We all rely on our car, and when things go wrong, it can be a huge inconvenience, not to mention expensive. That is why is it important to keep on top of your service and maintenance schedule. However, even on the best-kept cars, parts will eventually need replacing. In some cases, buying used car parts can save you a lot of money and be just as good as buying brand new. However, there are some things that you need to keep in mind to make sure you don’t waste your money or buy something that could ultimately damage your vehicle.
Learn how to spot a fake
Fake car parts are prevalent in the motor industry. You may well have the correct VIN (vehicle identification number) but, it does not mean that the part that you order is genuine or come from the car manufacturers themselves. Of course, there are reputable companies producing quality car parts, and they are fine, but if something does not look or seem quite right, don’t risk it. Keep an eye out for poorly written or misprinted information, dodgy looking logos, and misplaced critical components.
Get expert advice
While you might have the skills to change a flat tyre or change a set of spark plugs, you more than likely are not a mechanic, so it is important to have someone who knows what they are talking about with you when you are purchasing used car parts. While we would like to be able to trust whomever we are getting them from, the person in the auto parts store has a vested interest in them, so where possible, take someone who is impartial and does not stand to gain from the purchase with you.
Ask about warranties
Knowing about the return and warranty policy for the part is essential. If you get it home and realise that it is not quite the right one, can you take it back and get your money back? If the part stops working and needs replacing in a couple of months, can you get a replacement or a refund? The store or the scrap yard that you purchase the part from should make this very clear before purchase, although you may have to check over the small print with a fine-toothed comb to make sure there are no unfair clauses or caveats. If you are unsure about anything, ask the salesperson or representative and never every buy without checking the policy first.
Make sure it is the same colour or style
For internal parts, this is not so important, but for body parts or anything visible from the outside, it is. Check that it matches the colour of the paintwork – even a shade or two out can make it look an eyesore. Remember, used parts may have faded from being exposed to the elements, so take this into account as well.
Buying used or second-hand car parts can be a tricky affair, but if you follow these tips, you may well find a bargain!