When Only the Best Is Good Enough.

“My customer asked me how much he’d have to spend for a pair of shocks,” said a repair shop owner. “I told him there are ‘good, better and best’ prices, but I install only the good and, preferably, the best. Labor is the same.”

His customer agreed that the minimal cost difference did not justify opting for less than the best. What price is peace of mind? It’s a factor that plays a big part when investing in auto repairs. Once a component is installed you’re likely never to see it unless it fails.

Because most of the approximately 32,800 parts in a typical automobile carry no seal of approval, per se, selection becomes a matter of personal knowledge, experience or your technician’s preference. Each of these may be derived from brand faith based on verified performance.

Seldom does a consumer product enjoy more testing than those listed among the NASCAR Performance brand. The early testing is done, of course, not by NASCAR, but by the companies’ engineers. Once proven by manufacturers to withstand the rigors demanded by NASCAR, the affiliation begins.

“Consider this,” suggests Odis Lloyd, managing director of NASCAR’s automotive licensing division, “there is no more stringent proving ground for an automotive product than the race track, no one better qualified to evaluate its performance than the NASCAR crews, owners and drivers. They have a lot at stake.”

Top race car mechanics and repair shop technicians agree, adding that whether you’re a do-it-yourselfer or someone who leaves the work to a professional, you don’t want to jeopardize the job with a substandard component. After all, why save money asking for cheaper, off-brand parts when labor for installation is the same as the first line product?

How did an automobile racing organization become affiliated with auto parts and equipment manufacturers?

“It was an affiliation that was destined to happen,” says Lloyd. “Stock car racing is the nation’s most popular spectator sport and people can identify these race cars with their own vehicles. It goes beyond brand recognition, it becomes an implied endorsement.”

NASCAR emphasizes that relationships with many of their performance partners go back to the early days of racing, when products suffered the punishment of the rough and rutted beach at Daytona, where fine sand and deep ruts challenged drivers and mechanics. In fact, these conditions resulted in the development of advancements in filtration and ride control on today’s vehicles. Now more than ever, parts factory engineers work side by side with race mechanics, learning as they go and improving the products as they learn.

How does a motorist benefit from this?

First and foremost, it simplifies the selection of components when investing in vehicle maintenance. With the complexity of our vehicles’ various interacting computerized components, a sub-standard part can be the weakest link in a critical chain. This compromises safety, fuel economy and emissions.

Further, since you get what your pay for, and the labor costs don’t change from the budget priced component to the best available, you certainly can expect to get more for your money by reaching for top quality.

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