01-12-2013, 12:59 PM
Join Date: Nov 2012
My Ride: 04 330xi, 97 Miata
A word about China
First in response to Kubica, the last I heard, Centric Posi-Quiet pads were manufactured by OE Quality Friction in Canada. Whether this is still true, I don't know. In fact I was curious so I went to our shelf and lo and behold, they do not state a country of origin so until I can confirm, I can't say.
So here's my 2 cents worth on China:
Up until about 20 years ago, Chinese auto parts were pretty much, garbage. But, as the US did with Japan after World War Two, we went over there and showed them how to eat our lunch
What does this translate to? Pretty much any legitimate auto parts supplier that imports parts from China uses factories that are ISO and other "international standards boards" certified so that quality is reasonably assured. Is all Chinese product high quality? Absolutely not but the world as we know it is becoming more and more dependent on Chinese goods (look at your shoes and clothes) so unless you are against Chinese products for altruistic reasons, you might as well forget it. And if altruism is your motivation, think about this: While I'm all for supporting my country's jobs and products, I feel that our government is doing everything in it's power to kill our competitiveness and is sending our jobs away. Case in point: Gov't regulations and unions have ELIMINATED the US steel industry. There is no such thing as a US made brake rotor! It's hard to support the home team when the home team isn't supporting it's self!!
Back to the matter at hand. Our Beemers are now made with TONS of Chinese and other non-German componentry and don't be fooled by brand names. Our store has lots of parts packaged by Lemfordor, Bilstein, Ate, Zimmerman, Meyle, Ruville, Brembo, Febi, etc. etc. etc. that are made in China, Turkey, Brazil, Mexico, Hungary, India, Pakistan and Israel to name a few. Very traditional lines such as BCA/National bearings and seals that have NEVER been Chinese have also now crossed the line. SKF has yet to follow.
So yep, I put Dorman window regulators and motors that are Chinese and a Behr (made in China) coolant recovery tank in the 2002 325xi I had at less for than half the cost of the factory ones. Will they last as long as the crappy original ones? Probably, but if not I can replace them again and STILL be ahead. I also did brakes on all four corners of my 2004 330xi with Centric Chinese rotors (the originals had bigger lips at 38,000 miles than Bubba Blue) and Posi-Quiet semi-metallic pads about a month ago and they are AWESOME. I drive up and down a winding mountain pass everyday (with a bit of gusto I might add ) and have never had any fade or warping.
I guess the point of my diatribe is that for me, being an anti-Chinese elitist is in terms of real world practicality, virtually impossible. I think it is tragic and catastrophic that we are doing everythig we can to strengthen a country that at the end of the day is fundamentally our enemy but if our government betrays us, I'll go wherever I have to for the best combination of quality and value..
Last edited by chilone; 01-12-2013 at 04:59 PM.