Guide to Finding the Best Used Car Parts
Cars make life convenient. They allow us to travel anywhere we want at any time. As it is with most manufactured items out there, they also tend to break down once in a while. This is why we are always advised to go for scheduled maintenance and repair to keep our cars in tiptop condition. One of the many things that you may be required to do is to replace a broken part.
A lot of times, you will be faced with the decision whether to buy a new part or go for a cheaper and used alternative. The latter is normally preferred if you’re on a budget. And, there’s no shame in that. In this guide, we’ll provide the tips and steps you need to follow when looking for the best used car parts.
Steps to Follow When Buying Used Auto Parts for Your Car
1. Pick the best used parts seller
Today, almost anyone can sell used auto parts. Some of the most common sellers include car wreckers, aftermarket part suppliers, and auto parts stores that sell used items alongside brand-new and original products.
Car wreckers sell parts obtained from wrecked or decommissioned vehicles. The biggest advantage here is that you can get parts at a much lower price. As for the aftermarket suppliers, you can get anything from nearly-new to “rejuvenated” parts.
Auto parts stores are also a favourite among many. Unfortunately, they tend to be expensive when compared to other sources. Many are known to take advantage of their reputation, branding, and overhead costs to charge higher prices for used car parts. When looking for a seller, be sure to weigh your options to see what works for you.
2. Research to ascertain legitimacy
When buying a used car part, only reputable sellers deserve your time and money. It pays to carry out some due diligence prior to engaging with any seller. Unfortunately, this is not always easy, especially for second-hand parts. It requires patience and thorough research.
The best place to start once you’ve identified your preferred seller is to do a background check. When was the car wrecker, auto shop, or aftermarket supply store established? How long have they been in business? Can you identify the owner? Are previous customers happy with their purchases?
You can make a call and ask all the important questions you may have. This includes finding out whether the business is registered and licensed, and where it’s located. There are also online marketplaces that provide car owners a way to find parts from genuine car wreckers, these do a lot of the hard work for you.
3. Search for the best used car part
When figuring out how to find parts for your car, there are mainly two ways you can go about it. The first involves doing an online search on the store’s or car wrecker’s computerized inventory system. Many sellers own some of the best websites for used car parts. By keying in details about your car and the part needed, you can easily find what you need in an instance.
If your preferred car wrecker or auto parts store is not available online, the second method involves visiting the location yourself. Unlike the first method, this one provides an opportunity for you to ascertain the quality and condition of the part you’re buying.
Remember to check the part number of the used product and confirm that it’s a match. If you do not have the part number, carry your vehicle’s chassis number or VIN. This goes a long way in helping you find what you need.
It’s also a good idea to tag an expert or mechanic along with you when visiting a store. They will help you spot fakes. Watch out for any botched logos, hidden cracks, misspelt or misprinted words, and hidden weak points. Remember to ask about the warranty and return policy and to inquire about the history of the part you’re buying.
4. Price negotiation
The best part about buying a used item is that you can always go lower on price. Take advantage of any coupons available. If you’re buying from a car wrecker or an auto parts store, the best thing to do is to check the average price of the same part elsewhere. This will give you a hint of what you should expect to pay.
If the used car part you’re about to buy is priced higher, don’t be afraid to haggle. You can start off negotiating from a price that gives you enough room to move. The trick is to not get too excited about a potential deal. Act like a savvy buyer to get the best deal.
5. Order or Buy
Now that you’ve taken care of what’s important, the only thing left to do is to make the purchase and have the used part installed in your car. Many junkyards and car wreckers will extend a warranty for items bought if you ask them to.
However, do not pay for any part without first reading and understanding the warranty, return policy, and any other provisions. Most important of all, confirm for the last time that the product matches your original before making the order.
Risks Associated with Buying Poor Quality Parts
There’s a lot that could happen to a vehicle that’s running on poor-quality parts. That’s why it’s always important to confirm the legitimacy of the store you’re buying from and the authenticity of the used part you’re getting. Below are some of the risks associated with installing low-quality parts:
- Losing control while driving due to defective, worn-out, or old parts.
- Risk of fire within the engine bay due to bad spark plugs, valves, or air filters.
- Brake failure caused by worn-out brake pads, brake rotors, and other components.
- Accidents that result from using cloudy headlights and taillights that lower visibility at night.
- Damage and uneven wear that occurs to original components due to poorly fitted used car parts.
- Lack of protection from severe injury due to compromised physical integrity of used parts.
Buying second-hand car parts can help you save a lot of money. However, it’s important to note that there are some automotive parts that are best replaced with brand new alternatives. This includes the alternator, radiator, transmission, and engine components. These parts affect your car’s performance. It’s best not to take chances with them.