Motor repair: Isolated defect or manufacturer recall

Motor repair – The news media does a great job of publicizing the list of latest defects plaguing some of the car manufacturers with respect to motor repair. This is a step in the right direction, but it’s a broad step. Ultimately, it’s up to you, the consumer to initiate the process of making manufacturers responsible for unsafe vehicle defects and talk to auto repair specialist.

Motor repair: Isolated defect or manufacturer recall

Automotive Hiccup or Potential Manufacturer Recall

When you purchase a car, whether new or used, you expect things to go wrong. No matter how strictly you adhere to automobile manufacturer’s maintenance guidelines, things go wrong. Car malfunctions and part break downs are expected. All machines eventually wear out. All requires motor repair and need to meet an auto repair specialist.

However, as a consumer, you have to understand the difference between normal wear and tear and a product defect that leads to motor repair. Some parts on a car (such as a sub frame) are not supposed to wear out in short order and are expected to last for the lifetime of the car. Other parts (such as a water pump) need to be replaced during the life of the car. The question is when is it wear and tear and when is it a manufacturer’s defect?

Steps for Determining a Potential Automotive Defect

First you must pinpoint the problem to an auto repair specialist. You may not be able to do this on your own so solicit the help of a qualified mechanic.

Chat with the mechanic to see if this is an isolated problem need needed for motor repair or if it is a common occurrence. Sometimes when something goes wrong with your car, you don’t realize that several other car owner have the exact same problem. Your mechanic can provide some inside information on how frequently he has worked on the defective condition.

Check the internet to research the condition online and whether motor repair is required. Use your favorite search engine and search for the problem. For example, type in the condition such as “Rusted Ford sub frame” or “Toyota sticking accelerator pedal.” By inserting the problematic condition, you’ll find websites, blogs, and news sources that address the problem. If your search comes up empty, rephrase the query. If it continues to come up empty, the problem might not be a wide-spread issue (remember, not every vehicle malfunction is cause for a recall).

Gather the Automotive Defect Information and File a Claim

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You must understand that just because several people have the same automotive defect, it doesn’t mean that it will be recalled. The National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration is the organization that investigates unsafe automotive defects in the United States and Transport Canada, Safety & Defects Investigations handles Canadian investigations.

Visit the appropriate website and search for your vehicle’s year, make and model. Once you’ve located your vehicle, check to see if there are any open investigations that may lead to a recall. You might find your vehicle’s defect is currently being investigated. If it is, don’t click away thinking that it’s already handled. Add your information to the list by filing a claim.

The more information the safety organizations have, the better they can investigate the defect and force the manufacturer to issue a recall. If only a small sprinkling of car owners with defective vehicles file claims, the manufacturer will use it as proof that the problem affects only an isolated few thus not requiring a recall.

It’s Up to the Automobile Consumer

If every car owner sat back waiting for the next person to file a claim, the claims would never be filed. Some auto manufacturing defects result in deadly outcomes. It only takes a few minutes to file a claim with the NHTSA or Transport Canada. Your action can potentially save someone’s life.

Pros and Cons of Aftermarket Automotive Parts and OEM Parts

When shopping for replacement parts for a vehicle, consumers are faced with the option to purchase either aftermarket automotive parts or Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts. While both have their pros and cons, its ultimately up to the individual’s preferences concerning quality and his budget when deciding on the better option.

Aftermarket Automotive Parts – Pros and Cons

Aftermarket automotive parts are replacement units manufactured by any company other than the parent company that produced the original vehicle. These pieces can be purchased at just about any discount auto parts store and, should the consumer choose to take his vehicle to any auto repair center other than the one at the new car dealership that services his model vehicle, he can expect the mechanic to install aftermarket automotive parts unless he specifically requests otherwise.

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Aftermarket automotive parts are often much cheaper for consumers than the replacement car part options the manufacturer offers.
There’s rarely any waiting around for the correct part to be ordered. Individuals can readily purchase aftermarket replacements for their vehicles from auto body retailers nationwide. Many individuals opt for aftermarket units, not as replacements, but as an upgrade for standard vehicle options.


Although most car parts purchased new come with a warranty, that warranty may not be as long as the one offered by the manufacturer, which can sometimes offset the higher cost of OEM parts.
Consumers sometimes purchase aftermarket auto parts without any knowledge of exactly what they’re getting. While the quality of these pieces sometimes exceeds the quality of OEM parts, they can be of a lower quality as well.

OEM Auto Parts – Pros and Cons

OEM auto parts are those manufactured by the parent company. For example, a Ford brand unit in a Ford is an OEM part. OEM parts are identical in every vehicle of a given make and model.


OEM units always come with a warranty. Should the piece prove to be defective after installation, the vehicle owner can have the unit replaced free of charge. Many dealerships also provide free labor for replacing a defective OEM part – something that can be hard to come by when replacing defective aftermarket automotive parts.
Consumers can purchase OEM parts for their cars with the assurance that the part will fit the vehicle properly. Not all aftermarket pieces are compatible with all cars and choosing the correct aftermarket automotive part can be confusing for some consumers. This, however, is never a factor with OEM parts.


OEM parts cost considerably more than most aftermarket units. If an individual plans to pay out-of-pocket for his car repairs, the cost of OEM replacement parts could be more than he was expecting, or is willing, to pay.
Because OEM parts come directly from the manufacturer, many dealerships will have to order each unit as they need it. This can greatly increase the amount of time car repairs take. If the dealership charges extra for each day the car is in the shop, the added time translates to additional charges for the consumer.

Choosing Between Aftermarket Replacement Parts and OEM Parts

Cost is the biggest motivator for most motorists when choosing new parts for their vehicles. Individuals looking for an upgraded stereo system or flashy accessories will almost always want to purchase aftermarket automotive parts since the manufacturer is unlikely to offer such options.

Those who have suffered an accident and have an insurance company footing the bill for repairs, however, should strongly consider choosing OEM parts for the stability of the warranty. Ultimately, however, an individual’s decision to install either aftermarket automotive parts or OEM parts comes down to budget, quality and personal preference.