If there’s something wrong with your car and it needs repair, you might think about skipping the mechanic and saving a few bucks with used auto parts.
When you take on such a big task as tinkering with your car engine, it’s vital that you look in the right places for quality parts, especially if you’re going the used route.
You’ll need to take the time to speak to a few different used auto parts dealers so that you find the right parts to make the necessary repairs properly. If not, you’ll still wind up at a shop like Dakota Ridge Auto and possibly have a bigger repair bill to pay.
To learn what to look for when buying used auto parts, and to figure out where to buy them from, read on.
Where Can I Buy Used Auto Parts?
If you are thinking about purchasing used auto parts for DIY repair, you’ll need to look into your best options for making this happen. Consider these five options:
1. Find A Quality Used Auto Parts Shop in Your Area
It’s vital that you start by finding shops in your area that specialize in used parts. You can search online, ask friends, drive all over town, even scroll through pages on Yelp.
When you speak to these parts shops, you must ask for some references and look up their license so you know that they are qualified to deal whatever parts you need. For best results, find a shop that has the type of parts that you need.
2. Look for Decent Deals Online
One of the most popular ways to find decent used parts is to look online which can be quite the rabbit hole. Checking online opens you up to countless possibilities, some legit and others, not so much.
You should look into their delivery options, postage costs and speed. Also look into their return policy and warranties just in case the part doesn’t fit or isn’t as described.
There are a lot of bait and switch scams out there that take advantage of novice DIY mechanics. At Dakota Ridge, we only use new parts and suppliers that have proven themselves trustworthy over numerous years, so if this is your first time, tread lightly.
When you check for some online websites that deal parts, at least make sure that you look for their Better Business Bureau (BBB) seal.
3. Find A Local Salvage Yard
You can also spend a weekend wandering around different salvage yards to find parts that are in good shape and will fit your vehicle.
While there are amazing deals to be found at a salvage yard, you need to first do your research and know exactly what you’re looking for.
If you don’t want to pay for a shop to replace your dead transmission, finding one at a salvage yard for a fraction of the price might seem like the best way to go. But you won’t know until you take it apart, inspect everything, reassemble and install it. That’s a huge gamble and potential waste of your time.
4. Purchase an Automobile for Parts
You also have the option of purchasing an entire vehicle just to use for parts.
People sell their cars for parts all the time — typically when it has broken down to the point that it doesn’t make sense to sink more money into it to fix.
However, a vehicle that won’t run anymore will often still have lots of fully functional parts. So, you’ll be able to purchase a vehicle for a few hundred bucks while taking your choice of parts.
Seems like a great deal but make sure your neighbors or HOA are ok with a broken-down vehicle sitting in your driveway. If not, be prepared to make extra space in your garage to store it out of sight or have a plan to get rid of it when you’re done.
5. Speak to An Independent Parts Dealer or Trader
It’s also possible to find an individual that can sell you whatever parts you need. These sellers will give you a great deal whether you decide to purchase with cash or trade.
Be sure that you double check the independent dealer’s credentials, to be certain that you’re making the right decision for fixing your automobile. Again, research can help you avoid scams, so don’t skip that step.
Know How to Buy the Best Parts
Now that you understand where to purchase parts, be sure that you use the following strategies while shopping:
1. Always Inspect the Quality of the Parts
Make sure that you do all you can to inspect the part before purchasing it. Even if you’re buying it online, have the parts dealer take a picture or video of the part before boxing it. If you’re able to buy the part in person, inspect it for quality — particularly if the part is a few years old.
2. Check the Parts Number and Serial Number
It’s important that you do what you can to buy the right part for your vehicle. This means looking into the right serial number for the part so that it’s the right match. Ask the parts supplier about the specifics so that you don’t make the mistake of buying the wrong replacement for your vehicle.
3. Price Compare for Different Auto Parts
It’s also important for you to look into the different parts prices so that you stick to your budget. Speak to at least six or seven different auto parts shops or dealers to be sure that you’re taking the time to price match.
As you can see, fixing cars and finding the right parts is a bit more complex than people might think. And going the DIY route with used auto parts can be a huge gamble.
Worst case scenario, you’re out a few weekends, have less cash in your bank account, and your car is still not running.
Here’s a better idea, contact us to get the automobile repair help that you need. At Dakota Ridge Auto in Littleton, we only use quality parts (new, of course) so that we can get you back on the road quickly and safely.