean about cussing, Kyle MacLaughlan, because the very thought of trying to make sense of that thing makes me think very, very, very bad words.

    Dirt and grease, I don’t mind. My complete lack of skill with things automotive — now that’s a real handicap.

  21. Claire
    Claire April 18, 2012 4:39 pm

    “Once you get it done yourself, however, the feeling can’t be beat!!”

    Oh, yes. I should add — I do know and love that feeling. I’m all in favor of it. But I get it from house remodeling and meeting the challenges of re-learning to do illustration. Auto mechanics? From that, I get only crazy frustration and vehicles that work even less well than they did before I delved into their poor little engines.

  22. Karen
    Karen April 18, 2012 4:46 pm

    Years ago, back in Virginia, the local high school had Vocational education classes, one being auto repair. DH took his old Pinto to them and had several repairs done free or dirt cheap. Don’t know if your area might have Voc Ed you could check on. You might also find the part at a salvage yard. Our experience has been that even salvage yards aren’t truly cheap any more, but they can easily beat retail.
    Found this link for finding used/salvage parts that might find you something,
    http://www.seekautoparts.com/

  23. Claire
    Claire April 18, 2012 4:46 pm

    NMC_EXP — Good point, and you’re quite right. Given the variety of advice I’m getting here, I took printouts to the shop and asked them 1) are you absolutely sure this is the right part (turns out there are four possible ignition coils for this make/year of vehicle (arrgh) and 2) What would you guys order if you were in my shoes?

    The young owner warned me about the warranty problems, but said he totally understood about money issues on an old car like this one. FWIW, both he and the mechanic who’s going to do the work said adamantly that, for a $100 difference in price, what the heck, they’d buy the cheap one and hope for the best.

  24. Claire
    Claire April 18, 2012 4:48 pm

    Karen, high school auto shop and salvage parts are both ideas worth looking into! Thanks.

  25. Mike
    Mike April 18, 2012 4:52 pm

    You might try the salvage yard.Coils are not a very common fix.Who knows,$40 might get you a whole distributor.I don’t know who makes that model engine,but it’s definately not a Chrysler engine.If you know the maker,it could be the same part.You may find it cheaper that way.Good Luck!

  26. Claire
    Claire April 18, 2012 4:55 pm

    It’s a Mitsubishi disguised as a Plymouth. Sneaky little thing …

  27. EN
    EN April 18, 2012 4:56 pm

    “Once you get it done yourself, however, the feeling can’t be beat!!”

    Uh huh… this isn’t any different from the feeling I get when leaving the Urologists office. It’s easy mistake the feeling of it being over for satisfaction. LOL Up until about 20 years ago I worked on all my cars and construction equipment by necessity. Economic necessity has once again forced me back into the garage. I’ve noticed that the sobbing sound I make when I’m starting over is just about the same as the one I make when something works out, and embarrassing either way. 😉

  28. John
    John April 18, 2012 5:42 pm

    Hi Claire,

    First, this ebay seller offers the same part, with a year warranty, for $45. Somewhere believable inside the range of parts prices( $20 to $120). he has been an eBay seller since 04 with over 9000 feedbacks and over 99% success rating. (I have not bought Colt parts before)

    Stuff this item number in eBay’s search and you should go right there- 160688291061

    jb

  29. John
    John April 18, 2012 5:45 pm

    Oops, try this one too 130413028292

  30. Claire
    Claire April 18, 2012 5:57 pm

    Thanks, John. Yep, I already saw those. I was half-tempted on the $45 one — then I realized I was going solely on the fact that the price seemed “realistic.” In fact, it could be a great coil sold at an extraordinarily good price — or one of the really cheap coils sold at a gouging price. I still can’t find enough comparative brand info online to guide me. Or any comparative brand info, for that matter.

    Although I respect what some folks are saying about the wisdom of getting the known-good part for $122, I’m leaning toward one of the low-end coils. For one thing, it is just a coil and as EN and others who’ve emailed me say, not too likely to go wrong. For another, the coil and installation together will cost about $30 less than the brand-name coil all by itself.

    Yes, if it’s a bad product, I’ll have to pay to have another coil installed and I’ll look like a moron. If it’s good, I’ll have saved more than $100 and (thanks to the advice I heed) look like a frugalista genius. 🙂

    Yikes! Did I mention that all this makes my head hurt?

  31. Big Wooly
    Big Wooly April 18, 2012 6:22 pm

    Most of the major autoparts retailers can test coils for free. I’d try that first. Most electronic parts are non-returnable, and if the problem is something else (bad distributor?) they won’t take the coil back. I had a no-spark problem, threw all kinds of money at the problem, (coil too!) the real broken was a broken shear pin in the bottom of the distributor, the part cost 50 cents…

  32. Mary Lou
    Mary Lou April 18, 2012 6:23 pm

    I have nothing useful to add, except this brings back horrible memories of trying to piece together elderly failing cars back in the 80’s (the cars were from the 60’s) , haunting junkyards, scrounging parts, and my DH and friends out in the garage cursing and banging at the recalcitrant vehicles. Shudder. I finally decided to hell with it and started buying new cars on time, which I drive for 200K miles or so and then junk.

  33. John
    John April 18, 2012 6:36 pm

    I am hesitant to buy big name auto parts. The last “big name” auto part I got failed within the first month. It was a Bosch brand new electronic part and it simply failed internally. I have also used bargain brand parts that were no good coming straight out of a sealed box. So, brand is no longer an indicator. Everything is made elsewhere now.

    Last time I replaced a drive axle in my little Subaru it took 4 “brand new” made in China parts and one rebuilt to find one that even fit into the hub. The one that fit, and is still working, was the cheapy rebuilt part. So, brand means very little (although, I won’t even waste time looking in Walmart even the boxes aren’t any good there.)

  34. naturegirl
    naturegirl April 18, 2012 9:18 pm

    Sorry, I have no constructive help to offer; however I had to chuckle at “go all girly pink.”

    Classic, hehe…..

  35. ILTim
    ILTim April 19, 2012 5:39 am

    Relatively speaking, replacing that part should be an absolute breeze provided the distributor is someplace accessible. That’s a very strange looking and unique coil that’s only listed for a few cars, I’m pretty convinced the scarcity alone is driving the price. Personally, I think that any part which physically fits and plugs in would be completely adequate, cheap brand or not. If the cheap one doesn’t fit it should be immediately obvious (like trying to put a watermelon into a 30-rd magazine). I really doubt there are any quality concerns here one way or another.

  36. wrm
    wrm April 19, 2012 6:34 am

    If the coil costs $100+, the car’s not old enough. It might be a beater, but not old… old cars take $10 coils.

    That’s the problem with technology — when it fails you’re locked into some proprietary bit of wizardry that was cool at the time.

  37. Matt, another
    Matt, another April 19, 2012 8:11 am

    Claire,

    I know what you are going through. I am not a car-guy, but love old nissans and toyotas. Out of necessity (economic and time) I have learned to change the oil, starters, alternators, distributors, exhaust systems, and reattach parts that fall off into the road. I have also learned when to order the part and ask my local mechanics to install it. Like yours they are the most expensive mechanics in town, but fully warranty their work and get it done right the first time.

  38. Claire
    Claire April 19, 2012 8:49 am

    Thanks for the advice and empathy, guys. I went ahead and bought a part for $19 with free shipping. We’ll see how it goes.

    It would indeed be very cool to have a car old enough not to have crazy-vulnerable (and expensive) electronics on it — IF you had the time, ability, and inclination to work on it yourself. 1993 is just old enough to be inconvenient and not old enough to be either cool or EMP-safe. (It also has those damnable “reach out and grab you” shoulder harnesses, which were among the really, really BAD ideas of auto-nannyism. Not as bad as child-killing airbags. But irritating as all get out.)

    When fixed, however, it’ll be a fantastic garage-saling and dog-toting vehicle. Weird little mini-minivan. I’m surprised that idea didn’t catch on.

  39. Scott
    Scott April 19, 2012 9:14 am

    On old cars(pre-1975 or so), you had 12 volt coils and 6 volt coils-all very similar physically,and it didn’t make much difference. I would have bought it at a big-name parts place locally with a good warranty/parts return policy-but good luck with the $19 dollar one> Sometimes, aftermarket stuff is as good-once in a while better-than original.

  40. GCBurner
    GCBurner April 19, 2012 9:23 am

    For an old beater car, I’d hit a junkyard and buy a used coil from a wreck. There’s not that much to swapping out an ignition coil.

  41. jesse bogan
    jesse bogan April 19, 2012 11:01 am

    Most of the “cheap” parts are sourced in China. My experience with them is that the quality is very hit or miss. I have a shop in the DC area, and work on a lot of weird old cars, so sometimes that is the only source for parts. I will buy used OEM stuff from a junkyard,( if garanteed!!) or off of ebay if possible. The other approach would be to see if a reman complete distributor is available. On Hondas for instance, they come complete, ready to plug and play. Usually fairly cheap as well. Last thing, your shop is probably trying to sell you a good part, based on experience. Sometimes you are better off buying the better part, as replacing a cheap part a couple of times really costs more in the end.

    Best of luck,
    Jesse

  42. Roberta X
    Roberta X April 19, 2012 9:13 pm

    Sitting in my garage is a ’73 MGB — it *is* simple, except for tweaking the SU carbs and setting the valves…but that “simple” ignition counts on a vacuum-advance cam in the distributor matching the profile of the little needly vales in the carbs, which just about sidelined it: the right distributor for particular combo in mine was not available! It had to go electronic, and that meant into the shop.

    (And I have the Chilton’s and the Haynes books for it!)

    Sadly, it was sidelined by my ex and will probably never run again — let one of those sit for too long and you have a restoration job, not something you can fix all the easy things on and keep running.

    ALLLLLLL that out of the way: yes, buy the cheap coil from a reputable supplier, see if that fixes it. Don’t overlook gunky plugs or even bad spark-plug cables as a possibility if the coil doesn’t do the job — bad high voltage cables can be mystifying to diagnose if they don’t look bad.

  43. Hanza
    Hanza April 20, 2012 1:46 am

    Claire said: and in this case I just can’t justify their parts prices (though I will go to them for the installation).

    Mechanics absolutly HATE people who buy parts elsewhere and then bring them in to be installed. Often in those cases the mechanic won’t guarantee their work.

  44. jon
    jon April 20, 2012 9:26 am

    Another important question is why did the coil fail? Very rarely do coils fail due to age. They fail because the spark plugs are worn out. What happens is the gap between the two electrodes get wider and wider. The computer says “hey, coil, get with the program, the spark is getting weak.” So the coil has to work harder to deliver the proper sized spark. Finally it says “I’m done, get someone else”. So….Keep good, high quality spark plugs in the car and the coil will be the least of your worries. But that’s another story…

    BTW.., I would approach the new purchase like a bid. Throw out the low and the high, go with the middle of the road providing you have an avenue of recourse if it doesn’t work. There is no sure thing in this instance.

    Luck

  45. Claire
    Claire April 20, 2012 9:47 am

    Thanks for the additional advice, guys!

    BTW, I had a tuneup done and cables replaced when I first spotted the problem (which was, alas, as soon as I bought the car and AFTER a mechanic said it was just fine, thank you). So should be okay there — although good point about bad plugs having caused the coil to fail.

    And yeah, the shop guys aren’t thrilled about me buying my own parts & we all understand that whatever happens is on my head.

  46. jesse bogan
    jesse bogan April 20, 2012 9:55 am

    Roberta X, the MGB is probably the best supported non American classic car in history. Everything is available, new or used mostly cheaply. Do yourself a favor and spend the few bucks for the service CD published by the British Motoring Heritage Trust. They should be available from most of the MG parts suppliers, for well under 50 bucks. The CDs have the factory service info, as well as the parts books. There should be nothing trickey about a 73B, and if something should actually not be available, the parts to either backdate to an earler spec, or upgrade are out there. Don’t give up the ship!!! They are easy and cheap to fix (except rust), and YOU can do it. Perhaps Claire could put you in direct contact w/ me…I would be happy to point you in the correct direction.

    JB

  47. Claire
    Claire April 20, 2012 10:37 am

    jesse bogan — It’s great to have advice from somebody who works on quirky old cars as a profession.

    If Roberta X says she’s willing, I’ll gladly put the two of you in touch. Roberta X is extremely handy with DIY and I expect she could do anything she set her mind to.

  48. kevin m
    kevin m April 21, 2012 10:24 am

    I know money is tight but to anyone who will listen I advise buying an older diesel asap. For trucks go with a cummins dodge [5.9 liter] and for cars a volkswagen. If you have to go ford pick a 7.3 liter and gm a 6.2 or 6.5 liter.

  49. Roberta X
    Roberta X April 21, 2012 5:34 pm

    I might — but the car in question has not even been turned over since late 1995. My ex hated it (every time he rode in it, it failed) and that proved to be a powerful disincentive.

    At a guess, I am looking at tyres, tubes (yeah, it’s got wire wheels), new top, every perishable component in the brake and clutch hydraulics and (IIRC) rebuilding the driver’s seat — and that is before I address the inevitable rust and what may have happened to engine, carburettors and fuel tank. Let’s see — the fuel pump is one of the drop-in aftermarket ones (sad, as the original is very rebuildable…if you have it), so that might be okay. Electrics, who knows? Lucas doesn’t scare me but after so long, it’ll be a diceroll.

    This is B #2 for me and the first one (the Rustmonster) had every non-engine subsytem but steering fail and need fixed, all of which I did myself. So I know (knew) most of the quirks and gotchas. I’d love to make this one go again but it would be $$$$+ spent on a car that probably needs a whole new body. 🙁

    What I should do is dig out the title and sell it to someone with more time, money and love for the ‘B. –And then buy something like a Model A Ford pickup truck, quirky-but-useful. They’re pretty well supported, too….

  50. art
    art April 22, 2012 10:16 am

    try rockauto.com or their phone# they are very helpful with older auto with advice and discount prices and sometimes much lower prices on closeout parts good luck

  51. Jim B.
    Jim B. April 22, 2012 11:24 am

    “Mechanics absolutly HATE people who buy parts elsewhere and then bring them in to be installed. Often in those cases the mechanic won’t guarantee their work.”

    Not always. I’ve once needed a rear light assembly on my used Nissan. My mechanic actually recommended me to go to a junkyard to find one. I just went to the nearest one and after a few second of looking into a pile of light assemblies, actually found exactly what I needed. Pretty quick too, and best of all, CHEAP.

    It all depends on what’s possible.

  52. Hanza
    Hanza April 23, 2012 8:21 pm

    Roberta X said: Electrics, who knows? Lucas doesn’t scare me but after so long, it’ll be a diceroll.

    An old saying I’ve heard about Lucas electrics is: Lucas, prince of darkness.

    Jim B – Your situation was obviously one of the exceptions. He probably told you to try doing that because he didn’t wan’t to deal with trying to track it down himself.

  53. Paul
    Paul April 24, 2012 7:44 am

    Buy two or three of the cheep ones. In the long run it will probably save you money. The expensive on is probably built to last quite a few years. So you need to ask yourself, “How long am I going to keep this car?”

    Kind of like the Dyson air filters that are almost 10x more expensive than the “off brand”. I would rather buy 8 off brand filters and still save 20% of what Dyson charges.

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