Since I’ve hit the big 450,000 mile mark, it was time for another oil change and check up. The only other thing the TSX needed was some front brakes. The original OEM rotors had been turned a few times & we were going to get on more turn out of them when the Acura Tech noticed something not quite right on the right front.
As you may remember, I bought a bunch of used oem parts to rebuild the TSX when I wrecked it a few months ago. When I did this, I didn’t have a chance to go thru all the parts myself. As a result, some of the parts were not quite right. Enter our rt front rotor. I bought a complete rt front suspension assembly complete with rotor. As it turns out, someone at some time bought a used rotor to put on their car before it was wrecked and parted out. Problem is, the rotor they put on was a rear rotor, not a front rotor. The difference? Oh, about a half inch in diameter. So the front pads were overhanging the rotor by a half inch!
I should have grabbed a pic, but imagine a brake pad with about a half inch of brand new stopping power, which then dramatically drops off to next to nothing. That’s what my front pad looked like on the right side. Something out of Tetris really. So it was time for some new front rotors & pads for the front.
See the invoice here…
About a 1,000 miles later I saw something come on the dash that I hadn’t seen before, the battery light. This was a first! I’ve replaced the battery 2 or 3 times in the past and don’t recall the battery light coming on before. My mind whispered “Alternator”.
Luckily I was doing local inspections at the time. I called the guys at Lyle Pearson to check if they had time for me to stop by for a diagnose, they did, (they always do) and 45 minutes later Master Tech Chris Downs confirmed, “Yup, Alternator”. So into a loaner I went & they ordered up a new alternator. 451,000 on an alternator isn’t too shabby now is it?
This is why I prefer OEM parts to Aftermarket parts. Now, I’m fully aware that some aftermarket parts are just as good if not better than OEM parts. This is true, but mostly when it comes to racing parts. However, I’m not racing from inspection to inspection. As I see enough wrecked cars & I’ve seen my car wrecked twice.
I’ll also give you a recent example: one of the things I tried saving money on rebuilding my car was an aftermarket steering rack from Fast Undercar. The OEM rack was over $1,000. The aftermarket rack from Fast Undercar? $350! A bargain right? Ummm, Not so much. The Aftermarket steering rack lasted a whopping 3 whole days before leaking like a stuck pig. It was going thru a bottle of steering fluid a day. I was out of town when I discovered this, so I just kept dumping in the fluid until I got back to Lyle Pearson Acura. When we got it up on the rack again, this is what we found…The main seals were leaking and filling the boot with fluid. Which is why we didn’t catch it right away. Since the boot was catching all the fluid, there were no leaks to tell us what was going on. So that comes out to $100 a day for an aftermarket steering rack. The OEM rack lasted 10 years and almost 450k miles before I bashed it in running over large rocks. It’d probably be still doing it’s thing if I hadn’t of wrecked it. Aftermarket part bonus? You bet! I’m still waiting to see if Fast Undercars will be reimbursing me my $350, much less having to pay the labor to have it swapped out. It’s already been 2 months & they have the old rack back. At this point I’m not holding my breath. Lesson learned. At least used is OEM. But I’ll never do Aftermarket on my car again.
Consider this, minus the few parts that have served me well during the last 10 years & I’ve had to replace (& not many at that) have lasted 450k miles. If that doesn’t speak to the quality of Honda/ Acura OEM parts, I don’t know what does!