Olds Alero '03 has a broken left front window regulator. The window motor's OK.

This would make it the third time this part failed; different shops did both repairs, and I'm wondering if poor quality replacement parts may not have played a role, i.e. an OEM using a plastic that oxidizes and becomes brittle.

Online vendors offer several brands of regulators, (Delco, Dorman, Cardone, ReplaceXL, etc.), at varying prices. I don't know which, if any, is better, or which if any has better odds on being better.

Non subjective questions:

  1. Without considering price, are there any objective parts build quality reputation brand rankings out there?
  2. What exists in the way of:
    • publicly available analytical data on brand quality, (i.e. strength of materials, MTBFs, etc.), arrived at by reproducible testing with rigorous controls,
    • or statistical sales data on rate of returns by brand,
    • or customer polling of satisfaction by brand.
  • Welcome to the site. You do realize the premise of this question is opinion-based, right?
    – Zaid
    Oct 24, 2017 at 18:18
  • 1
    You have answered your own question "I know which, if any, is better."
    – Solar Mike
    Oct 24, 2017 at 18:22
  • Just wondering if the parts broke because of low quality or if there is something else causing premature failure; like improper installation, binding window track, twisted door, moisture in the door, etc.
    – CharlieRB
    Oct 24, 2017 at 19:19
  • @SolarMike, Sorry that's a typo made while editing. Should have been "I don't know...". The Q. is now corrected.
    – agc
    Oct 24, 2017 at 20:38
  • @CharlieRB, That's possible, but for the sake of this Q. please ignore those factors. (Some of those factors might make interesting separate Qs.)
    – agc
    Oct 24, 2017 at 20:54

1 Answer 1


Even if such a ranking does exist it would be of little practical use

Consider the following:

  • variations during manufacturing

    Due to things like different suppliers for the same part, different operators, different norms adopted in different factories/assembly locations...

  • variations during operation

    Due to variations in temperature and humidity, the frequency of usage, the torque supplied by the motor, the loading conditions it is subjected to...

  • variations in testing procedure

    Just because a part is tested and certified under certain conditions, it is not a guarantee for how it will perform in the real world. The discrepancy between quoted MPG ratings and real-world MPG figures are a classic example of this.

The crux of this answer can be summed up as follows: your mileage may vary.

  • Manufacturing seems like the most interesting variable, since failures of operation and testing are all more likely given poor build quality. If Brand X consistently cuts more corners more than Brand Y, (even if on a given month Brand Y makes a worse dud than Brand X), the odds are in favor of Brand Y being the safer buy of the two.
    – agc
    Oct 24, 2017 at 20:51

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