When your car or truck is stopped, the brakes aren’t the only things keeping your car wheels from rotating. Individuals with a manual transmission know this, because they can often take their foot off the brake and don’t start idling forward.
The essential device that engages and disengages the rotation of your vehicle’s wheels is the clutch (and yes, they are present on automatic transmission vehicles as well). This component is what allows your engine to spin all the time without constantly spinning the wheels. It is accomplished through the use of friction discs. In a manual transmission, pressing the clutch pedal pushes the discs against a flywheel through a spring mechanism. In an automatic transmission, the car performs this action for you.
Similarly, pressing the clutch again will also disengage the disc from the flywheel. The disc, which is directly connected to the engine, rotates constantly. The wheels, which are directly linked to the flywheel, only turn when the disc completes the connection to the moving engine.
So, what are the best brands for brake & clutch kits?
“Unless you’re a branded dealer then the term pirate parts is not politically correct. These days we call them aftermarket parts or replacement parts, but it’s just semantics. The use of pirate parts in the motor industry is common knowledge. The part itself is not necessarily inferior quality, only more affordable.
Pirate parts are often confused with cheap, but this is not always the case. When buying pirate parts you can usually determine the quality by the price. If the pirate part costs 10 percent of what the original part is, then beware. The normal clutch kits prices on a good quality pirate part is 50-70 percent of original.
Regularly, so-called pirate parts can be found as original equipment on many motor vehicles. If we consider clutches, there are many cars that use the so-called pirate LUK brand, Valeo, or Sachs clutch kits.
So why do dealers claim that aftermarket spares are not as good as original parts?
We often hear stories about people losing their warranties because the brakes on their cars were repaired at a non-franchised workshop. Brakes are a safety-critical item and, as such, there are no workshops out there worth their salt that are prepared to cut corners when it comes to the stopping capabilities of your vehicle.
ATE brake pads, for instance, are found on many vehicles as original equipment. The difference between the cost of the original in its packaging and that of the same brake pads in an ATE box, is unbelievable – in some instances almost double.
It’s a fallacy that when non-branded parts are used, your car becomes a death trap. The aftermarket-parts industry is thriving because original equipment is overpriced and overrated where quality is concerned.
The pricing of only service items on some makes of cars cannot be justified when the very same items can be purchased as pirate parts for half the price. If we take spark plugs for instance, the cost of an NGK plug in its original package is R25 a plug. The very same plug in a manufacturers’ box is R50 a plug.
A few years ago Mercedes Benz stopped their policy of discounting spares and set a fixed price on all their parts. Today some of the service items on older models are considerably cheaper than the pirate parts.
If Mercedes Benz can sell their spares cheaper than the aftermarket spares places why can’t the other manufacturers do the same? This just shows that if the branded franchises chose to treat their clients as people rather than numbers, many people would still be servicing their cars with the branded dealers after warranties run out.”