Offshore Transmission Overhaul Kits: Worth the Risk?

Disassembled Transmission UnitRunning a transmission rebuild shop is a balancing act in so many different ways, but especially when it comes to finances. You want to make and save money so that your business continues to grow, and the best way to do that is to make sure your decisions are bringing in the most value in the long run. One way many rebuild shops attempt to save money is through their choice of rebuild parts, including the transmission overhaul kit.

While it might seam like spending less on an offshore overhaul kit is a great deal in the moment, however, it's important for you to know how that decision can impact your rebuild jobs, and your business as a whole, long-term. Today, we're talking about the true risks of cutting costs (and corners) by using inexpensive, offshore transmission overhaul kits. The question is: are you willing to sacrifice quality for short-term savings?

The Risks of Offshore Overhaul Kits You Need To Know

We define an offshore overhaul kit as one that is produced and/or distributed from an industrial facility in a foreign country where labor and material costs are much cheaper. The provider of these kits often have little to no contact with their manufacturing operations, and are looking to vastly undersell competitive manufacturers with unbelievably low prices. Here's our rule of thumb: if the price sounds too good to be true, it'll probably turn out to be just that. When you purchase an offshore overhaul kit, you're risking your shop's productivity and reputation. In general, offshore overhaul kits come with:

  • Cheaper materials: offshore manufacturers are often able to keep their prices low because they make their parts out of much cheaper materials. These parts are much more likely to break, leak, and otherwise fail much more quickly than premium parts made with durable and innovative materials.

  • Fotolia_126072861_Subscription_Monthly_MFaulty designs: Offshore seals are also generally incorporate lower quality in terms of their design. Since outputting parts quickly is a priority, the time and researched needed to develop an aftermarket part just aren't part of their process. The seals in their overhaul kits might replace the original parts, but they are not exact replacements and may cause issues in terms of fitting the specific application correctly.

  • Hit or miss customer service: If (and more than likely, when) you run into a problem with an offshore overhaul kit, whether it be missing parts, poor quality, or just a question about how to work with the unit on your bench, the manufacturers of these kits might not be as knowledgable about what they're selling (or worse, difficult to get in touch with at all).

  • No guarantees: To put it simply, you don't really know what you're getting when it comes to offshore or inexpensive transmission overhaul kits. The low quality of these overhaul kits doesn't do much in the way of inspiring trust in the brand, and you might end up with a grab bag of parts that simply don't get the job done at all.

Why Quality Overhaul Kits Provide the Best Value

Instead of sacrificing the integrity of your transmission rebuilds with low-cost offshore overhaul kits, you're far more likely to succeed in the long run when using a quality kit from a quality brand. While the cost of the kit itself will be higher, you'll see a higher return on your investment because the parts are built to last. You're also much less likely to see the same vehicles coming back into the shop on warranty because quality seals won't cause more problems than you started with. Cheap, offshore transmission seals can't provide those same results, nor can they replicate the knowledge, support, and reputation premium brands have to back up their overhaul kits. In the end, if you want your business to grow alongside your positive reputation, the risks of using an offshore kit certainly outweigh the short-term benefits.

Broad