When your vehicle is in need of part replacement, you have plenty of options. You can order a brand new replacement part directly from your manufacturer, or you can save a little money by going with an aftermarket part. If you're really looking to save the most money on your replacement part, however, you might want to consider buying used. Many auto parts shops and some vehicle wreck yards sell used parts that cost a fraction of a new or aftermarket part, after all!
Before you buy a used part from a wreck yard or retailer, however, there are a few questions worth asking to make sure you're getting a fair deal.
Do You Accept Returns or Exchanges?
Most places that sell used parts will sell them "as-is," meaning you're taking a bit of a risk with your purchase. However, some suppliers will offer a basic, limited warranty that allows you to return or exchange the part if it doesn't work with your vehicle. Just be sure to ask about return and exchange policies (as well as their time frames) before making a purchase, especially if you're buying an expensive part.
Can You Guarantee Compatibility?
The last thing you want is to buy a part that ends up not being compatible with your specific make, model, and year of vehicle. Ideally, you'll want to buy your used part from a seller that will take the time to look up the part you need and check its compatibility before you buy so you can enjoy greater peace of mind.
How "Used" is the Part, Anyway?
A "used" car part might have been used for 200,000 miles, or it may have only been used for 20,000 miles. There's a huge difference in wear and tear between the two, so make sure you get a better idea of how "used" the part is (and take a look at it in-person, if possible) before you buy.
Will You Include Installation?
While most wrecking yards will not offer installation services as part of their sale, it never hurts to ask. At the very least, they may be able to refer to a local trusted mechanic who will provide installation services for you at a discounted price.
Buying used auto parts can be a great way to save on the replacement parts your vehicle needs; just be sure to do your research before you spend your hard-earned money. Talk with a company like AAA Trucks and Auto Wreckings if you need auto parts.