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Sounds like Rock Auto does a lot of drop shipping. Their inventory says they have a part and when you order they just tell some other place to ship it directly to you. Rock Auto inventory is wrong because they didn't know GM doesn't have it until you tried to place the order.

I had the same problem years ago when trying to order a new ignition switch for a 1985 BMW motorcycle. I waited three weeks for the order to ship and finally called them only to find they looked through their computer system and turns out they didn't have the switch and couldn't ship it. It then cost 3x as much to get it from BMW, shipped from somewhere in Europe.
I think that is likely the case. I had a similar experience a few years ago when I needed power steering hoses for my Jeep. NLA from Chrysler but several aftermarket sites listed them ... but they would all say "not available" when you tried to order. I ended up having the leaking part rebuilt by a local hydraulic shop for $50 or maybe less (the factory line set was almost $400). That was when the Jeep was over 10 years old, though.
 

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Discussion Starter #102
I tried to order the EGR cooler gasket from Rock Auto today and it let me put one in the cart, but when I tried to proceed to checkout, it removes the item and says "not available". So my guess would be third-party parts stores are in the same non-descript limbo that GM leaves everyone else in. I shouldn't be surprised, but sometimes I just step back and honestly cannot believe GM gets away with being this horrendous on parts supply. With zero accountability. There are NLA parts on a two-year-old car under warranty, and all they have to say about it is a scripted "we're sorry for the inconvenience" for the 40th time.
It is sadly not a new problem. Ironically the newer the car, the more difficult to get parts. It seems counter intuitive. Here is why: While still in production, the OEM makes just enough, and not much more, to meet the production demand. The cost of inventory is high, they avoid it as much as possible.. thus getting a part not for production is you competing against the assembly line. That is during normal times... and we are not in normal times.

Reality is that many parts, and sub assemblies now come from China, and they had a long period of shutdown similar to what we are now facing, that interrupted the already crappy supply chain.

The irony, parts for older cars, especially those produced in large numbers are often the easiest to find, and at most reasonable costs, because the aftermarket has come in and multiple producers are competing for that market.

Case example, I had a 1999 Chevy Pick-up that had some issues with the clutch hydraulic system. I looked into replacement, it was over $330 at the time, and a long lead item (assuming I could get it, and only the dealership had it). In contrast I can buy the complete clutch hydraulics for my 1962 Land Rover for about $70, and it better quality, not that plastic junk used in the new systems, and there are many suppliers for the Land Rover (they made parts that were interchangeable for models spanning decades of production.

Modern cars go though massive re-designs about every 3-4 years, and as such the ability to have parts span a large production run is more limited, and with a limited demand, comes problems, and for the Diesel, we are talking SUPER limited, especially in the US market. It's a sad business reality I'm afraid.
 

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It is sadly not a new problem. Ironically the newer the car, the more difficult to get parts. It seems counter intuitive. Here is why: While still in production, the OEM makes just enough, and not much more, to meet the production demand. The cost of inventory is high, they avoid it as much as possible.. thus getting a part not for production is you competing against the assembly line. That is during normal times... and we are not in normal times.

Reality is that many parts, and sub assemblies now come from China, and they had a long period of shutdown similar to what we are now facing, that interrupted the already crappy supply chain.

The irony, parts for older cars, especially those produced in large numbers are often the easiest to find, and at most reasonable costs, because the aftermarket has come in and multiple producers are competing for that market.

Case example, I had a 1999 Chevy Pick-up that had some issues with the clutch hydraulic system. I looked into replacement, it was over $330 at the time, and a long lead item (assuming I could get it, and only the dealership had it). In contrast I can buy the complete clutch hydraulics for my 1962 Land Rover for about $70, and it better quality, not that plastic junk used in the new systems, and there are many suppliers for the Land Rover (they made parts that were interchangeable for models spanning decades of production.

Modern cars go though massive re-designs about every 3-4 years, and as such the ability to have parts span a large production run is more limited, and with a limited demand, comes problems, and for the Diesel, we are talking SUPER limited, especially in the US market. It's a sad business reality I'm afraid.
Yeah, I figured everything is "lean" manufacturing these days. And you're right about the constant redesign, and also the more shared parts between makes and models on older cars. The brake master cylinder I bought for my Peugeot is made by Centric and my guess would be isn't exclusive to the model. In the old days stuff like that was pretty basic and not wildly model-specific. It's also fair to consider I'm used to Mercedes, which is probably the gold standard for supporting older models. Sometimes the dealer has to get things from Germany, but they are still in stock and the variety available is insane. And of course there is the aftermarket on top of that. I'm not sure if it is the same for parts on their newer vehicles. Maybe it's as bad as GM.
It still seems bizarre not to have a little gasket for what seems to be a frequent-fail item, even if on an uncommon model ... it was enough of a known issue that they made the effort to redesign the housing, and had a housing in stock. I get the advantages of lean manufacturing. but it also has some serious vulnerabilities. My experience between my 2005 Jeep and this car are night and day in terms of parts availability, and both are low-production vehicles. The Jeep had more issues while under warranty but I never had to wait even a week for a part. Some of that may have been that times were simply better, pre-recession bubble, and allowed the lean model to work perfectly. Whereas in the two years I've had the Cruze, GM has dealt with the shutdown of a major factory, a major parts-workers' strike, and a global pandemic.
 

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Some good news, the gasket finally arrived this morning ... I was pleasantly surprised because I figured I'd be waiting even longer than that with everything going on. I dropped the car off this morning and hopefully should be done tomorrow ...they said it could be done today but they close at 2 each day now. They were going to give me a loaner but I stupidly forgot to bring my credit card, but they paid for a Lyft instead which was nice. I'm really hoping this helps my regen issue, but even if not it will be nice to have this done since it at least rules out the EGR being the culprit. It will be interesting to see if anything changes ... hopefully I won't take a fuel economy hit with the EGR air flowing freely, though as mentioned it got the same great mpg when new and I don't think it came pre-clogged from the factory haha. For what it's worth the CEL never did come on in the 2-3 weeks I've had it back while waiting for the part. I'm not sure if it set any more DTCs but not enough to trigger the light.
 

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I got the car back today and so far everything seems fine. I didn't notice anything dramatically different one way or the other, though it is doing the same negative boost thing at idle that it did right after last time I got it back (I assume it's still learning the new valve). Time will tell about my regen issue. The invoice describes the cooler and valve as "heavily clogged" ... I don't know how long it took to get that way or what I can do to prevent it happening again in 15-20k miles. I am on the highway a lot which I thought would help, but maybe I'm a little too mpg-obsessed and need to really put my foot in it a bit more often. It may have been a residual effect of the other dealer putting the wrong oil in my car, too ... I am not sure if anyone ever physically inspected the EGR before this. Now that I know it can clog without a CEL or obvious symptoms, it seems like taking it out every 10k miles or so and inspecting it myself is a good idea. On the bright side I am overall very pleased with this dealer in my first experience with them.
 
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