While buying used car parts will save you money and curb your car maintenance cost, you need to be sure you are not duped into buying fakes. Purchasing the wrong or damaged car parts is expensive in the long term, but even worse, it is a safety hazard.
Here are four things you can do to protect yourself from fraud, compromised parts, and safety risks when buying used car parts.
Getting a second-hand car part can be a strenuous task, especially if you a novice in the art. You can brave endless car yards with no guarantee that what you finally buy is not a dud. However, your work will be much easier if you are sure of what you need and what you need to ask the seller before buying.
Know your budget before you hit the search trail. A budget will help narrow your options. Factor in other costs such as shipping, tax, insurance, and installation where applicable. Do your research on the exact type of part your car needs or the most compatible substitute.
If you are new to buying used car parts, start off with the safest components, including tires, windows, mirrors, rims, interior fixes, and central locking systems. Only buy delicate parts such as an engine when you have an understanding of what you are doing or are working with an expert.
Go in Person
Some car parts, especially those for classics, high-end vehicles or hybrids, are unique and can be rare. Buying such parts from major dealership can also be expensive. Visit your local auto parts sales shop to see if they can track it for you.
No matter the type of part you’re looking for, you should always visit the auto parts store in person. You are more likely to identify faults on a car part in person than in pictures or videos. Check the details of where each part is from, the make and age of the car, and compare the price range for similar parts to gauge price fairness.
Go With a Mechanic
Ask an independent mechanic to accompany you if you are buying a significant part such as an engine or a charging, cooling, or ignition system. These kinds of car parts are pricey, and purchasing the wrong parts can endanger your life and those who use your car.
A mechanic can counter check different concerns and also confirm the specific part number before you commit to buying any part. You can match a spare part with your car using the vehicle identification number.
Check the Warranty
Ask the seller if they give a warranty for their parts. Read the terms and conditions of the warranty to ensure it does not disadvantage you. The part you are buying should determine the type of guarantee you are going for.
For instance, mechanical parts such as the transfer case, transmission, and engine are expensive and more likely to fail. You, therefore, should ask for an extended warranty compared to when you are buying electrical parts such as starters and window switches.
Body and suspension parts are only likely to suffer damage in a collision, and the warranty should not be as pressing. That, however, does not invalidate the need to have one. Remember to get a receipt for your purchases.
Keeping a car on the road is a costly affair. But you do not have to overstretch your wallet for repairs when you can get excellent and durable parts at a much more pocket-friendly price in a second-hand shop.
Contact Palmer Brothers Auto Parts for an initial consultation, expert advice, professional services, and quality and safe purchases if you are in Birmingham, Alabama, and its surroundings.