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Aftermarket parts just as good?
What about aftermarket parts?  This is a good question, if you buy dealer parts they almost ways over priced. If you but aftermarket how do you know what you are getting ( like junk ). I will share a couple of true life experiences with you.
Aftermarket parts or Dealer OEM
I have a Dodge Cummins if you are a Dodge owner you know or you will find out soon there is week point. I drive a lot ( around 50,000 a year ) so when my front end parts started to fail I brought a kit with everything, ball joints, tie rod  ends and so on and changed everything. So then I got my front end alignment and I am thinking I am good at least 2 years. Not so in about 30,000 miles everything was wore out. I am thinking what now so I started looking around and found a company called XRF, they say they guarantee for 1,000,000 miles. I am thinking if it has that kind of guarantee how can I go wrong. So I ordered everything for my front end got the parts in the mail put them on got a front end alignment and said I am good now. Not so in about 20,000 miles a ball joint and 1 tie rod went bad.
One more mistake I made was my BMW water pump went bad. So I bought one at Napa auto. I would not buy something like this rebuilt. So I put my new water pump on plus antifreeze. In 6 months it went bad, easy to take back (you know what happens sometimes) then it go's again but this time I need a tow. So how much money did I save.

So I checked BMW, there water pump only cost about $25.00 more put one on, end of problem.  I live in the Washington DC area and for some reason if I walk in the price is double what they want on there website. So I learned to check and see what things cost before I buy. There is a Dodge dealer 5 miles from my house and they have crazy prices. But I found a dealer that want's to sell and dose a lot of internet sales Dallas Dodge I have ordered a lot of parts from them.

So I called them, they said you have to buy the part and when you send the old one back they give your money back ( I pay for shipping back ). So  I ordered the part, got a front end alignment and about 4,000 miles later 1 more tie rod went bad. Now I getting mad. So I order a tie rod end and ask them why have haven't got my money back yet. They said it's coming you know these things take time. So I put this tie rod end on and front end alignment. This time I ask the shop that did my front end alignment
( this place dose big trucks, buses ) they tell me they only use MOOG for that reason they don't want it coming back with a mad customer. So now I have MOOG and no more problems. I never saw 1 penny from XRF I gave up calling them.

On the same truck I bought a alternator from a local Advance Auto with a life time guarantee. Now I am on my 3ed one but, the first 2 lasted about 120,000 – 130,000 miles and I can change it in a ½ hour. I am not disappointed. There is something to be said about walking in versus ordering online.

The big thing you have to think about is not the part buy it self but what is takes to put on or other cost like 3 front end alignments in one year. Most of us don't even think about it when we need something we just go to are local parts store and get what we need.

What you have to look at is it is not just the part. How much did I spend on tow, antifreeze and time. Or my alternator I can change in ½ hour. I learned to check first to see how much money I will save and is it worth the risk. And if I buy I always try to buy name brand and not something that was made in a sweat shop so a parts suppler can make 400% profit. Save a penny spend a dollar so they say. Do I buy aftermarket parts yes but I try to be careful. If it is something important or very time consuming to install make sure you get a quality part.