The secret to extending the lifespan of your car is proper maintenance.
Maintenance requires regularly servicing your vehicle, and occasionally, replacing some parts. There are two options for acquiring vehicle spare parts – you either buy them new or go for used ones.
Buying new car parts is a straightforward task since the item has never been used, is in perfect condition and most likely has a warranty. The problem arises when you are buying used car parts. While they come at a significantly lower price, they also carry high risk, and potentially, can be a costly mistake.
Here are some tips to help you avoid costly mistakes.
How important is the part?
Some car parts should only be replaced by new ones.
Transmission, alternators, and radiators, play a pivotal role in a car’s overall performance and mean the difference between a working or grounded vehicle. However, if you are buying something like a side mirror, then a used one will do just fine.
Other car parts that quickly wear out like brake rotors, starters, and even tires should also be purchased brand new. This will save you time and money as you won’t need to replace them as often.
Look for a genuine dealer
Finding a reliable and trustworthy dealer in used car parts can be problematic but it is not impossible. Some of the places where you can get second hand or used car parts include junkyard or wrecking yard, auto parts stores, and even online platforms like eBay.
Online sellers may not be very trustworthy, but you can use their customer ratings to assess the level of trustworthiness.
On the other hand, auto parts stores are costly. This leaves us with one choice – a junkyard/wrecking yard. It is the most cost-effective way to source for used car parts. All you have to do is research the price of the item you need and go talk to the guy at the junkyard. Don’t forget to haggle!
Go with your mechanic
The car is yours, yes, but unless you are a mechanic, there are many things you do not understand how they work. This is why you need to bring an automotive expert with you when buying used car parts.
They can easily identify a fake or worn item. Besides, they can suggest which parts to acquire new, and which one to purchase used. If you are unsure of where to get the used car parts, an automotive expert can help you get a genuine dealer.
Make sure you get the right part
When shopping for used car parts, make sure you know your vehicle identification number (VIN). The VIN entails all the information about your vehicle including, the make of your car, the year it was manufactured, and transmissions. This way, it will be much easier to match the used part with that of your car.
You can also use the VIN to easily search and find used car parts compatible with your vehicle.
Color and style also come in handy when purchasing a used car part. You don’t want your car to color-clash or style-clash. Be very careful with color since high pressure spray systems can easily wash away the paint on the used part – leaving spots on your vehicle.
Take note of the policies
Before you purchase used car parts, especially online, you have to read and understand their terms and policies.
Read and clearly understand every detail of the return policy. Some dealers only allow returns or refunds within a limited period from the time of purchase – while others do not accept refunds or returns.
Again, you should double-check the number or identity of the used part so that you do not get the wrong one.
Ask for warranty
When you purchase used car parts, and they fail sooner than expected, a warranty can help you to either get a replacement or your money back. Never close the deal without understanding the warranty terms and conditions – the statements should be clear and precise.
Also, a warranty is an indication of a genuine dealer- no one will give you a warranty knowing that the quality of the item being purchased is low.
Buying used car parts can be challenging. You have to find a reliable and trustworthy seller. You also need an automotive expert to help you select the right item. With the above tips, it will be much easier to purchase used car parts, and you will avoid making costly mistakes.