All vehicles need maintenance or repairs at some point in time and the consideration of using genuine or generic car parts is a key consideration. Your car might even need some now without your knowing it -- one recent survey showed that 77% of cars need some type of fix. At the more expensive end of these fixes are engine and transmission repairs. Another low-cost but still vital repair is replacing brake fluid. One way to lower such auto repair costs is to purchase generic replacement parts. However, there appears to be a hot debate raging around this topic of generic vs genuine. In an attempt to find a definitive conclusion on this topic it became clear that there are very strong opinions regarding generic vs genuine car parts.
Let’s first unpack the definition of the two opposing thoughts:
A genuine part, also known as an OEM (original Equipment Manufacturer) is a car component that was installed in your vehicle when the vehicle was first manufactured. Genuine parts are more expensive than any other types of car because they carry the company logo.
Generic Car Parts
When it comes to parts that aren’t made by a vehicle’s original manufacturer, you’re likely to hear two terms: “generic” and “aftermarket.” These technically mean the same thing -- parts made by a third party -- but have very different connotations. Aftermarket parts are typically thought of as an upgrade, something used to enhance a car’s performance beyond market standards; generic parts are simply intended to replace OEM parts and provide acceptable quality. As you’re considering replacement part options, it’s a good idea to keep this difference in mind.
Just as when you’re buying name-brand or store-brand products at the grocery store, part of what you’re paying for is name recognition. But unlike when you’re grocery shopping, sub-par parts can increase physical and financial risk significantly. You should also weigh the cost of the repair parts against the value of the car. If you’re driving a standard Honda, it’s probably fine to allow price to motivate your decision. However, if you’re taking your Lexus or any other luxury brand in for a service you may want to pay the extra money as using non-OEM parts might also affect the warranty as well as the resale value of the car. The people who are usually most concerned about getting OEM parts include car enthusiasts, body shop mechanics, and owners of brand-new vehicles.
In an open letter from Les Mc Master (Masterparts) that was published by a major South Africa motoring magazine, in comment on a motor parts survey, he states the following: “It is interesting to note that it is always the car manufacturers who claim their genuine parts to be superior to all others and who constantly denigrate non-genuine replacement parts by, for example, calling them ‘pirate parts’. In this day and age, few product ranges can reasonably be classed as superior to all others with the obvious exception being “captive” items like certain body and suspension components, where no real opposition exists. It is common knowledge that a very high percentage of genuine parts sold by car manufacturers are the same as those sold in their original packaging and under their original brand names by independent parts distributors. Why do car manufacturers keep insulting their customer’s intelligence by claiming otherwise, when they make very few (if any) parts, with the exception of the body?”
The fact that many non-genuine parts are manufactured from superior materials or are assembled with more robust components, is also ignored. There are also some original specifications that embody latent defects, which have been eliminated in after-market branded products. That non-genuine parts incorporate these enhancements is actually more prevalent than one would think, for a number of reasons too lengthy to mention here, yet the car manufacturers imply this is never the case.
The greatest advantage of generic parts, of course, is that they’re generally priced lower than OEM parts. You’ll probably also get better availability and a wider selection -- which can be particularly helpful if you’re looking to repair an older car for which the manufacturer has stopped making the parts you need. The downside of generic parts is that most countries don’t regulate their parts industries, which means it’s difficult to judge quality without the brand name to give you some sense of security. Some of these generic parts also won’t come with a warranty.
The biggest advantage of paying for OEM car parts is that you can rely on the consistency that comes along with a certain brand. When you use Lexus repair parts as part of your Lexus service, you know you’ll be getting the highest possible quality. You should keep in mind, however, that auto repair shops sometimes give quotes assuming that you’ll want generic parts, and some insurance companies will even require that you pay the difference if you want OEM parts used in an otherwise covered repair.
It is interesting to note the wording used in relation to generic parts and particularly the Oxford dictionary definitions of those words, namely:
“Pirate” : a seafaring robber
“Counterfeit”: made in imitation, not genuine, forged
“Original”: existing from the beginning, not copied
“Branded”: a particular make of goods, an identifying trade mark
“Genuine”: really coming from its reputed source, not sham
Perhaps the continued use by the car manufacturers of the above descriptions to define the differences, is a deliberate attempt to belittle independent replacement parts distributors and is entirely out of context and in fact should not be used for the subject of motor spares. It could be argued that the use of the phrase “genuine parts” is also a misnomer. If “genuine” means to come from its source, then car manufacturers parts must, by dictionary definition, be “non-genuine”. No car manufacturer is the actual source of the majority of the parts they distribute, except for captive items like body parts, which comprise a very small percentage of total parts sold.
Car manufacturers are resellers in exactly the same way as independent parts distributors are because the parts they sell come from independent component manufacturers. ‘Genuine parts’ seldom if ever carry the real manufacturer’s brand mark and as a result, emanate from an ‘unknown’ source. As they are supplied by more than one manufacturer, this hides the true origin from those customers who are brand conscious or loyal to products from specific countries for reasons of national pride. It, therefore, appears that according to dictionary definitions the independent parts distributor is actually the seller of “genuine parts” because their parts are branded and clearly identifiable as to both the source and the origin.
So in conclusion, OEM parts keep the vehicle closer to its original state. However, on the flip side, once you drive your car off of the lot, it's no longer new. So are OEM parts necessary when used parts or aftermarket parts can get the job done more cost-effectively? You might assume that genuine parts will be of a better quality but this may not always be the case, as aftermarket parts may be reverse engineered so money is saved on development allowing the manufacturer to improve quality at a lower cost. Genuine parts may differ from OEM parts only in the packaging. Factor in the price difference which can be up to 70% and those non-genuine parts can look pretty appealing. It is important to remember that cheaper parts may not come with a warranty and you should check the terms of your vehicles warranty when getting it serviced. If you’re concerned about non genuine parts, you could insist that your garage orders in the genuine parts.
So while the old adage “you get what you pay for” is often true, it could also be said that you pay a lot for a name. While price will determine the decision to some, to others the name will most definitely matter.
Ultimately, as a difference in quality cannot be definitively proven, it's up to each person themselves to decide which matters more to them, name or price.
Have a small ‘ding’ that doesn’t warrant taking your prized possession to the panelbeaters? Dent removal is something that you can achieve from your home garage.
The first thing you need to know about dents is that there is an art and an incredible amount of skill that goes into removing dents from the body of a vehicle. If your car has sustained damage to the body and you want to remove the dents, your best bet is to use an expert. Not only do they have a myriad of different tools and techniques at their fingertips but they also have years of experience and skill. Those sorts of tools - and that level of skill - doesn’t come cheap, and that’s a key point: if you want a perfect finish - in other words, for the car to look the same as it was before it was damaged - then you will and can expect to pay for it. Or have your insurance cover the cost, at the very least. That being said, it is entirely possible to remove minor dents yourself.
In this Ultimate Dent Removal Guide we will discuss the different methods of dent removal as well as approximate costs, and how to distinguish which dents are fixable yourself.
Traditional dent repairs typically take more time than paintless dent removal and repair, although the process starts the same. Technicians will remove the panels, if necessary, and use specialized tools to restore the shape. They will then repair the accompanying scratches or paint chips by sanding and smoothing down the area. After the damaged area is restored to its original form and smoothed, technicians will paint the damaged area. Because traditional dent repairs have more steps to completion, it will take longer than a paintless dent removal, but often will only take about 3-4 hours.
For dents without any paint damage, technicians will use the paintless dent removal method, otherwise known as PDR. How does paintless dent removal work? It’s bit of a dark art, with plenty of secrecy around the kind of tools you need to get a perfect finish. Essentially, though, the repairer will remove any interior trims that are in the way and use tools to reshape the panel to its original form, being careful not the crack the seal of the paint. This sort of work can be done on bonnets, bumpers, fenders, doors, boot lids and roof turrets - if its metal and the paint isn’t compromised, a paintless dent repairer should be able to work it out. Because there is no paint damage, technicians won’t need to sand or paint the area. PDRs typically reach completion within a couple of hours and are less expensive than the more invasive repair options. Dents on your vehicle can really make the value of your vehicle go down and just makes it look bad. Major collision damage may need to be handled by a professional, but a lot of dents can be taken care of by a DIY enthusiast if you pick the best method for the job.
We decided to give you our top ways for removing dents out of body panels below.
Using the power of suction can be an easy way to remove light or shallow dents in a body panel. Using suction can be a simple way to fix a dent at home and with most methods there’s little risk involved. The most simple method is trying to use a regular old plunger from your bathroom (clean it first!), but there are also suction cup kits made specifically for removing dents. You simply apply the suction cup to the clean, dented area and lock the lever on the bottom. You can then use the strap on the back to pull with your hands or another method to pull the dent out.
How-to use the suction method to remove a dent:
The glue gun technique is relatively new to the home user but has been a body shop go-to for decades. When you buy a kit, as covered in our list, you’ll be given small plastic tabs. These tabs have a rough backing, thus increasing the surface area when pressed into the glue. They then serve as an anchor within the dent, allowing you to pull it out.
How to fix a dent using the glue and puller method:
Some dents can’t just be pulled out with simple methods. A basic set of hammers and dollies will allow you to hammer a larger dent out. By hammering off-dolly you can reverse many large dents and correct big issues in a few minutes. Patience and delicacy are key here, as the ham-fisted and hasty approach will only make things worse. If you’re trying to remove tiny dents, this is the best solution. The theory is that the nylon/plastic tips of the punch won’t damage the paint. And they won’t, so long as you’re careful and methodical. Check out some handy tools for dent removal: https://www.aceauto.co.za/search?search=tools
Heat can be used to remove dents or stretched metal or to help relax the dent so it can be popped out easier. If you’re trying to keep the paint intact a heat gun is best to use as you can usually dial the heat in on them and get a little hotter than a hair dryer would. Once the panel has been warmed up you can then start working it to remove the dent. On bare metal or badly damaged metal heat with a torch can be used to heat the metal nearly red hot and to let it cool to tighten up oil canned areas of metal.
On larger and more extensive damage there may already be paint damage or you’ll be repainting the panel or car. In this instance you may want to pull the dent out in an area where you can’t get a body hammer and dolly into. This is where a stud welder and slide hammer come in handy. With a stud welder kit you install a small brass colors stud into the gun and press it against the bare metal surface and hold the trigger. What it does is resistance weld the head of the stud to the panel surface. The stud sticking off can be installed into a special slide hammer you can use to slide hammer the dents out. This may take numerous steps to pull the dent out all of the way but it is one of the most efficient if there is no access to the backside of the panel.
If you only have light or shallow dents in the metal and they may be small like hail dents or door dings you can usually repair most of those with a Paintless Dent Removal Kit at home. These kits work similar to a stud welder just without heating up the metal or removing the paint. With these kits you apply a special adhesive to the cups or tabs and apply it directly over the dented area. The special puller included then attaches to the tab and you can pull lightly with it. The tabs are securely fastened with the glue for pulling but just take a little acetone or similar cleaner to soften up and allow you to remove the tabs with the glue without harming the metal. PDR kits take some practice to get glass straight panels but even a first time user can get a dent 90% of the way out with one of these kits they’re so simple
Will this be your first time doing any sort of DIY? Don’t be fooled by the friend, family member or colleague who consistently bangs on about how incredibly simple it all is. Here are three top tips to consider before committing to fixing that dent.
Our number one piece of advice is always to remain safe. If, after reading this article, you feel that attempting any of the above methods could cause injury or if you feel it would be too complicated for you to tackle alone, to arise, then please rethink this DIY project.
Many of the proposed methods above require a financial outlay for tools and equipment as well as a pair of handyman gloves and safety goggles in order to complete the task. Only attempt a method if you have everything you could ever need close by.
The best dent removal kits might be able to help drivers erase an embarrassing mistake, and most cost less than going to a body shop to get the work done however this might not always be the best option for you. Repairs are at your own risk. Hundreds upon thousands of DIYers have ended up making a car dent bigger or even worse, subsequently damaging the overall integrity of their car. For example, when a dent is incredibly sharp it’s impossible to retain its original shape, as the metal has been stretched out too far. Another case is if a dent is so huge that your car has basically been bashed in. In these extreme cases, it’s best to take your vehicle to a body shop. Although it will certainly be a costly alternative, these guys are professionals for a reason and usually more experienced than your average handyman.
With the current economic times, we are all looking for smarter ways to tighten the belt on our budgets and car repairs, especially if your vehicle is out of warranty.
Most of us have been driving cars since we were in our teens. For many, it’s almost impossible to imagine living without a car. Most of us also know the frustration of a car breaking down when you need it the most. Well, what if we told you that some of the most common reasons for car problems have easy fixes you could learn to do yourself?
With all the knowledge in the world at our fingertips, with ‘how-to” do just about anything you can imagine, YouTube tutorial videos freely available, more and more people are saving money by doing things themselves, such as handling their own home improvement projects, building their own pools, repairing their own plumbing issues. In addition to handling your own home improvement projects, why not consider these top ten tips for DIY Car repairs.
A regular car service can be quite a costly exercise but maintaining your vehicle in good running order and replacing worn out parts regularly will help keep you on the road until you can afford to have a professional service done. Do remember that some manufacturer warranties become null and void the moment you use a non-accredited workshop for your car’s service, so be willing to take that risk or make sure it is past the warranty period if that’s the case. Make sure you know what types of services are necessary and the mileages when services are due. Having a comprehensive service history will increase your cars resale value if ever you decide to sell.
Before you set about doing a service or any minor car repairs to your vehicle, you must make sure you have the correct tools.
Check out our Facebook page to see latest specials on parts and tools: https://www.facebook.com/AceAutoScrapyard
Tools you’re going to need for your DIY Car repair:
The first thing you need to do, before you become your own mechanic is to get yourself a good tool set with ratchets, an oil filter wrench, a spark plug wrench/spanner, HEX key, Pliers and screwdriver set. Check out hand tools that you may need for your car repairs. https://www.aceauto.co.za/search?search=tools
You will also need a jack and axle stands as these ensure safety when working underneath the car. Always read the instructions on your owner’s manual on how and where the stands must be placed.
Another necessity is a fire extinguisher. Because you are working in an enclosed space with explosive fluids such as fuel and gas an extinguisher is a necessity.
These are necessary for when you are draining the sump.
This the easiest way to lift your car off the ground, just ensure that they are placed in the correct ‘jack points’.
These also a good idea as they stop the car from rolling either backwards or forwards.
A strong light source will help you see what’s going on in a dim garage.
Is a very handy tool to have when you’re doing filter changes, just ensure that when you remove the old oil filter the O-ring is also removed at the same time.
Before you begin your service, you can purchase a ‘Service kit’ specific to the make and year of your vehicle.
A service kit for your car repair will contain: Coolant, Air filter, Oil filter, Fuel filter, Brake fluid flush, Engine oil, Spark plugs.
Don’t forget to keep your Owner’s Manual handy and always make sure the car is completely cooled down before you begin any car repairs. Also making sure your car is on a level surface will help.
The following 10 tips will make doing your own car repairs a lot easier:
Diagnose car problems without going to a mechanic with an auto code reader. Simply plug it into the car’s computer system, then interpret the trouble code readout to see what repairs you might need to do.
Dirty oil and undesirable liquids collect in the sump, which is located at the bottom of the engine. Remove the sump plug and drain the oil into a tray. Most sump plugs use a washer to guarantee a tight seal; this needs to be replaced every time you remove the sump plug. Having a registered waste company remove the dirty oil is the environmentally responsible way to dispose of your dirty oil. Once the main gush of oil is over you can remove the oil filter; some motoring stores have a tool for this but pushing a screwdriver through the soft walls of the oil filter will give you the purchase you need to unscrew the oil filter. Let the oil drain while you go about the rest of the service. Once you have drained the oil you can throw away the filter. Be sure to replace the oil filter, sump plug and washer before refilling the oil. Most cars use just over four liters of oil. As there are different grades of oil, you need to find out which one your car requires. Be careful not to overfill your car by checking the level regularly with the dipstick. Once you have achieved the correct level, run the motor for a few seconds before re-checking the oil level.
To check whether your wiper blades need replacing simply press the washer button and see if your blades wipe clean. If they streak, it’s time to replace them. The auto parts store will have lots of economy blades but go with a reputable brand instead. They might cost more than economy blades, but their higher-quality rubber wipes better, has better UV protection and lasts longer. Lift the blades, as if you were washing your windshield by hand, and remove the old blades. Pay attention to how the old blades connect to the metal arms. On most models, you’ll see a tab on the underside of the wiper. Push the tab to remove the old blade. Be sure you have a firm grip on the wiper arm once you remove the old blade. If it gets away from you, it can hit the windshield with enough force to crack it.
Attach the new blades, being careful not to bend the wiper arms or scratch your windshield. Line everything up and make sure the new ones are secure and tight. If you get distracted or just can’t remember exactly how the new blades should fit on the wiper arm, don’t worry. The packaging for the new blades should have a general set of instructions and a helpful diagram.
The in-line-fuel-filter (found under the vehicle near the fuel tank or in the fuel line under the hood) is easy to replace. Make sure you get the direction of the fuel right otherwise the car will not run properly. Use mechanical jubilee clips to secure the fuel line to each end of the filter rather than the spring steel clip types as these can sometimes fail. The air filter is usually housed in a plastic box with clips and should be the easiest part to change. Again, you must check that it is installed in the right direction or your car won’t be able to “breathe” properly.
If your car has a headlight that puts out about as much light as a flashlight with weak batteries, we’ve got two simple fixes for you. All you’ll need for the following fix is an adjustable wrench and a wire brush. Most dim headlights are caused by a corroded ground wire. Just trace the wiring harness from the back of each headlight assembly and see where it connects to the vehicle body. Give the connection a few strokes with the wire-brush.
Another possibility is that as headlight filaments age, they deposit a gray/brown film on the inside of the bulb (See Photo). Over time, that coating can reduce visibility by almost 300 ft. If your headlights aren’t as bright as they used to be, yank one of the bulbs and look for gray or brown residue on the glass. If you find any, replace both bulbs now and get back to seeing more of the road.
Always get the exact spark plugs for the make and model of your car. The gap in your spark plug should be set by the manufacturer and needs adjustment, so you won’t have to worry about “gapping” the plugs, because they’ll come pre-gapped. Treat spark plugs with the utmost care. It’s best to buy a spark plug spanner, especially one with a rubber insert that holds the spark plug in place while lowering it into the engine cavity. Do not over-tighten the spark plugs as this may break them. Be sure to replace the spark plug leads in the same order they were when you unplugged them. You should be able to locate your spark plugs fairly easily, because they’re attached to thick rubbery wires. You’ll find either four, six, or eight plugs, depending on how many cylinders your car has. Remove the wire to the first spark plug only. Do not remove all of the wires at once. Your spark plugs are installed in a certain order, which you need to maintain. Use your spark plug socket and extension on your ratchet to remove the first spark plug. Install the new spark plug, screwing it in by hand at first and then tightening it with a wrench for a snug fit. Do not over-tighten. Re-attach the spark plug wire. Repeat these steps for each spark plug, one at a time.
You need a new air filter for your car every 12 months or 12,000 miles, whichever comes first. You can pay a mechanic and give up your car for a day, or you can replace your air filter at home in about ten minutes. First, find your filter under the hood of your car. It’s in a black rectangular box with metal clips on the side. Check your owner’s manual if you don’t see it as soon as you pop the hood. Open up the casing and check out how the air filter fits inside it. Make a note of which way the filter faces.Remove the old air filter, and insert the new one exactly how the old one sat. Remember to close the metal clips when you’re done. You can extend the life of your new air filter by hitting it with some compressed air to clear out any debris.
The thermostat is usually located near the top of the engine under a “gooseneck” housing attached to the upper radiator hose. If yours isn’t there, consult your car manual to locate it. Pry off the gooseneck. Then remove the car thermostat from the engine or the inside of the gooseneck. In most cases, the cause of an overheating or no-heat condition in your vehicle is a faulty thermostat. And since the thermostat price can cost from between R200 to R600, it makes more sense to replace it than to spend hours diagnosing the problem. If that doesn’t fix it, at least you’re only out about two hours learning how to replace a thermostat. Pick up a new thermostat and gasket, as well as RTV sealant, fresh coolant (to top off the system) and hose-clamping pliers at an auto parts store. And while you’re there, ask the clerk for the torque specs for the gooseneck bolts. Then gather up your metric sockets, a plastic scraper and a drip pan. Slide the drip pan under the engine to catch the spilled coolant. Here’s how to change the thermostat: Remove the two or three bolts that hold the gooseneck in place and remove the thermostat. Next, clean both the engine and the gooseneck sealing surfaces. If the parts store gave you a plain gasket, coat one side with RTV sealant (self-adhesive gaskets don’t need sealant). Then install the thermostat and gasket. If the old thermostat used a rubber O-ring instead of a gasket, lubricate the new one with fresh coolant before you insert it. Reinstall the gooseneck and top off the coolant. You will need rags, a socket/ratchet set, a pair of hose-clamping pliers, a plastic scraper and a drip pan.
Scratches are the absolute worst. Even the tiniest scratches are visible from a distance and can kill the overall appearance of your metal monster. Unfortunately, it may cost you thousands to get them removed in a body shop. But you can save the money and the frustration with a simple DIY job. The steps include determining the depth of the scratch, lightly sanding the scratch, cleaning the area, applying rubbing compound, polishing the area with the rubbing compound, washing the area, and finally waxing the area to seal the repair. That’s it. You’ve just saved yourself a lot of money.
Car batteries tend to die on us at the most inconvenient times. If you’re in the middle of nowhere, your best bet would be to find roadside assistance and/or call a tow truck. But if you’re home and your battery shows signs that it might need replacement, the DIY replacement method is quite easy. The steps include removing any covers from the battery, disconnecting the negative cables, moving the clamp away from the battery post, doing the same for the positive cable clamp, removing all screws, replacing the old battery with the new one, and finally reconnecting the cable clamps. Make sure you label the cables before you remove them.
Some people use DIY to save themselves money and some people use it as a healthy way to escape from the stress of every-day life. They tap into skills they didn’t even know they had and pushed the limits of their creativity and what they thought they could do. Some people are more mechanical than others, but everybody can learn new skills and having the right tools and equipment definitely makes the tasks of minor car repairs less daunting. Mechanics are known to have a high level of self-reliance so if you find this is trait you possess then why not teach yourself new skills? Detecting problems and doing car repairs on your own car will not only give you an enormous sense of achievement but it will have the added bonus of saving you time and money.
2017 is upon us and after the sale of our Mk1 Golf, pre-season was all about completing the new VW Polo Race car.
We had only 7 weeks to start and complete the car before the first race which meant many late nights, hundreds of phone calls and lots of driving around to get the correct parts. We cannot explain how tired we were day after day and night after night but we made the deadline!
These are the results
Firstly, a big thank you to my dad for helping with this build it's been a crazy month and a half starting from just a shell to getting it complete, all the late nights and long days have paid off. Thank you to my friends, family and fiancé for being so understanding of the many missed birthdays and outings to get the car complete.
Then to my sponsors, thank you for all your contributions without all of you we wouldn't be nowhere near complete.
A big thank you to Ace Auto Scrapyard for their massive contribution and endless supply of parts you had in your yard.
A big shout out to Wikus, Ashley, Barnie and the rest of the guys at Delarey Racing Developments and Goldwagen Delarey you guys put your heart and souls into the engine bay and it came out better then we could have ever imagined. Thank you for answering literally hundreds of questions and phone calls.
Thank you to FSU Developments for the awesome products once again, I can't wait to see the final product you have planned for the interior.
Rion and Andre Octangle Marketing & Signage have really transformed the appearance of the car thank you for helping with the idea and stepping it up a couple of levels, I can't stop staring at the car!
Fuchs Lubricants South Africa thank you for the continued and greater support in 2017! We going to smash this one!
When it comes to purchasing an engine or gearbox, the secret to buying a good quality second hand engine or gearbox not only lies in how well you do your research and knowing exactly what you are looking for.
There are a large number of advantages one can gain from purchasing a second hand engine and or gearbox, such as…
Always consider a few of our pointers when purchasing a second hand engine or gearbox:
Ultimately, it’s all about doing your research and not rushing into making any hasty decisions. Find out as much as you can about who you are planning to buy from. Other than that, second hand engines and gearbox’s could be the best thing you buy since sliced bread.