In a perfect world, our cars would never break. But if they do, we need to be able to fix them.
That’s where used car parts come in handy. But how do you know you’re getting the right part? Here are some tips to help you make the best choice.
1. Do Your Research
Whether you’re restoring a classic car or doing routine maintenance, auto parts can be expensive. But, before you purchase any parts, it’s important to do your research. One of the best places to start is with used parts. Used car parts are significantly less expensive than new ones and oftentimes work just as well.
Many salvage yards will sell their used parts with limited warranties, which is an added bonus for car owners. If you find a part that doesn’t work properly, then the salvage yard will usually refund your money. Some parts will also be able to be returned to the seller within certain time periods.
Other options for purchasing used car parts include online marketplaces like Craigslist or eBay. However, be aware that many used parts sellers on these platforms operate on a local level and may require you to ride over to their home or another meeting location. This can cause some people to feel uncomfortable. Bringing a trusted friend along or transacting business in a neutral and public location can help alleviate this issue.
Another option for purchasing used car parts is a local junk yard. These are often networked with other junkyards, and they can locate a part for you even if it’s not in their current inventory. However, it’s important to remember that the quality of used parts will vary depending on the individual recycler.
2. Check the Warranty
It is important to know that not all used car parts come with warranties. It is always a good idea to ask the seller about their return policy and warranty information before buying. This can be especially important if you are looking to purchase a part that is not easy to find or that costs an arm and a leg to replace. You want to make sure that you are protected if something goes wrong with the part after it is installed.
You may also want to check whether the part is covered by a manufacturer’s warranty. This is particularly true for parts that are critical to your safety, such as airbags and seatbelts. You can usually find this information by searching for the part number on your vehicle’s manual or by using a service such as VINCheck.
The key to success in the used car parts business is educating yourself about the mechanics of how a vehicle operates and finding reliable sources for your parts. Fortunately, there are a number of local businesses that can help you with this. These include tow truck companies, junkyards and insurance companies. In addition, you can look for used parts from a dismantling centre. This is a great option because they often have a large inventory of different parts and can offer you more options.
3. Check the History
Whether buying a new or used car part, it is always a good idea to inquire about its history. After all, a shiny exterior doesn’t necessarily guarantee that the part is in good working order.
While a lot of auto parts are manufactured on the cheap, not all are created equal. Some are low-quality, and they may put your vehicle’s functionality or safety at risk.
This is especially true of aftermarket car parts. However, when purchasing from a salvage yard, you will generally be getting OEM parts that are still in good condition. This means you’ll be saving a lot of money by not having to pay for a new, expensive, and possibly substandard part. You can also rest assured that you will be supporting the circular economy.
4. Check the Return Policy
If you’re in need of a specific part for your car and the aftermarket parts you can find aren’t working, or costing an arm and leg, consider buying from a salvage yard. Salvaged OEM (original equipment manufacturer) parts are usually a great choice as they have been tested and meet high standards for quality, performance and fitment, just like the original part that was in your vehicle when it was new. You’ll also have a better chance of finding parts that are no longer available at your local auto parts store because of discontinuation due to lack of sales.
The benefit of buying used car parts is that they help prevent automotive waste, reduces the need to manufacture new parts and keeps them out of landfills or just being dumped somewhere. Auto recyclers like Gardner Auto Parts take the time to clean and process used parts for resale, which can save you money on replacement parts while doing a good thing for the environment.
A quick online search can tell you a lot about an auto recycling company, so do your homework before purchasing used car parts to make sure you are getting the best value and quality. The most important tip is to look for parts that are visually inspectable. Look for rust and paint bubbles, especially on the lower doors and fenders and trunk/hatch area. Also, be sure to check the odometer on mechanical parts to see how much life they have left in them.