5 Golden Tips for Buying Used Automotive Parts - Car Parts
Buying used car parts can be a challenge. How do you know if a part is in good condition? Here are some pro tips for helping you to buy used car parts.
Buying used car parts is a minefield. Most people don’t know much about car parts, and even if you do, it can still be difficult to agree on a price and whether the part is ‘too used’ or not. Buying used car parts does require some research and understanding of each different part that you’re looking for.
In this quick guide, we’ll fill you in on five essential things to keep in mind when shopping for used car parts. By the time you’ve read them all, you should be ready to start doing your research and getting a plan ready for your used parts.
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Know exactly which part you need
When shopping for used automotive parts, it’s important to know exactly what you’re looking for. Not only does this save time, but it also means that you go into the negotiation with more confidence and direction - which comes in very handy when haggling about the price. In short, you can’t be swindled into buying more than you need if you know what the issue is.
The other reason that you should always know what parts you need is that sometimes mechanics do actually make mistakes and if the store is busy and the person selling you the part isn’t as clued up as they could be, then the possibility of human error becomes a real issue.
Know which parts can be replaced
Any mechanic worth his salt will tell you that some parts simply shouldn’t be replaced with used parts. There are some parts of your car - such as brake pads and rotors - which wear down quickly and should always be replaced by brand new parts.
Get a good warranty
It goes without saying that used parts are prone to breaking. You should always try to get a 12-month warranty at least - especially when it comes to bigger (and more expensive) parts. Check the returns policy of the place you’re shopping and make sure that you’re able to take it back if it breaks within a year. Realistically, you can expect it to play up after that 12 months, and it’s only fair that the shop doesn’t have to give you a new one for free if it breaks after 24 months!
Know the history of the part
Any part that has been used is classified as a used part (obviously…) but that doesn’t tell you how much it’s been used. Always inquire about the history of the part - how old is it? How many miles has it seen? Has it been repaired in the past? It’s okay to ask questions. You should get as much detail about each part as possible to make sure you’re not buying something that’s going to break again within a few months.
While there are plenty of reputable companies out there that serve nation-wide, you should always opt to shop locally for spare parts. There are a number of reasons for this. First of all, it’s always good to support local businesses - but that’s a different story.
Buying from local stores is actually better for spare parts. Large companies are going to try and capitalize on the fact that you need that spare part right now. They have bigger overhead costs and can jack the prices up thanks to their brand backing. Local stores are more likely to give you a better part for a better price, plus the service is a lot more personal and you can actually go back to them in person if something goes wrong.