Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!
Mitch asks: Have you had or heard about any problems getting auto parts recently? I ask because my 1976 Oldsmobile Cutlass has been in the shop for 3 weeks to have the power steering pump, hoses, etc. replaced. The mechanic indicated initially that it would be 10 days until the part could be obtained. Obviously it’s taking longer. He said the delay was in part because he needed the power steering fluid reservoir as well. And maybe the age of the car is a factor too, but it’s never taken this long to get a part for this car before that I can recall. It’s no problem for me as I have other vehicles available, and many days I walk or drive to the office, so whenever it can get done is fine with me. Just curious if you have experienced this or heard of it.
My Reply: I did a quick search on Ebay Motors and found a pump for your car; see here. If you scroll down, there’s a compatibility chart that indicates the pump listed will fit most ’76 Cutlasses. I wasn’t sure which engine your car has but assume it’s the 350 Olds. Double check to be sure. I checked Ebay Motors after I checked some of the suppliers I am familiar with, such as Classic Industries – which lists the pump but has it on back order, as per your mechanic.
It’s pretty standard procedure with old cars to have to hunt around a little for parts sometimes, but – usually – parts such as this are readily findable. You might show your mechanic this post and have him order the pump via Ebay (or you can and then just bring it over to his shop). The power steering hoses are also available; see here. Or any local shop that does hydraulic hoses (e.g., for heavy equipment) can make for you, using your old hoses as templates. Should be no big deal!
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