Piston Slap: The Cat's Meow for OEM or Aftermarket Parts?
I recently had a local shop confirm the need for O2 sensors in my Jaguar S-Type. With 97,000 miles on them, it seems very likely they need replacement, and the mechanic wants to install factory sensors at the cost of some $650 for the parts. I can purchase Denso or Bosch from the local parts store for less than $200. As these parts were originally designed to last at least 80,000 miles (Federal warranty requirement), I figure that replacements from any reputable source will last quite a long time.
What is your opinion as to brand specific parts versus more generic replacement parts?
I suspect the original supplier was actually Bosch anyway so in my mind they are the same.
Your last sentence is my usual go-to statement, especially as cars depreciate to the age of any Jaguar S-Type. I still remember cringing when my trusted mechanic, some 15+ years ago, said my father’s Mark VIII’s (not the one I currently own) intermittent fuel smell was from leaky injectors. The replacement injectors cost $800, and they were a unique part number with no aftermarket alternative.
Perhaps that’s what he thought since it was the first Ford with that particular engine, but it was all bullshit: all Fords with that engine use the same 24 lb-hr injectors. I grabbed my Ford Motorsport catalog and ordered a set for $275-ish, delivered to the shop, and crossed my fingers for a seamless install. Thank goodness I was right.
Back to the “value” of factory vs. aftermarket parts on a heavily depreciated motor: it really depends. Factory body parts? Yes. In this case? No, get Bosch O2 sensors and pocket the extra cash.
Forget about the price, odds are they are the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) anyway. Sometimes you’ll even get a factory part when buying the “aftermarket” brand: happened to me when purchasing TRW control arms and several HVAC parts. And it’s nice to see those factory castings, part numbers or packaging when you’d never pay for them. It’s kinda like poppin’ tags, sort of.
When do you buy OEM bits, Best and Brightest?
Send your queries to email@example.com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice.
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