A car has become a necessity in this modern world. It is convenient to have wheels to go around, and life is much easier. But you have to keep your car performing at its best; otherwise, life will not be smooth. Proper maintenance is crucial if you want to improve the lifespan of your car. However, as much as you try to keep your car properly maintained, there will be instances where you will need to replace some of its parts. New car parts are quite expensive. Luckily, you can get used car parts for much less price. You can even get some used car parts that are as good as new auto parts.
Second-hand car parts can be a lifesaver, the next best thing would be to buy a used car outright if you didn’t want the hassle of finding parts. However, you have to be cautious when buying one – a used car part that doesn’t fit or doesn’t work doesn’t do you any good. This guide contains everything you need to know when shopping for used car parts.
Where to buy
When it comes to business, trust and reputation are key. Reputable and trustworthy auto parts dealers deserve our attention. But you see, getting a trustworthy seller for used car parts can be tricky – anyone can sell their used car parts at online platforms such as Craigslist. You can also get used car parts at a junkyard, but this can be challenging if you lack advanced car knowledge.
The best bet would be to find a reputable auto parts store that provides both new and used car parts. Regardless of where you decide to buy used car parts, do some serious research on reputation and trustworthiness, especially when it comes to online dealers. You also need to do some price-comparison. Find remarkable used car parts here.
Know exactly what you need
If you need to replace any car part, no matter how common it is, be sure you know its exact description. It would be a waste of money to buy an expensive second-hand product, only to find that it doesn’t match the specs of your vehicle.
A clever approach would be to carry the auto part with you and show it to your seller. However, if you are buying online, you can use the following methods to verify the exact ID of the part you want:
- Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)- your car’s VIN can help you locate used car parts that match your model.
- Part code – If you are lucky, sometimes you may find the code of the part you are trying to replace. Be sure to check it thoroughly as it may be covered in dust or grease.
- Visual identification – This is for experienced buyers or someone who is well versed when it comes to car parts, who can recognize a car part by just looking at it.
Enquire about the history of the used car part you want to buy
You don’t want to get a lemon when shopping for a used car part. Enquiring the history of the part you wish to purchase is very important otherwise your product may not last long. Remember, some people may act clever and ‘rejuvenate’ some used parts to look new. It may appear that way, but it may have concealed defects or cracks.
Ask you the seller about mileage, whether it has been repaired, rebuilt, or modified. If they can’t answer your questions conclusively, the price should reflect the uncertainty. Remember, if the store does not offer any refunds or warranty for defective purchases, you will be throwing your money in a hole.
Some car part sellers don’t issue refunds or accept returned products. Make sure you know everything about their return policy. Buy car parts from dealers who have a return policy. However, most sellers with return policies print them in very fine details that are hard to notice. Why? They don’t want you to read their return policies. Pay special attention to exclusions and exceptions on the return policy. For instance, some sellers will only issue refunds within 30 days. Some sellers also charge restocking fees if you purchase the wrong items.
Just like return policies, warranties need to be clear. You must understand the warranties of the used car parts you want to buy. Don’t pay for any item until the warranty statement is clear to you. Car parts dealers can have the warranty statement in fine prints, so you don’t bother reading it. Make sure you read and understand every line. If there is something that is not clear, ask the representative.
Bring an expert if you can
An automotive expert can be of great help when shopping for a used car part, especially when you are not familiar with the parts you are shopping for. You must choose someone you can trust, say a trusted mechanic. A mechanic will offer valuable feedback and can spot fake parts easily.
Watch out for fake parts
If you can’t bring an expert with you, you have to learn how to differentiate between a fake and a genuine car part. You may have the VIN and the part code and end up buying a fake product. There are a lot of counterfeit car parts available in the market. But how do you spot fake used car parts? You can tell a product is fake if it has misplaced crucial components, misprinted words, botched logos, etc. But like we said above, look at trustworthy dealers such as Goldfarb inc. A reputable dealer will never sell you a fake product.
Not all parts should be replaced with used parts
Used car parts are cheap, and budget constraints may not allow you to go for brand new car parts. That’s understandable. However, not every part should be replaced with used ones. Some parts are crucial to the safety and performance of your car. The good thing is that most of them are not that expensive. Parts such as spark plugs, brake pads, brake rotors, and starters are not expensive but are crucial. Would you compromise the performance of your engine by buying second-hand plugs so you can save a few dollars?
Other parts that you should not replace with used parts include oil filters, wiper blades, exhaust systems, and brake plates.
Be extremely careful when buying a second-hand engine
How your car performs depends on the engine. If you need to replace your engine, and you are considering buying a second-hand one, you should be extra careful. It is the heart of your car, and you don’t want to gamble with it.
Follow the following tips when buying a used car engine.
- Inspect the coolant
Overheating is brutal and can damage the engine. An engine can stop working due to overheating. A coolant is used to prevent overheating by preventing the temperatures in the engine from rising to unwanted levels. It is, therefore, necessary that you inspect the coolant properly when buying a used car engine. In case you notice oil residue, foam, or the coolant leaking, be warned. Those are symptoms of a bad engine.
- Look out for oil leakage in the engine
Think of the engine as the heart of your car and oil as the blood. Now, what happens if the heart can’t pump blood properly? This is also the case with a car engine. Check the oil level carefully and avoid the engine if the level is low. If there is any sign that suggests oil leakage, avoid the engine.
- Inspect the radiator
There should be no rust around the radiator. If there is, the previous owner was probably not using enough coolant. Such an engine may suffer insufficient cooling, which hampers its performance.
- Color of the smoke
The color of the smoke depends on the carbon build up in engine parts such as the injectors, valves, and cylinder walls. You can tell the condition of the engine depending on the color of the smoke. If the engine produces thick black smoke, it is in bad condition.
- Inspect the engine using a borescope camera
A borescope camera enables you to detect problems of the internal parts and components of the engine. With it, you can be able to tell whether the engine is clean and whether there is excess carbon build-up. Don’t buy if the engine’s components are dirty or there is excessive carbon build-up.
- Test drive
A test is not only necessary when buying a car, but when buying an engine as well. Take a test drive. It will clear any doubts you may be having.
Buying used car parts can save you money. However, ensure you put in the necessary efforts to find the right seller and the right part. Be sure you know the exact part, watch out for fakes, and all you need is a trustworthy auto parts seller.