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 > OEM vs Aftermarket - Chinese JUNK Comparison

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BobsYourUncle

Calgary Alberta Canada

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Posted: 04/30/22 08:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Last year January I posted a headlight thread regarding the crummy headlights my truck came with. I was looking for suggestions, solutions etc. There was a lot of great input and ideas, and I finally got it taken care of.

I did a ton of research and it turns out that virtually every aftermarket LED headlight system is made in China.

My truck was hit hard in the front by a drunk driver in Dec 2012. 20K damage and it was very close to being written off. I had to agree to some non OEM parts to save it. One of them was a headlight. This headlight was absolute junk, and got worse from there. See in the photo the side by side comparison of the original drivers side from 2006 and the Chinese junk from 2013:

[image]

Based on my experience with the aftermarket headlight, and learning that most all of the LED conversions are made in China, I opted to follow the advice given to me by the owner of Daniel Stern Lighting, a well known expert in automotive lighting. He helped me big time.

I bought some used OEM GM Denali projection headlights and upgraded the bulbs to those recommended to me by the above named expert. More lumens per bulb, but the same power draw. These lights are a straight swap, no mods needed.

[image]

I'm looking forward to some night time highway driving where I can actually see where I'm going. I just finished installing them a couple hours ago.

Back to the title of this thread:

I am astounded that the powers that be actually allow and even recommend this cheap aftermarket garbage to be used in vehicle repairs. Insurance companies dictate that all aftermarket be used to save money on repairs.

These safety items are very substandard and actually dangerous to safe operation of our vehicles. The big 3 have very strict standards of quality, all stamped and approved for road use in North America. How is it that the regulatory people actually allow this junk to be imported and installed on a vehicle? Sure makes me wonder.... We are talking a genuine safety hazard here. See the OP of my previous thread linked above to see my complaint.

I have been whining about my crummy headlights for years. I'm happy to have a great upgrade, and with OEM GM parts. No more of this cheap replacement junk for me.

* This post was edited 04/30/22 08:21pm by BobsYourUncle *


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MFL

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Posted: 04/30/22 08:22pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Bob, reset your saved photo posting.

Jerry





BobsYourUncle

Calgary Alberta Canada

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Posted: 04/30/22 08:26pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

MFL wrote:

Bob, reset your saved photo posting.

Jerry

User error, I copied the pic URL and added it with the image function instead of direct copy paste. Fixed now, thanks.

time2roll

Southern California

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Posted: 04/30/22 08:49pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Low price at any cost. I also tried to save a buck when my OEM 15 yo headlights became unbearable. The replacements did not even have time to cloud up. Did not quite fit right and the projection was poor. At least I saved some money [emoticon]
Within two years I paid the dealer to swap on some genuine Ford parts. Much better.

Sometimes it works and a real savings can be had. Not always. Ya puts your money down and take your chances.


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Nv Guy

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Posted: 04/30/22 10:03pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Since I don't pay my insurance premiums with foreign or counterfeit currency, when the DW bent her car, I made it crystal clear to both the body shop and insurance adjuster that no non OEM or used parts were to be used. Dealing with an accident is bad enough, but having to worry about poor quality parts is just not right.





Skibane

San Antonio, TX

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Posted: 04/30/22 10:23pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Performance-wise, the LED retrofit headlight bulbs are all over the place.

Some are surprisingly good, and some are utter ****.

Me and quite a few other 2nd-generation Frontier owners have had excellent luck with the Katana 9007 LED bulbs.

Their LED emitters closely mimic the shape and position of the filaments in the incandescent bulb they replace, which makes a HUGE difference in avoiding a beam pattern that sprays light everywhere.

The earlier version that is equipped with a cooling fan works better than the more recent fanless version. (Most fanless designs reduce the LED brightness after a few minutes of operation, in order to avoid burning them up).

Mine have seen operation almost every night over the past 2 years, with one failure.

MUCH brighter than the original incandescents (without blinding oncoming drivers), and well worth the 55 bucks, IMO.

mleekamp

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Posted: 05/01/22 05:13am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Another option, as long as the factory headlight assembly is not broken, is to buy the $30 (may cost more now than a few years ago) headlight restoration kit at your auto parts store. I tried it a few years back on an older vehicle. Basically, it's a paste, with some sort of grit, and you use circular pattern to mill off a couple thousands of an inch of the face plastic material. It's a multi step process but I saved money, and 3 years later they still look good. In the end, it allows you to remain using your factory lighting assembly but remove the yellow haze. Worth checking out for those in that situation.


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RetiredRealtorRick

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Posted: 05/01/22 05:46am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A small segway here --- when your vehicle is involved in a not-at-fault accident, insist on filing a claim for DIMINISHED VALUE as well, because you can be sure your previously-damaged vehicle will be worth a LOT less when trade-in or resale time rolls around. Don't get caught short!


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BobsYourUncle

Calgary Alberta Canada

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Posted: 05/01/22 06:31am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

mleekamp wrote:

Another option, as long as the factory headlight assembly is not broken, is to buy the $30 (may cost more now than a few years ago) headlight restoration kit at your auto parts store.
The original style GM OEM lights were poor from day 1. The light they sent out never was very good when new. GM missed the mark when they made these things. But they nailed it with the Denali lights.
You can have the best bulbs in the world, but putting them in crummy housings with lousy reflective properties renders them useless. A brighter bulb only blinds oncoming traffic due to poor housing design.

The drivers side was still in good shape, but I feel there is no point in restoring a piece of Chinese garbage that was no good the day it was built.

I did a huge amount of research on LED conversion, different bulb replacements and more. My truck is too old to have any true good quality headlight conversion available. The best option was to throw the original and Chinese garbage away and put the factory offered Denali lights in with better bulbs, non LED.

dodge guy

Bartlett IL

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Posted: 05/01/22 07:05am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You will love the projectors with LED bulbs!


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