Re: Best Quality Belts and Hoses ?
Hello No Leaks:
Just a couple of thoughts regarding OEM and aftermarket parts from a SoCal neighbor (Oak Hills).
I worked for a large city agency for 31 years, until retirement ten years ago. We had a large fleet of Crown Victorias, and of course, the city purchased parts at wholesale prices. I couldn't help but notice the difference in wholesale prices the city paid for parts, and the dealer prices I paid, retail. It seems that retail prices averaged about 5 times that of wholesale! So, I feel your pain when I have to buy parts at dealer prices, and I own six Fords. Can anybody say ROBBERY! I still, however, bite the bullet and buy OEM parts if the car is a "keeper". Here's why.
I have been building hot rods and cars from the frame up for many years. I have learned that OEM parts always give better service. They just plain fit and perform well, like when the car was new. I cannot say that for all aftermarket parts. I have learned from my mistakes scratch building hot rods, that even the best parts will not result in good performance if not engineered to work with the other hundreds of parts found in a car. Now, think of the cumulative effect of all the after market parts we might install over the life of our cars. We might get lucky, but most of the time we wind up with a bunch of Chinese parts (no offense meant) kind of designed and machined to fit our cars, and performance will suffer. (I know that Ford parts are made all over the world, but they are made to Ford specs.)
Of course there are many good aftermarket products that have been proven. Bert's mention of Goodyear is one I totally agree with. But for those all important internal parts, I use OEM, and my cars seem to run as well as when new.
Try asking your parts guy for a loyal customer discount. We have many Ford dealers here in SoCal, and if they want your business, they will usually give you a price break. If they won't, you can go down the street to another dealer. When you find a dealer that does, stick with him. Every little bit helps.