Auto Service World
Feature   February 1, 2010   by Jim Anderton, Technical Editor

Upstairs, Downstairs

SSGM goes over and under to test a theory: Can "domestic" remanufactured rotating electrical parts really fit well in an "import" car?

When it comes to the old “Import” vs. “Domestic” debate, you can’t tell the players without a program these days. Japanese cars made in Canada, American cars made in Korea, European cars made in America; there’s no telling who made a given brand, or where. What hasn’t changed, however, is the strongly held belief that replacement parts are best matched by the vehicle manufacturer’s nationality. SSGM put this notion to the test with our Honda Civic test mule by going under and over to fit a replacement starter and alternator from a quintessentially American brand, ACDelco. Why a Civic? Honda built this model in Canadian and Japanese plants for sale in the Canadian market, and there are multiple OEM fitments for rotating electrical, so multiple part numbers are listed for this application — allowing SSGM to test exact replacement and equivalent fit parts. We used ACDelco remanufactured components, representative of a typical replacement in a mid-life car. How did it go?

What did we learn? The ACDelco starter and alternator fit the same as the OE parts and worked as well too. The ability to order exact or equivalent fit parts is an added bonus; there are actually four different ACDelco part numbers for the starter alone in this application. From a merchandising perspective, there is also the benefit of a widely recognized name brand and the enclose test graph is a great sales tool to add to the customer’s work order. It also means the unit you installed has been thoroughly tested, so if something goes wrong, check your work … nobody tests for “stone hands!”

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