Sourcing parts (the wrong ones)

In a mistaken attempt to save money, quite a number of well-meaning owners think they can source their own parts – especially from the US where prices appear to be significantly lower than they are here in Australia.

There are two problems with this:

First – is it absolutely certain that the correct part has been ordered? There are some real cases where a part for a LEFT HAND DRIVE vehicle (us MODEL) will not fit a RIGHT HAND DRIVE (Aus) model, even though the parts may otherwise seem to be identical. Try returning the wrong one! Even if the supplier accepts the return, the cost of freight and maybe a “restocking” fee would cancel out any initial price advantage. Also, now the owner has wasted weeks and must start again. OK, maybe the local price seems high, but in the case of Graeme Cooper Automotive, EVERY part number is checked against the Chassis number of the vehicle to ensure the correct item is selected. This is the reason why parts orders are NOT taken online – but via a phone call so the details can be checked prior to dispatch.

The second reason is warranty. Although many after market parts are perfectly OK and can be used if the workshop knows and approves their use, critical components that are non-standard can void warranty and/or cause rejection of an insurance claim. This is where the knowledge and experience of the mechanic truly matters.

The best advice is – don’t risk it!

Anticipating trouble

Stuart – who as the owner of Graeme Cooper Automotive might well have known better, recently did not anticipate the failure of a cooling hose right under the supercharger when he removed and upgraded the charger. Guess what? You got it – the supercharger had to come off again to fix the leak.

I had a similar problem some time ago on a RR Classic when after removing most of the dashboard, I did not change the heater core or heater hoses at the same time.

The moral of these stories is to look around carefully whenever any major component is removed to see what else might need fixing at the same time!