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Reputable merchants for OEM parts?

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I feel like I’m stuck in a strange spot trying to do my own car repairs. My colleague gets all of his from Rock Bottom Auto, I’ve gotten some gear from Autozone, etc. but they’re always manufactured by companies like AC Delco and similar. Are these good companies? Do they make good replacement parts? What about for something more niche than rotors and brake pads, let’s say a cam shaft cover?

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Everything I've ordered from RockAuto has been just fine. I try to stick to OEM parts and RockAuto is a good source for them. I paid $300 for OEM GM brake calipers, pads, shoes and wheel cylinders for my 1979 Catalina. 

My 1999 Ranger's OEM filter is $9.99 on there, or something close to that. The auto parts stores don't carry Motorcraft air filters, and they charge $20 for aftermarket STPs. Just the Motorcraft air filter and shipping are that much. 

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I usually go with RockAuto. And I try stick with the brands I know and trust. I like how their website makes it easy to find what you need. It’s old, a little clunky, but it is so easy. 

Sometimes Amazon, but I make sure it is from Amazon itself, not a third party. It just takes a little more effort to find the right part with Amazon, there is a lot of crap on there. 

For Toyota, I cross shop with parts.toyota.com and see how the part prices compare. Make sure to click your local dealer of choice, sometimes they give discounts on the website.  You have to order a minimum for free shipping, or go pick it up at the dealer.

For BMW (and possibly other Euro brands) I’ve used FCP Euro. They give you the genuine or the OEM option. Usually it is the same exact part, just with the brand scratched off.

O’reilly, AutoZone, Advanced Auto, I usually go rent tools for “free” from them. And get the odds and ends I may need. I think Scotty used AutoZone in Houston, not sure what he uses now.

If I need to buy tools, Harbor Freight for most hand tools. Lifetime warranty for hand tools, like the old Craftsman brand.

For consumables like oil, I usually go Costco or WalMart.  They are usually cheapest.

 

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