3 Tips For Buying Used Auto Parts Without The Headache

19 January 2020
 Categories: , Blog

When buying used auto parts, many people prioritize price point and take a gamble on virtually everything else. But buying car parts that aren't brand new doesn't have to feel like throwing dice. Savvy consumers know that with a bit of time and know-how, you can get parts that are inexpensive, yet still a great fit. Take a look below for three ways that you can maximize your auto part dollar without shelling out for something new. 

Strength in Numbers

Numbers rule the auto parts world -- namely, original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and vehicle identification numbers (VIN). Without these numbers to help identify specific parts, making a purchase independent of any expert help is more of a risk than most are willing to take. But even if you no longer have the original owner's manual for your vehicle, fear not; most manuals are available online to download, and will contain all the information you need to be a more confident and knowledgable buyer. With an OEM or VIN in hand, you can avoid expensive returns and all the related costs and hassle that sometimes go along with being just "pretty sure" you're getting the right part. 

Eye on the Details

If it's possible to travel to a local store to take a look at the part you wish to purchase, take the opportunity. Even websites that offer several photos of the part in question may not show enough detail to make an educated decision as a consumer. Looking over a used part - even if just for a minute -  to locate things such as cracks and fake name-brand logos can be the difference between a great deal and a waste of money. If buying from an individual third party, make sure to clarify that the used part you're thinking about buying is indeed from the original manufacturer, rather than a copycat from a company with a less than stellar reputation.

The Intangibles

If you have done your research and know exactly what you are getting, problems should be few. But as any car enthusiast will tell you, that's not always the case. In the event that a used part doesn't work as you thought it would be sure you have either a reliable warranty on the part, or a reliable garage nearby that can assist you. Having a backup plan will save you a great deal of potential time, money and worry over your used auto parts purchases.