Piston Slap: The Cat's Meow for OEM or Aftermarket Parts? (Part II)

Sajeev Mehta
by Sajeev Mehta

Sajeev writes:

It’s ironic that as the initial Jaguar story neared publication, I ordered an aftermarket part to complete the (somewhat) light restoration of my 1988 Mercury Cougar XR-7. I mentioned getting “a factory part when buying the aftermarket brand” and nobody had a problem with this assessment.

But you won’t believe what happens next in this shameful attempt at clickbait

The most readily available and cheapest part was from AutoZone under their Duralast house brand. No surprise there, I guess.

But what came out of the box was a pleasant surprise: the more expensive Ford part with a legit FoMoCo part number! Choosing aftermarket on my Cougar isn’t living dangerously, as a Ford Fox chassis is a far less fussy feline than a Jaguar S-Type. But still, it proves my point about the “quality” of aftermarket parts.

Every time I depress the clutch and twist the ignition, I will remember the factory switch that came from a low-brow box.

[Images: Shutterstock user Executioner; Parts, © 2016 Sajeev Mehta/The Truth About Cars]

Send your queries to sajeev@thetruthaboutcars.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.

Sajeev Mehta
Sajeev Mehta

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  • Speedlaw Speedlaw on Apr 01, 2016

    Aftermarket parts can be like some German sourced BMW parts, the same but a dremel tool cut off the BMW logo. I got some discs from Centric and pads for one car...exact as the OE part coming off...not close, the same part.... Bosch makes replacement parts for everything, but the quality can vary. I've also been bit with shock mounts from China in one car-rubber bits aren't just black and rubber-folks make whole careers about rubber hysteresis . I always try for, if you can get the info, the OE supplier, and if not, suck it up and OE. I hate though how that OE part, without the BMW logo dremeled off, in a fancy white box, is twice the price, though

  • MRF 95 T-Bird MRF 95 T-Bird on Apr 02, 2016

    Back when I owned my 87 T-Bird 3.8 I figured the ignition module that is mounted on the side of the distributor would eventually be an issue due to excessive heat. I knew other Ford owners who had to replace them. So I ordered one from JC Whitney as a spare. It was in a box that looked like a Motorcraft package but without the lettering and was made in S. Korea. The part looked like the original but without the Motorcraft and Ford logos moulded into the plastic case. When the original unit went bad at around 100k I replaced it only lasted for a bit over a year. Then I replaced it with a genuine Ford Motorcraft part which lasted several years until I sold the car at 187k due to a bad head gasket. With my 95 MN-12 4.6 I only use genuine Ford or Motorcraft parts even the battery which is actually a better deal from the dealer that your local auto parts store. They usually have specials. Though recently I replaced the belt tensioner with a new and improved part from Dayton made of course in Dayton, Ohio.

  • Zipper69 Current radio ads blare "your local Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram dealer" and the facias read the same. Is the honeymoon with FIAT over now the 500 and big 500 have stopped selling?
  • Kjhkjlhkjhkljh kljhjkhjklhkjh hmmm get rid of the garbage engine in my chevy, and the garbage under class action lawsuit transmission? sounds good to me
  • ToolGuy Personally I have no idea what anyone in this video is talking about, perhaps someone can explain it to me.
  • ToolGuy Friendly reminder of two indisputable facts: A) Winners buy new vehicles (only losers buy used), and B) New vehicle buyers are geniuses (their vehicle choices prove it):
  • Groza George Stellantis live off the back of cheap V8 cars with old technology and suffers from lack of new product development. Now that regulations killed this market, they have to ditch the outdated overhead.They are not ready to face the tsunami of cheap Chinese EVs or ready to even go hybrid and will be left in the dust. I expect most of their US offerings to be made in Mexico in the future for good tariff protection and lower costs of labor instead of overpriced and inflexible union labor.
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