Problems, problems, problems! If you’re anything like me I’m sure you’ve had to deal with your fair share of car problems.
You know, the ones that set you back a few hundred dollars and seem to happen all the time. Granted, we all have to deal with car issues it’s just a way of life; the key is to minimize the damage.
You may be wondering what is the best way to cut the damage caused by unexpected car expenses? The answer is to buy used working car parts. And the best place to find good used parts is a junkyard.
I know what you’re thinking. If I buy a used part, isn’t there a good chance that it will fail shortly, just like my part did? Not likely. Even if it does fail shortly down the road, chances are it’s a lot cheaper than buying new.
I want to clarify something though. It may be in your best interest to buy new parts if you own a domestic vehicle; (GM, Dodge, Ford, etc.) The reason being is those parts aren’t nearly as expensive as European car parts. But do your research on both new and used, and figure out the price difference.
Aftermarket vs OEM
With much debate and many sleepless nights, we still fight over the same thing. Is it better to buy OEM (Factory) parts or Aftermarket? Generally, always go with OEM parts as they are made to fit your car perfectly. Aftermarket parts, are made by an outside company, and they may not “play as nice” with you car.
My thought is to always go with OEM for the “expensive” parts, parts that are extremely important. But buy aftermarket parts when you’re looking for replacement floor mats and things like that.
Where to Buy
The good old dealership. The place where 90% of people go because they don’t know where else to check. The dealership is a place that’ll rob you blind if you let them. They’re usually good at know what they’re doing, but there’s cheaper alternatives worth exploring.
Like I brought up earlier, the junkyard is a perfect place to get a steal on genuine OEM parts. The downside is you have to put in the part yourself or find someone to do it for you.
Other places to check if you can’t find what you’re looking for at a junkyard:
eBay – A surprisingly good selection, with good prices. A lot of sellers are in competition which drives the prices down.
Craigslist – Craigslist can be hit or miss, but the chance to hit a homerun is there. Craigslist has to be one of the first places you look to when you need a part.
Forums – All you have to do is type in your car + forum in Google. I’m sure you’ll find a forum dedicated to your specific car. Check it out and see if there is a “Buy / Sell / Trade” section.
If you don’t find anything in that part of the forum, create a new Topic and request it. You’ll get someone that can point you in the right direction.
Exclusive Sites – These are websites that specialize in a particular make / model. There are plenty out there. A quick Google search should yield plenty of options.
For example, when I need parts for my Audi, my go to site is: WolfAutoParts.com. It’s pretty much an online junkyard that cleans and tests the parts before listing them for sale. You can get OEM parts for way cheaper than retail.
There’s no point in paying more when you can get a quality part for less. Unless you have money to burn then by all means go ahead.
What are some other places that you buy your car parts from?