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Cost of buying cheapest aftermarket

I saw LongVoyager’s recent posts. They reminded me that in the same amount of time it took him to install his engine, I managed to replace the yellowed headlights on my friend’s 2004 Forester. So there!

The Subaru dealer quoted her $940 to replace the headlights (!!!). OEM headlights are about $400 online. So her dealer is charging her more than $600 for labor!!!. I got her the cheap RockAuto EagleEye brand for $180/pair.


I know that aftermarket stuff, the cheap kind, will be of lower quality. And most aftermarket stuff has fitment issues regardless of cost.

Illustration for article titled Cost of buying cheapest aftermarket
Gif: I have a cheap ass phone. And dirty lenses. (AP)

I had to Dremel down three of the mounting points on the headlight next to the grill so the OEM retention clips for the body colored trim piece would fit. But that’s within expected tolerances for cheap aftermarket parts.

Two of three lower mounting points for that trim piece are visible under the passenger side headlight. Those mounting points on the new lights are waaay too big to hold the clips. Can’t easily fix that. I figured those clips are not really necessary so I left them off.


I’m also not that happy with the quality of the beam pattern.

I’d forgotten about the tradeoffs for buying cheap aftermarket. In retrospect, I would’ve had her buy the OEM lights for $400.


Oppos short of cash will be fine going cheap aftermarket. These do the job. This is also fine for old /cheap cars (i.e. my friend’s Forester). Just know that you’re trading off something for the low cost. I know there’s one or two Oppos that are new to wrenching who might find this info useful.

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