It’s a dilemma sometimes. Should you always fit genuine replacement parts or is it OK to fit quality aftermarket or pattern parts. My answer: It depends.
Make and model: Dyson DC40
Fault reported: Torn hose and loss of suction
Cost of replacement: About £200.00
Cost of parts: £16.53 (hose and filters)
Hours spent on repair: 1
Tools needed: Screwdrivers
Sundry items: Silicone spray, PTFE spray, rag
Repair difficulty: 2/10
Cups of tea: 2
Biscuits: 1 McVities Gold Bar
A mate of mine contacted me to ask if it was worth fixing his 6 year old Dyson DC40 and as always, I said yes it was. A couple of days later, it was working again, like new.
The DC40 is still supported by Dyson and parts are readily available direct from them. Problem is that, as my mate did, the price of some spares (although quite reasonable actually) can put some people off, which means that serviceable machinery can end up at the local dump, prematurely. Which is a shame.
This is where pattern parts can help. Often, aftermarket manufacturers will make spares for popular models and the advantage of these is that they are often much cheaper than the original part. However, it’s not as simple as that.
I’ve fixed 100s if not 1000s of things and have used and continue to use a mixture of genuine original (often called OE or Original Equipment) and pattern parts for different reasons. Assuming original equipment parts are the best, here are my thoughts, in no particular order, to help you if facing a similar dilemma.
In favour of pattern parts:
- They can make a repair viable, financially
- Parts can be available, long after original parts become obsolete
- They can provide enhanced features that were not part of the original design
In favour of genuine/ original equipment parts:
- They will fit exactly as the specification will be to the original design
- They maintain manufacturers warranties, where applicable
- They normally last well and perform as expected
As a further example, I will only fit genuine water pumps (on car engines) but will fit pattern air filters. Water pumps must work within very exact performance tolerances whereas air filters, although important, don’t so much. It’s a personal thing at the end of the day.
Back to the repair. This Dyson wasn’t picking up dirt and the extension hose was torn, so a new hose was ordered from a supplier on eBay for under £10, a genuine part was over £25. The hose just clicks out and in, so all that was required was a small flat bladed screwdriver to remove and refit the hose. Nice and easy.
The next job was to sort out the lack of suction. As with all Dysons with a problem like this, I always check filters. As suspected, both filters were expired and needed to be replaced as they were too far gone to be washed. Again, pattern part filters were available on eBay for under £7, genuine ones were much dearer. All new parts fitted well and soon the vacuum cleaner was breathing easily again.
Another issue with the DC40 is the switch lever which diverts suction from the beater head to the hose, which was sticking on this machine. A quick clean up and a small spray of silicone spray on all the moving parts had it all working again.
I always clean-up the beaters on any vacuum cleaner in for a service and this one seemed to have half a head of hair stuck in it, which would have impeded performance. The hair was so bad, I had to remove the beaters (just one screw) and cut off the hair with a knife.
With all the remedial work completed, the Dyson ran well proving once again that it’s usually worth repairing, rather than replacing.