Sourcing parts for your Mitsubishi truck
Buying a car can be an interesting balancing act. You have to juggle market price, functionality, image, practicality, and maintenance costs. For example, in many parts of the world, a Toyota saloon car costs the same as a BMW saloon.
Some people go for the BMW for sentimental reasons, drawn by the engine power and prestige of the car. Plus, it’s a babe magnet. Others may take a more practical approach, understanding that Toyotas have a better resale value and far cheaper spares.
When the vehicle in question is a truck, aesthetics and image are less of a concern. Your decision is more likely to be driven by trailer size, axle strength, and access to vehicle repairs. Spares are a consideration too, which is why Mitsubishi trucks are so popular. They’re Japanese, which makes them affordable, accessible, and most importantly, common.
If the car in front is a Toyota (like the bumper sticker says), then the truck in front of you is a Mitsubishi. Its ubiquity makes it easy to find the right parts. Unfortunately, its popularity also means the market is flooded with counterfeits. When you buy your truck parts, you want to be sure they’re all compliant and that they won’t void your warranty or damage your truck.
Call a friend
You probably know people who drive Mitsubishi trucks. Whenever you’re at a rest stop, get into the habit of chatting with other Mitsubishi drivers. It’s not just a casual conversation. Ask them for contacts that can source Mitsubishi truck parts. Over time, you’ll have your very own portfolio of Mitsubishi dealers spread throughout your truck route.
Don’t wait until things are dire before you follow up these contacts. Whenever you’re in the neighbourhood, pay a courtesy call to see what they have in store and what their rates are like. This will give you a peek into the kind of people they are, as well as a comprehensive price range. Then when you finally need that part, you know where to look.
If your truck part distributors are willing to talk about it, ask them about their business model and supply chain. Few people willadmit the parts they’re selling are fake, but if you ask the right questions, you can figure out which suppliers are genuine and which ones are peddling knock-offs. Study online guides on how to identify counterfeit parts.
Look for online fan clubs
When you’re fiddling around on the web, look for like-minded forums. You could join a Mitsubishi truck fan page. Many have local chapters and you can find one in many towns along your route. Keep track of their events and trade shows. They’re great places to get bargains on truck parts and learn more about the brand in general. Plus it gives you something to look forward to on an otherwise dull truck route.
You may end up forming a community through these fan pages, and you can band together to purchase in bulk straight from original manufacturers overseas. Groups like this sometimes have a travel enthusiast who is willing to be a ‘buyer’. He or she travels on behalf of the group and buys necessary components, earning a small commission. Before you commit cash, make sure it’s someone the group trusts, and that the group itself is reliable.
The Mitsubishi website is another good spot to shop. You may be wary of buying from them directly, because it might seem expensive. However, as a regular on the site or a subscribed member, you can sometimes qualify for discounts and exclusive pre-market offers. You could also check the site’s list of approved aftermarket distributors.
Spot the right aftermarket parts supplier
Aftermarket components are only as good as their source. The best kind come directly from original manufacturers, complete with seals and warranties. The slash in pricing is achieved through mass orders and carefully calibrated shipping costs. The supplier makes a ton of savings and passes them down to you.
A quick Google search will give you hundreds of listings for aftermarket parts. Check if any of them have industry awards or affiliations with original manufacturers. Their network is a good indicator as well. Suppliers with nationwide representation and multiple branch offices are more reliable, and are more likely to run a legitimate business and sell genuine parts.