Sunday, 6 September 2015
VW Audi Parts in NZ
When it comes to running a VW or Audi in New Zealand finding a decent car is one thing, finding parts is equally troublesome.
Once you've found a nice car that isn't a dodgem (aka automatic) you'll probably want to do some of the long overdue maintenance. Your average Kiwi will stretch to oil and filter changes but not much else from my experience.
The biggest problem is finding parts at a reasonable price.
As an example, a rear wheel bearing for a MK3 Golf is $53 from a local specialist for a Febi one. The same part costs $20 delivered from the UK. No wonder European cars are seen as luxury and expensive here.
Of course some things have to be bought locally. Here are some of my buying strategies for parts and how I get a good deal.
My VR6 cost $900 so I'm not too worried about running genuine parts. However I do stick to OEM quality wherever possible. That includes using brands like Febi, MANN, Hengst, etc.
First of all register on http://www.vagcat.com/epc/ this gives you access to the parts catalogue and the all important parts info.
Once I have the part number I head over to my favourite eBay seller karpartsandmore
If it's available from here that's as far as my search will go. Great service, cheap shipping and I know it will turn up within a week.
If I can't get the part from there then micksgarage is the next place to look. They stock a few other brands including Mahle and Meyle both of which I've had good success with. You can either search by OE part number or do the vehicle lookup. Both options work pretty well.
MicksGarage have some great prices. Shipping always used to be charged at $9 and provided you didn't order anything bulky or heavy that's how much you paid. For heavy orders you would end up paying an additional $20-$30 shipping depending on weight. That's annoying as it seemed to delay despatch by a day but still usually worked out to be good value. They've recently changed their shipping policy to include a New Zealand specific shipping charge of $14.50 and free shipping for over $250. I've yet to test the new system but hopefully it has simplified the purchase process.
Other options include Eurocarparts or GSF but then you get a problem with shipping. Neither offer easy options for international shipping and when they give you a quote the rates are pretty steep. Both have really great sales from time to time.
The workaround for that is to use NZ Posts YouShop that is a super efficient re-delivery service. It opens up possibilities for ordering from Europe and the States. My VR6 cooling system refresh came from UROtuning using YouShop. That was great until they managed to leave something off the order I ended up getting the missing part from the VW dealer at huge expense.
J&R for CV joints via YouShop and various other eBay buys. Latvia and Poland based sellers often have good price factory parts. The Green Spark Plug Co are good for sparkplugs and ignition leads,
So long as you can plan ahead and keep stock of key spares you can save a fortune by shopping smart overseas.