3 Mistakes To Avoid When Buying Used Car Parts

22 October 2020
 Categories: , Blog

Buying used parts for your car can help you keep your vehicle on the road without breaking your budget. A little care and attention can make these parts just as reliable as brand new components, but there are still some common pitfalls to avoid. If you're considering buying used to save some cash, then keep these three tips in mind before you begin.

1. Watch Out For Fitment Problems

When you buy parts directly from a dealership or reseller, you can usually double and triple-check that you're getting the right item for your car. It may sometimes be more challenging to verify this information when purchasing used, so it's essential to be sure that the part will fit. This pitfall can be particularly crucial to watch for if you're sourcing your part from a different model or year.

If you have access to the manufacturer number for the part that you're buying, you can usually cross-reference this information with your car's VIN. Taking the time to perform this relatively straightforward step will guarantee that you don't discover a fitment part after you've already partially disassembled your engine bay.

2. Check Hardware, Gaskets, and Accessories

New factory parts may include hardware or accessories necessary for installation. Manufacturers design many gaskets, seals, and even bolts to be one-use-only. Reusing these parts may result in premature failure, safety issues, or they may not work at all. When buying used, confirm that any accessories or hardware are reusable. If not, always replace these items with new parts.

Pay special attention to cables and wiring harnesses, too. Some sellers may cut these parts when removing an item from a donor car, so check that they are available intact if you need them.

3. Look Before You Leap

It's a good rule of thumb always to see any used part you're buying in person before committing to the purchase. For cosmetic components, such as interior bits or body panels, always inspect the item thoroughly. There's nothing wrong with buying a part that you have a few cosmetic issues, but make sure you know what you're getting to avoid disappointment later.

For mechanical or electronic parts, cosmetic condition is less critical. Instead, check that the piece doesn't have any apparent damage (such as loose or damaged connectors for wiring harnesses) and that it isn't missing anything vital. If possible, take the part that you're replacing along for comparison. This extra step can also help you to double-check the correct fitment.

For many mechanical, electronic, and cosmetic components, you have nothing to fear from buying used. By taking the time to research your purchase, you can find great parts for an even better price.

For more tips, reach out to a local used auto parts supplier.