7 Tips for Buying Used Auto Parts

Getting a car repaired can be a frustrating process. Since we need our cars on a daily basis, we want to do everything we can so that it is fixed quickly and inexpensively. For those on a budget, purchasing a used part makes sense. In many cases, it will do the job just as well as a new part but can save you a significant amount of money. The cost of labor alone will be plenty. Purchasing a used auto part is also good for the environment. By recycling the car part it’s one less item that ends up in a junk yard or landfill. Used auto parts are largely available and relatively easy to obtain but many people are still unaware of the steps that they should take before purchasing and can make some avoidable mistakes. Below are 7 tips for buying used auto parts:

Do Your Research

For someone that doesn’t know much about cars it’s easy to confuse one part with another. Know exactly what part it is that you need and research how much it typically costs. If possible, bring the car part with you to find an exact match.

Scope out the Providers

There are numerous options when purchasing used auto parts. You can buy directly from a junkyard, have your mechanic find used parts for you, or purchase the parts online. Ask around and get recommendations. Check out the businesses online to see if you find any scams or negative feedback. You don’t want to buy used auto parts from a shady company.

Ask about Return/Exchange Policies

There is always a risk factor when buying anything used. You don’t want to buy a part only to have it not work properly. It’s important to feel comfortable knowing that there is a clear return/exchange policy and some kind of warranty. Have a firm understanding of the warrantee before making a purchase. You don’t want to get scammed because you didn’t read the fine print. If they don’t even offer a warranty, find a different place that will.

Get the Part History

How old is the part? How many miles the previous car go? This information can help guide your decision.

Consider Safety

While numerous used car parts are just fine, think twice about parts that directly correlate with safety, especially if you are often driving around passengers and small children. Some parts are best to purchase new.

Think About Color Match

This mostly pertains to body parts that are seen on the outside. While a part might fit perfectly, it may not be the right color and it may be difficult, if not impossible, to paint or stain it so that it matches. While some may not be worried about this, for others this would be a deal breaker.

You Don’t Have to Go to the Big Guy

Sure there are plenty of well known national chains that sell used auto parts, but they are likely more expensive and the parts have the same quality as those that you would find at a neighborhood yard or a smaller retailer online. Do your research and compare prices. Some yards may even be willing to negotiate a price with you.

Tips For Buying Auto Parts Online

The Internet is a wonderful place for buying many things. You will often have access to options that you never knew existed. You will also have many more choices and can often find a better deal on items online than in a brick and mortar store. One area of items that are advantageous to buy online are auto parts. With the ability to search millions of websites and many different stores, you may be much more likely to find the right part for even the most obscure type of vehicle online than in the offline world. You may also find a better price at the same time.

Here are a few tips for buying auto parts online:

Major Stores

Pretty much every major auto parts store has an online version, where you can search their entire nationwide database for parts availability, order the part and have it sent to you wherever you are. It’s highly convenient and makes it easy to compare prices. Some major chains that have sites include, NAPA Online, Advance Auto Parts, Auto Parts Warehouse, AutoZone, CARQUEST, Pep Boys and many more. Nearly all of them offer online search and shopping options. Some of them even offer a low price guarantee on certain parts and provide you with news, information, rebate deals and special online only deals.

Manuals & Auto Repair Information

There are many resources online that may help you install your auto part. Check out 10w40 for manuals and information for many makes and models of vehicles.

Auto Forums

You can find information on your make or model of vehicle as well as ask questions and get answers about repairing and maintaining it. You will also be able to talk with other auto enthusiasts. Some popular auto forums are Automotive Forums, AutoForums, CarForums, Autoforum Universe and the forums at Automotive. You may be able to get advice on where the best place to get parts is for your specific make and model. There are also forums available for specific makers which should also have excellent information on where to get parts.

Books

You can easily order any of the auto repair manuals you need online at Amazon or Barnes & Noble. This may be more convenient for people who don’t have a bookstore or auto parts store near them. The most popular and reliable publishers of auto manuals are Chilton’s and Hayne’s. Buying the manual online, you may be able to save money by comparing prices at numerous book sellers, you can use AddAll to do this.

Auctions

Auction are a great place to search for your auto parts and eBay Motors is where you will want to begin your auction search. Currently there are a staggering 546190 listings on eBay Motors under Car & Truck Parts alone. You will want to drill down to the specific category for your desired part, then try to narrow the search under that category.

More Tips

Make use of the many price comparison search engines, coupon code sites and be sure to watch out for shipping costs. Some sites, such as Autopartswarehouse offer free shipping, so be sure to take advantage of those offers.

In summary, buying auto parts online has many advantages, from better availability, to the ability to compare prices much more easily to the wealth of auto repair and maintenance information at your fingertips.