The State of the Automotive Electrical Aftermarket in New Zealand.
Consider this a Rant page.
I just tried to buy some relays. Nothing too special, 4 x 4 pin and 1 x 5 pin diode protected Hella relays, as listed in the Hella NZ catalog. Sure enough, nothing on the shelf, and then the only agent in town suggests resistor protection instead. No, I said, so gets on the phone and tries to sell me the 2 available 5 pin non-switchover relays. I needed 5 anyway, and the brand was unknown at that point, but the person on the end of the phone didn't know about Hella part numbers... I left about then.
Forget about buying connectors for a reasonable price too. $15 for a rebranded Weather-Pack connector that sells for $2 USD? Those 2 Euro injector clips in the webstore? $23 NZD each thanks, and there's none in the country. The auto-electricians (I use the term loosely) seem to think snipping used ones off old looms and solering them to new wire is adeqaute.
Speaking of wire, you simply cannot buy any cross-linked polyethelyne wire off the shelf here. The entire aftermarket is full of shite PVC wire that is not suitable for engine bay usage. Yes, the local auto-electricians are happy to use this rubbish too.
How about accessories then? Clips and zipties, etc. The big claim to fame locally seems to be "weather resistant" and "UV resistant". Good lord, does it rain petrol and oil at 100C here in New Zealand? No? Well, then it's no good in my engine bay then.
Even spade plugs are an issue. An old car engine bay can be subject to fairly high vibration, so I'd prefer to use a "proper" crimp spade, eg http://www.aeroelectric.com/articles/terminal.pdf Sure enough, there's some boxed on the shelf for $5, branded by Hella. Great, but they appear to be being phased out in preference of the cheaper and inferior type.
No wonder cars are catching fire on New Zealand roads. Anything that's been in for electrical repairs is probably using components that simply aren't good enough for the job.
I think we can learn a lot about safety and reliability from aircraft techniques. Here's some interesting aircraft electrical reading: