Probably the most commonly asked question of all in terms of buying used auto parts is that of whether or not it is in fact safe to do so. Sadly however this is question that is impossible to answer with a simple yes or no, as it depends on a myriad of other factors. As such, it would probably be wiser to ask when it is and isn’t safe to buy used car parts, as the very nature of the parts themselves along with the chosen vendor or retailer will influence the outcome of the decision in a big way.
Buying car parts is notoriously expensive and everyone knows that buying from a registered, official dealer will usually see prices double, or even triple compared to resale prices. Thousands are every day taking their searches to the city streets and the web in order to make savings when and where possible, so keeping all of the above in mind, when and how is it considered safe to do so?
When it comes to the auto parts themselves, there is a very clear divide between products that can be purchased second-hand pretty much without a second thought, and those that should probably be sourced from a reliable retailer. The divide in question is that of safety – exactly how important for the health and safety of the car’s passengers is the product in question?
For example, assuming that all a person is looking to replace is a manual door-mirror, perhaps a cigarette lighter or a rear light cluster, chances are that a used product will be 100% fine for the job. The reason for this is the way in which even if any of these examples were to fail or prove useless, no specific risk will be posed to the health and safety of those in the car.
On the other hand however, when it comes to any features or parts of the car that are 100% vital for health and safety, the situation is a rather different one. Say for example the air-bag needs replacing or part of the seatbelt mechanism, chances are there will be no way of guaranteeing their functionality is bought second-hand and therefore a new part is the only safe way forward.
There are however some examples of parts that overlap into both, which include things like brake discs, wheels, tires and so on – all of which are inherently important for safety but can usually be inspected with ease in terms of their condition and functionality.
If looking to buy any used auto parts for any given reason, it is just as important to look carefully at the vendor as it is the parts themselves. For example, if the retailer is something of an established specialist with a long history dealing in GM parts and excellent feedback, chances are a GM product from here would be safe as can be.