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Don’t Use Economy Auto Parts

Updated: Oct. 23, 2018

Don't go for cheap parts unless you plan to junk your car in a year or so

FH12JAU_ECOPAR_01-2 economy auto partsFamily Handyman
Avoid economy auto parts. They typically wear out much faster than professional grade parts and will cost you time, money and aggravation in the long run. Our auto expert's testimonial!

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Bad luck with cheap parts

Premium/economy part comparison

Economy auto parts are lighter duty and might not hold up long.

When you go to the auto parts store for replacement parts, the salesclerk will usually quote the price for “economy” grade parts. They’re cheaper but not nearly the same quality as “professional grade” parts. Unless you’re planning to junk the car in a year or so, you’re better off spending more for the better parts.

I learned this lesson the hard way on my minivan with 200,000 miles on the clock. I bought “economy” tie rod ends. Big mistake. The suckers wore out in less than a year, forcing me to replace them again. This time around, I bought “professional grade” parts and paid for another alignment, making the economy auto parts a losing proposition. Thinking that experience was a fluke, I tried again with economy wheel bearings. Same result. Now I won’t touch economy auto parts.

Learn from my mistakes. Whether you’re doing the repair yourself or having a shop do it, if you expect the repair to last longer than a year, insist on professional-grade parts. They cost far less than economy auto parts in the long run.