If you’ve replaced a few car parts before, you’ll understand just how expensive some parts can be. A new automotive transmission, for instance, costs as much as $4,000. A broken camshaft, meanwhile, can cost up to $2,000 to replace. For a used car whose value might have dropped to less than $20,000, it would be a much wiser investment opting for used replacement parts. And guess what? Used doesn’t always have to mean useless. If you’re careful enough in your search, you’ll find quality used parts that can serve you for many years to come.
Assuming you already know the parts you need, the following are six tips to help you find value-for-money deals.
1. Find a reliable dealer
This is the very first step to finding great used car parts. Find the right dealer, and there’s a good chance you’ll find the right parts. You’ll be choosing between car wreckers and online dealers. Car wreckers are the best choice. However, an even better option is predominantly offline dealers that have an online presence, such as SirCarPart.com
2. Verify the exact ID of the part
Car parts are very specific. Parts that can be used in one car might not suit another. To this end, it’s important that you carefully verify each part before buying. There are two main ways to verify car replacement parts; match it with a Vehicle Identification Number (VRN) or match it with the chassis number.
3. Investigate the history of the part
Unfortunately, because we’re often in a hurry, not many people closely inspect the replacement part. Don’t make this mistake. Otherwise, you might end up with a lemon. Instead, take your time to ask about the history of the part, paying close attention to age, mileage, whether it has been repaired in the past, and whether it has any defects.
4. Ensure it matches your car
This might seem a trivial matter, but it isn’t, especially when buying parts that are visible inside or outside the car. These include headlights, door handles, and bumpers. Cars are partly valued for their external appeal. Replacement parts such as a pair of headlights that don’t match the rest of the car can quickly erode this appeal.
5. Insist on a return agreement
Never buy a used car part without a signed agreement allowing you to return it in case of specified challenges. More importantly, read the return policy carefully, noting down any exceptions and exclusions. This tip is even more important when buying online in case you have the wrong part shipped. Ensure that the seller allows for returns. These returns typically cost extra fees, but they can be a lifesaver.
6. Insist on a warranty
In addition to being allowed to return the part in case of shipping problems or if the part isn’t working, you also need a warranty in case it breaks down within days or a few weeks of the purchase. Remember that a great warranty covers as many situations as possible, for as long as possible.
Watch out for fakes! Not only are duplicates weaker, but they are also known for poor quality and could, therefore, compromise the performance of your car. So, check prudently to ensure that you’re getting original parts.