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RockAuto: Economy vs Daily Driver vs Premium Parts #5424287 05/08/20 06:24 PM
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nobb Offline OP
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So I'm browsing RockAuto's catalog and for the most part, the categorizations of economy, daily driver, and premium should reflect increasing quality and price. However, I couldn't help but notice in some cases with certain manufacturers (such as AC Delco or Beck and Arnley) that they'll have a slightly different part number under the economy vs daily driver section, but when you zoom into the picture these look like the identical part. Maybe with a slightly different warranty. Some of these brands just rebox an OEM supplier's part, so would they really go through the trouble of having inventory of two separate parts for the same application?

As an example, I'm looking at an upper ball joint for a 1998 Toyota 4Runner and the AC Delco 46D0116A (economy line) appears to be physically the same as the AC Delco 46D0116 (daily driver line) but it's half the price. They both appear to be a made in Japan Sankei 555 part.

Thoughts? Has anyone noticed this? Do parts stores do this as well?

Re: RockAuto: Economy vs Daily Driver vs Premium Parts [Re: nobb] #5424295 05/08/20 06:36 PM
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eljefino Online Content
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Photos are for illustrative purposes only.

Re: RockAuto: Economy vs Daily Driver vs Premium Parts [Re: nobb] #5424300 05/08/20 06:40 PM
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terry274 Offline
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Is the warranty different for the two part numbers? Could that be the only difference, the warranty?


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Re: RockAuto: Economy vs Daily Driver vs Premium Parts [Re: nobb] #5424302 05/08/20 06:45 PM
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dmoney Offline
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I worked for NAPA for 10 years right out of college starting in the middle 90's...Filters were definitely 2 different filters when looking at economy vs premium. Brake pads/shoes were easy to tell apart as well.

I will say when looking at other parts ( Ignition,Chassis, Brake Hardware), we offered a premium line and an economy line, and there was NO difference. I would see two identical tie rod ends in different boxes, that had the same stamping and casting numbers. One was 25 dollars, and one was 15 dollars.

Some of Ford Ignition Modules would be in a NAPA box, and have the Ford part number printed on the part...The dealer part was 150 bucks, the NAPA part was 55 bucks.

If buying in person, look at both parts and make your decision.

When I buy from Rockauto...I look for known brand names for piece of mind....

Hope that helps you out.

Re: RockAuto: Economy vs Daily Driver vs Premium Parts [Re: nobb] #5424305 05/08/20 06:50 PM
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HangFire Offline
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Sometimes it's all the same part, sometimes it's 10 different OEM's from 4 different countries. Vehicle specific forums are often the best place to help you sort it out.

One difference is the better brake pads mostly come with abutment clips, shims, or other hardware, while the economy brands usually do not.

Parts stores typically try to carry 2 or 3 levels of quality as well, both chain and independent.


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Re: RockAuto: Economy vs Daily Driver vs Premium Parts [Re: nobb] #5424332 05/08/20 08:08 PM
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NormanBuntz Offline
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Even ACDelco has different grades of replacement parts, especially brake parts. And they often have part numbers that are very close.


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Re: RockAuto: Economy vs Daily Driver vs Premium Parts [Re: nobb] #5424354 05/08/20 09:01 PM
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Well, whether you buy a cheap ball joint or a premium one, they're going to look basically the same. Like buying a ball joint for a 70's Buick vs a ball joint for a 2010 Crown Vic, they aren't all that different.


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Re: RockAuto: Economy vs Daily Driver vs Premium Parts [Re: eljefino] #5424360 05/08/20 09:06 PM
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hallstevenson Offline
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Originally Posted by eljefino
Photos are for illustrative purposes only.

I wish every online seller of anything (not just auto parts) would include watermarks or something indicating exactly this. Too many people put way too much weight in the generic picture shown. Doesn't anyone realize how impractical and downright silly it would be to photograph every variation of items just to show on websites, catalogs, etc ?

Re: RockAuto: Economy vs Daily Driver vs Premium Parts [Re: nobb] #5424404 05/08/20 11:05 PM
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JMJNet Offline
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I know in the case of ACDelco for my diesel truck sometimes have different tiers of product of the same part.

For example for thermostat, there are 2 choices: Professional and OE..
OE is their expensive that is suppose to be in line with the OE quality product.
Professional is usually cheaper in some cases half the price of OE but not as good in terms of performance/reliability.
At least that is my observation.
Not sure if their pictures are the same or not, though.


  • 2017 Toyota Sienna
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Re: RockAuto: Economy vs Daily Driver vs Premium Parts [Re: nobb] #5424425 05/09/20 12:48 AM
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daves87rs Offline
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I usually avoid the Economy line as friends of mine who work on their/other cars tend to have issues with them.

Still believe you get what you pay for.....


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Re: RockAuto: Economy vs Daily Driver vs Premium Parts [Re: daves87rs] #5424463 05/09/20 05:36 AM
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demarpaint Offline
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Originally Posted by daves87rs
I usually avoid the Economy line as friends of mine who work on their/other cars tend to have issues with them.

Still believe you get what you pay for.....

I agree.


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Re: RockAuto: Economy vs Daily Driver vs Premium Parts [Re: hallstevenson] #5424476 05/09/20 06:34 AM
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NH73 Offline
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Originally Posted by hallstevenson
Originally Posted by eljefino
Photos are for illustrative purposes only.

I wish every online seller of anything (not just auto parts) would include watermarks or something indicating exactly this. Too many people put way too much weight in the generic picture shown. Doesn't anyone realize how impractical and downright silly it would be to photograph every variation of items just to show on websites, catalogs, etc ?
Exactly. I found myself doing that this week, till when I found out that the part on my vehicle looked different than the one in the picture. I was looking at the belt tensioners, studying up the markings and everything. When I went to look at the actual part on the vehicle, its markings was like some of the aftermarket pictures than the OEM. Now granted, the original part is 16 years old, so it could of changed, but likely the pictures could be 20 to 30 years old too. There are many, many people who say buy OEM, but usually they likely had some bad experience with a cheap aftermarket. Interesting enough, there appeared to be a Gates symbol on the OEM part. So I opted to but the Gates part.


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Re: RockAuto: Economy vs Daily Driver vs Premium Parts [Re: nobb] #5424478 05/09/20 06:36 AM
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NH73 Offline
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Originally Posted by nobb
So I'm browsing RockAuto's catalog and for the most part, the categorizations of economy, daily driver, and premium should reflect increasing quality and price. However, I couldn't help but notice in some cases with certain manufacturers (such as AC Delco or Beck and Arnley) that they'll have a slightly different part number under the economy vs daily driver section, but when you zoom into the picture these look like the identical part. Maybe with a slightly different warranty. Some of these brands just rebox an OEM supplier's part, so would they really go through the trouble of having inventory of two separate parts for the same application?

As an example, I'm looking at an upper ball joint for a 1998 Toyota 4Runner and the AC Delco 46D0116A (economy line) appears to be physically the same as the AC Delco 46D0116 (daily driver line) but it's half the price. They both appear to be a made in Japan Sankei 555 part.

Thoughts? Has anyone noticed this? Do parts stores do this as well?
Certainly some good advice here. But for ball joints go with Moog. Then you won't have to worry about the economy line or premium line and those are good.


2017 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid
2004 Ford Explorer Sport Trac
2012 Gravely ZT XL 48 w/ Kawasaki FR730
Re: RockAuto: Economy vs Daily Driver vs Premium Parts [Re: NH73] #5424501 05/09/20 07:10 AM
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Kruse Offline
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Originally Posted by NH73
But for ball joints go with Moog. Then you won't have to worry about the economy line or premium line and those are good.


Not so fast. Moog has the "R" line, their cheap, "probably made in China", "compete with all the other trash" line that you want to stay away from.
Problem Solver line, okay, it's usable, although they recommend that you grease them every 3,000-5,000 miles. Seriously?
Their "R" line, which has the letter "R" in the part number? My advice is to avoid, unless you are driving your vehicle straight to the salvage yard.

Re: RockAuto: Economy vs Daily Driver vs Premium Parts [Re: NH73] #5424555 05/09/20 08:55 AM
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nobb Offline OP
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Originally Posted by NH73
But for ball joints go with Moog. Then you won't have to worry about the economy line or premium line and those are good.


I'm not entirely convinced that Moog is the best way to go anymore with their greaseable joint. Good in theory, but people usually end up forgetting to maintain them over time. Leaning towards Proforged and their sealed chassis parts.

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