Made In The U.S.A.

Lady, step inside my Hyundai.

In Adventures on February 18, 2009 at 7:10 am

My headlight’s out again.

I have a 2002 Hyundai. I know, I know: I wasn’t buying American back then. I was buying from the only manufacturer at the time that offered me a 10-year/100,000 mile warranty and a comfortable car with a CD player, leather interior, sun-roof, 6 airbags and anti-lock brakes for under 16 grand. I could make an argument that that is part of the reason, for good or bad, that the American car makers are in such trouble right now. I don’t feel too guilty though; I literally had no other reasonable choice.

Plus, the Hyundai is name-checked in all the best songs. Beck did it. So did Kanye. What more do you need? Anywho…

The biggest problem with the car is that the electrical system has been screwy since day one. The clock runs fast. Really fast. And for several months now the radio cuts out if I hit a bump. Although I recently discovered it’s less likely to cut out if there’s a CD in the deck. And the trunk light’s out. And the trunk lifts aren’t working any more. And it goes through headlights, seriously, a couple of times a year. I’ve probably changed 20 headlights on the thing in the last seven years. All things considered, I still don’t regret the purchase. So what’s that say either about the car or my standards? Either way, probably not great. Anyways…

The driver’s side headlight it out. I stopped at Autozone to see about a replacement. The whole time I was anticipating foreign-made headlights requiring me to remain a padiddle for months. Turns out all I saw at the place was Sylvania brand, although there were several variations of fancy headlights (from halogen to plain to cool blue to silver to other nonsense people who drive Hyundais have no business buying) among them. And Sylvania headlights are, thankfully, Made In The USA.

While there, I thought about replacing my wipers while I’m in the auto fixin mood. Duralast: Made in Korea. Rain-X: Korea. Bosch: Belgium. Another kind whose name I don’t remember: Korea. Another few: Korea. One more: China. None: American.

So who makes American wipers for foreign cars? According to this site that lists MITUSA auto parts it would appear that Specialty Silicone Products is my best, or only, bet. I’ll buy some.

The bad news? The list of American-made auto parts is short. Three, to be exact. Hopefully the only things I’ll need to replace on my car are wiper blades, hubs (from MI Bearings) and synthetic motor oil (AMSOIL, which I hope isn’t pronounce A-M-Soil).

Seems like there should be a lot more American car parts available. Especially since we have a whole American car economy. Maybe if I go directly to American manufacturers I can find parts. But probably not parts for my foreign car.

Again I’m bumping against the biggest question of this whole process, lurking there somewhere at the back of my brain: Would it be better to buy an American-owned foreign-made car (some Fords, for example) or a foreign-owned American-made car (some Toyotas, for example). It’s the MITUSA version of the chicken and the egg.


  1. […] may recall the hideous adventures of headlights for the Hyundai? Hideous because I seem to replace the damn things on a regular basis. As it turns out, I replaced […]

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