Used Parts – Just cause its been used doesn’t mean its broken. Get ready to recycle and save big.
Lets face it, there is a stigma with used parts that they’re lessor or inferior to a new part. This isn’t always the case, most times a good used OE is better than an aftermarket replacement. People assume just because a used part came from a “Junkyard” that it is junk. More like good enough with huge savings. There can be risks with used parts but most salvage yards will offer some type of warranty. The places that offer parts AS-IS are usually much cheaper to compensate for taking a *chance.
Why Buy Used Parts?
Purchasing used parts is a great way to save money and help recycle while reducing your carbon foot print. People seek used parts for the savings or when there is no replacement option available. Sometimes its your only choice for interior parts and parts on older vehicles. You can find great deals and It can be very rewarding but you need to be savvy. You must possess or learn the ability inspect parts before you buy them. Its a good idea to know the integrity of where you intend to shop, and any warranties or guarantees they may offer.
Learn to lessen your odds of “taking a chance” with used parts.
We’ve all heard of the poor sap who ended up spending way more than they should of. They Could of got a new engine by the time they paid the mechanic to remove and install the two bad ones they purchased first. Getting it right on the first try is essential. It is what it is and it happens. I don’t like to talk negatively about salvage yards, but sometimes you can lose so its important to be knowledgeable and alert. Its always impressive to see someone who knows what they are doing come prepared to test and inspect a part before we were to pull it off for them.
I know I’ve experienced a few instances where I purchased bunk or broken parts from a salvage yard. Be it my fault for not paying close enough attention before buying, or the yards mistake for not testing what they were selling, I’ve found that most places will work with you to make it right. Clear communication and keeping your emotions at bay is the key to a resolution when problems arise.
Knowing your options before you make purchases and any warranties included can really save your butt. Its important to know that most places do not cover the cost of installation and removal if a problem occurs. Some places you can purchase an extended warranty that may include some labor coverage, but usually the customer is responsible for any labor bills. Don’t shoot yourself in the foot by racking up unnecessary labor costs. It helps to use a reputable salvage yard and garage if you are planning on using used parts for repairs.
When buying used is not the best option.
Somethings you are just better off buying new. I highly recommend your local NAPA over other auto parts stores for wear items. Things like brake parts, suspension wear items, wheel bearings, lines, shocks etc. If you are on a tight budget try the internet. You can find a lot of great deals online if you can wait for shipping. As a last resort you can wait and try and get lucky and locate a donor vehicle that someone just put new parts on. If they appear to be in great shape go for it! For safety concerns, Purchasing new is the best way to go for most wear items. Here are some typical wear items I would always buy new on my vehicle:
- Brake Parts & Hardware
- Ball Joints
- Tie-Rod Ends
- Fuel Lines
- Shock Absorbers
- Wheel Bearings
If you can purchase a re-manufactured transmission or engine that comes with a 50,000 mile warranty for only a few hundred more dollars over a used, I’d also say go for it. When it comes to major repairs, saving a few bucks can inadvertently become very costly very quickly. That being said, in most cases buying a used engine or transmissions from a salvage yard is priced thousands less than a re-manufactured unit. Spending a few dollars on a knowledgeable mechanic to check out your potential purchase can be a godsend. People who are well versed in your application know what to check to weed out troubled items. Don’t be penny wise and pound foolish on the savings express.