Archive for January, 2010

Chevy Parts easy to come by but hard to know what fits what

Monday, January 4th, 2010

Chevrolet is one of the most well-established brands in the world. It’s been the linchpin and best-seller of GM since Durant started it. There were times in the past when Chevrolet sold more than half of the cars in the U.S. That makes the parts picture pretty rosy.

There is a problem with Chevrolet parts, though. Every shadetree mechanic in the country firmly believes that “they’re all the same.” Countermen are constantly bombarded by parts returned to them with the admonition that they must have sold the wrong part. A little investigation always reveals that the customer didn’t give the right year, or that he assumed the date on the door was the model year. This may sound petty, but the owners of Chevrolets are particularly dense when it comes to obtaining the basic information represented by “make, year, and model.” Let this be a warning: they are not all the same.

That said, they are all very similar. The two basic engines used by Chevrolet for decades, the small-block V8 and the straight 6, have been manufactured in the tens of millions. There are mountains of new and used parts out there. One advantage of this is that aftermarket vendors have taken it upon themselves to make improved versions of the original parts. This applies to every engine part, and many chassis and trim parts. It is possible to put together a greatly improved version of many Chevrolet models by using superior aftermarket parts. This doesn’t apply to sheet metal, however, the O.E. always fits best.

Newer Chevrolets have nothing in common with these older models, except that they are still the best combination of economy and performance on the market. The owner of a Chevrolet never has to worry about breaking down in the boonies. If he does break down, the local garage will have his parts on the shelf or have them delivered in an hour. This is not something one could say of Audi or Lexus, for instance. And we won’t go into the legendary durability and simplicity of the Chevrolet pickup.