Auto and truck repair isn’t what it used to be. Vehicles are getting ever more complicated, and fixing them just isn’t as simple as it once was. Simultaneously, parts are getting more expensive, and mechanic prices are skyrocketing.
Many people are learning to fix their own vehicles, and looking at alternative options for finding parts in order to save money on repairs. One of the most common ways to save money on repairs is to buy used parts instead of new ones. While this is a valiant goal, it is not always easy.
Whether you are looking for used truck parts in Langley or New Jersey, there are several common pitfalls that you can easily avoid. Here are several things to keep in mind when looking for used parts.
Used Parts Vary Considerably in Value
Because you are buying parts that have been used in another vehicle, it is extremely important that you inspect each part before you buy it. Nobody wants to buy a part and spend the time and energy to install it, only to find that it is defective in some way. Car and truck repair is time-consuming, especially when first starting out. Look for the following signs of misuse, abuse, or age, and avoid bad parts like the plague.
In electrical components, look for signs of burned or frayed wires. Don’t buy anything that looks like it shorted out. Many electrical parts can be tested without having to install them. Use a voltmeter to check to see that each wired component carries the necessary voltage without issue before purchasing the component.
With moving engine components, you need to be extremely careful. Look for any dents, dings, or scrapes on the parts you are buying. Don’t purchase anything that has even the slightest indication of misuse or abuse. If you install a piston or valve in your engine that has damage, you could seriously damage other parts of the engine. In fact, you should inspect any part that serves a vital engine function. The cost of not doing so could be as high as several thousand dollars.
With cosmetic parts, you need to do a full visual inspection. Really, you can afford to buy something that has some dents or scratches, as long as you are okay with it. You should still inspect each part, and try to haggle if what you find is subpar.
About.com has a great article about used parts. It lists the parts that are okay to buy used, as well as the ones you should probably avoid.
Used Parts Dealers Offer Differing Prices and Guarantees
Because of the uncertain nature of buying used parts, most dealers are willing to offer a limited warrantee or guarantee on the parts they sell. If you are buying a used part, you should always ask for a guarantee.
Guarantees for used parts tend to bounce between two weeks and two months in length, depending on the part and dealer in question. Some dealers will have different lengths for different parts, while others offer a flat length for all of the parts in their used inventory.
You should also feel perfectly free to shop around. Every dealer has a slightly different way in which they set their prices and warrantees. By shopping around, you are asking the dealers to compete for your business. This can result in dealers matching or beating the prices or guarantees of others. It will definitely result in furthering your understanding of your local used part market.
The trick to finding the right part revolves around doing research. Look into the options in your area, compare the parts that are available, and try to find a parts dealer that really wants your repeat business. If you do these things, you will avoid most common mistakes.