Generally speaking, drivers take great care of their vehicles, but still, eventually, some parts will fail or get damaged, so they need to be replaced. There is a lot of debate on how and where to get these parts, whether one should purchase used or completely new ones, how much money they should invest, and so on.
Well, unless you know all the ins and outs of your car, and well, the entire industry, completing this task can prove to be quite challenging. Due to this reason, we have created a guide that will answer all of your burning questions.
1. Identify the part you need
Naturally, the very first thing you have to do is to understand which part you need exactly. Even if you are good around cars and are pretty certain you know what the problem is, our advice is to always consult a professional. You can use a few tricks while on this quest, but still, don’t forget to double-check everything and include your mechanic in the process.
Firstly, start with the VIN number. As you can assume, this number will tell whether you have found the right part since they can differ based on the manufacturing year even though they are designed for the same model of the vehicle.
Furthermore, some car parts also have a unique code that may be hidden under all the dirt accumulated over the year. This code is unique for each and every item, meaning that once you use it to find what you need, you cannot go wrong.
Finally, you can simply take the old part, go to the local shop, and ask for help. A mechanic may be able to tell you what you should be looking for just by visually inspecting the item, or on the other hand, you can compare it with similar ones they have in stock.
2. Begin the search
Now that you know what product you need, it is time to look for it. Even though the previous step can take some time, it cannot come in comparison to this one. The rule is the older the car is, the harder it is to find the replacement parts. Nevertheless, there are a few places you should check out.
Obviously, conduct online research. First of all, you can visit websites such as usedpart.us and investigate whether they hold the item you need. Then, you can read posts on forums. You would be surprised how beneficial these can be since you can find all sorts of information here. Car enthusiasts will be able to help you with any car-related issue, and the chances are that they know just the place where you can buy the part you need.
On the other hand, if you are not comfortable shopping online, you can always visit dealers or even go and check out scrap yards. When it comes to the latter, it might be the best option, especially if you drive a vintage vehicle. You will have better chances of finding it here.
3. Choose a seller
Whatever you decide, you should never make a purchase if you aren’t offered any proof, such as a receipt. Depending on the supplier, they may not offer a warranty, but this document should be one of your requirements. If you want to make the purchase online, there is a whole list of things you have to check. Unfortunately, it is really easy to get tricked when shopping for things online, simply because you cannot meet the seller face-to-face and see the item before making a payment. Start by going over reviews and comments from previous customers. Look for a website or a company that is reputable and transparent, meaning that they will answer all of your questions as soon as possible.
Lastly, our advice is to go with someone who is in your close vicinity. This may not be possible, but you should still inspect people close to you because you won’t have to wait too long for the product to be delivered. Lastly, investigate the shipping and delivery fee, because oftentimes, this can be quite costly.
4. Look for warranty
When you purchase any merchandise, you want to get at least some warranty in the case that it fails or malfunctions. Well, you shouldn’t remove this requirement from the list when buying car replacement parts.
As we have already mentioned, not every seller will offer you this guarantee, but most will. This is why you should always go with these. Depending on the supplier, the warranty may only cover the part for a month or two. This isn’t an issue if you don’t have to invest a lot of money into it.
Nevertheless, if the item is really expensive, you should definitely look for a guarantee that covers the product for at least six months. This is why you should turn to professional shops where they thoroughly examine each item before selling it.
So, if a seller cannot offer this document but keeps on talking that you certainly won’t need it, you should cross them off your list of potential suppliers and look for another one.
5. Consider the price
Last of all, we have reached the point that interests everyone – the price of the item. Depending on the part you need, it can prove to be quite expensive, so you should look for different ways to reduce the cost. In addition, the price is the biggest reason why people go with second-hand items since they are significantly cheaper than the completely new ones.
When looking for the part online, you don’t only have to conduct research to find the one you need, but you should also investigate its cost on different websites. No, you shouldn’t order the first one you stumble upon because the chances are that you can get it from another seller at a lower price. Moreover, a lot of these websites offer some sort of discount or coupons, so you can these to further decrease the cost. Finally, if you are purchasing it from a store, don’t forget to use good old haggling technique.