Replacements

Why are replacement parts never as good as original equipment? No answer is provided below, sorry. But know that what follows is not a complaint about stuff wearing out. Everything wears out, eventually. And few begrudge the replacement or its cost.

There is, though, a certain grudge against the quality of the replacement as compared to the original.

Currently with 52,000 miles, the original tires on my vehicle still have miles and miles of safe-driving tread remaining. They might “go” to 60K. It’s happened previously. And without accident or injury.

New replacement tires, at up to $200 each (and, on Subarus, must be purchased in pairs), will last 35-45,000 miles. Almost regardless of how much one wants to spend on them. And it’s a risky stretch to get to the higher number.

Original equipment windshield wiper blades are equally long-lasting. The same 52K vehicle has original blades that are streak-free and, in fact, cleanly and thoroughly wipe water off the windshield. They, too, will need replacing eventually, of course. And, from past experience, the new blades leave streaks, do not wipe water as thoroughly as the originals and are “shot” after 15,000 miles.

The manufacturers of the original equipment are also, surprisingly, capable of manufacturing replacement equipment. They are to be applauded for making a quality product, at least initially.

Maybe the applause has gone to their heads. Or, perhaps they recognize the error of their ways – producing a product with longevity – and are compensating for that sin with the short-lived replacement parts. Planned obsolescence, you know.

Before a (relatively minor) surgical procedure 15 or more years ago, the surgeon assured the patient that he (the surgeon) would give the patient a replacement better than what God had originally given the patient.

That’s comforting. And bold. Even inspirational. Unless, of course, one has owned a car for more than ten minutes.

The sage post-op advice from the surgeon: “Don’t slip, don’t trip.” Easy enough.

The same patient is now returning to the Oh-Are (“doctor talk”) for a procedure identical to the original. God, apparently, also has limited longevity. Further, the repeat performance is made more difficult than the first (and that would be the one promising “better than God’s”) due to scarring from the earlier operation.

Thus far, there’s been no talk about a warranty on the first procedure. (I’m getting to like using the word “procedure.”) Or the forthcoming one.

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