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Rules are meant to be broken! Amazon for parts
Posted to Shop Management Forum on 2/23/2017 68 Replies

Yeah, yeah...I know....A customer wants to buy parts on Amazon and the typical repair shop owner will likely give a lecture on "cheap crap sold on the internet." Not so fast! We recently had an '05 Nissan 350Z here with a fried clutch. Ordered a complete clutch kit from WP in Exedy/Daikin. I was disturbed by the fact that the pressure plate was a completely different design from what we were replacing. The original had the self-adjusting feature. We tried this substitution on a different vehicle once before and the clutch dragged badly -- not going there again! So research on the internet gave us a part number for a LUK kit that appeared identical. Checking WP, O'Reilly etc. etc. it was NOT locally available but Autozone could get it in 3-4 days for almost $400. Amazon had the kit for $216 (+ tax and expedited shipping made it $260) and it got here in under 48 hours. Fit and worked perfectly and got the car off the lift relatively quickly. I put a decent markup on the kit and we ended up making more profit than with the questionable WP kit.

Then we had a Tundra with an ignition lock cylinder problem. Took it to our locksmith and it was repaired and two new (non chipped in this application!) keys were made. Our cost: about $70. Entire cylinder/switch assembly from the dealer : $170 as I recall and special order item. Well crap!! Turns out the electrical switch portion of the assembly is flaky causing intermittent no-crank. Dealer does not sell the electrical portion separate. No listing in WP, O'Reilly, etc. etc. Well guess what? A Google search takes me to two Beck-Arnley switch portions on Amazon and the excellent photograph confirms this is the identical part! "Buy now, only two left!" OK, I only need one. $26 plus tax and expedited shipping gets it here in under 48 hours. Truck made it back to the owner before the weekend and well before our promised ETA. He was back to making a living with it Monday.

We need to be flexible and resourceful in this day and age. Whining about "cheap crap internet parts" is not going to fly.

Don in Austin

Donald from Texas

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