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!