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#922493 - 06/17/07 10:17 AM FYI: Duralast Gold Starters
The Critic Offline


Registered: 08/30/04
Posts: 18008
Loc: Walnut Creek, CA
I bought and installed an AutoZone Duralast Gold starter (NEW) into my '96 Saturn on Saturday. The factory unit that I removed from the car was a Valeo unit that was "Made in France." The starter that came in the Duralast Gold box was also a Valeo brand, but Made in Poland. It had an updated design that did not require the dust shield (N/A to me anyway) and had a different solenoid design. I was essentially sold the dealership part for about 1/2 price...$149.99 from AutoZone vs. nearly $300 from the Saturn dealership.

I guess that for some low volume parts, it doesn't make financial sense for a vendor to tool their assembly line to make the component, so they just purchase it from a different supplier. Sometimes you get lucky!

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#922494 - 06/17/07 07:00 PM Re: FYI: Duralast Gold Starters [Re: The Critic]
Donald Offline


Registered: 03/21/04
Posts: 14253
Loc: Upstate NY
Just because Valeo makes starters for Saturn and Autozone does not mean they are made to the same spec. Its quite common for manufacturing companies to make products with other labels on them and they could all be the same spec or different spec/price point. You do not have enough info to determine it.
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2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 4.0 - PP & M1
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#922495 - 06/18/07 05:17 AM Re: FYI: Duralast Gold Starters [Re: Donald]
Ben Boyle Offline


Registered: 08/07/04
Posts: 196
Loc: Michigan
Don't get too excited. Valeo is also the OEM for my Citroen 2CV and the rebuilt starter that was originallly made in France, but rebuilt in Poland and it didn't even make it a year.

Admittedly a Citroen 2CV and a Saturn are very different beasts. But, apparently, they share the same OEM for the starter!

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#922496 - 06/18/07 06:00 AM Re: FYI: Duralast Gold Starters [Re: Ben Boyle]
JohnBrowning Offline


Registered: 05/01/03
Posts: 9448
Loc: USA
It has been my experince that seldom does an OEM supplier reduce the cost or take short cuts on their over run parts. Often if the part is comeing from the same OEM supplier as the OEM part then they are identical. Now I am not talking about the OEM production supplier I am talking about service part supplier. Often the OEM service part is different in design and materials. Often the supplier of the service part and the OEM part are totaly diffeent. I also would not assume that the parts are Valeo unless it saye it on the box. Casting are reused as are ID tag's. Denso does not make any parts for Autozone but all of the Toyota starters say Denso on them. The rebuilder/remanufacture is useing OEM core's. Even the gold line wich has all new internals will often reuse the castings!

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#922497 - 06/18/07 06:52 AM Re: FYI: Duralast Gold Starters [Re: JohnBrowning]
Ben Boyle Offline


Registered: 08/07/04
Posts: 196
Loc: Michigan
In my case it came in a bright green box that said Valeo all over it!

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#922498 - 06/19/07 08:33 AM Re: FYI: Duralast Gold Starters [Re: Ben Boyle]
Cutehumor Offline


Registered: 12/10/02
Posts: 9125
Loc: USA

I bought a new duralast gold alternator for my 96 sunfire back in 2001. I just went on a vacation for 13 days where the car sat. When I got back, I used a battery charger before I cranked the car up and the charger said it was still fully charged after 3 seconds. I fired it up with no problems. My regular duarlast battery is 7 years old, I was thinking the battery was great, but now I'm thinking it's the duarlast alternator making it last this long.
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