Just about every car owner knows that going with used auto parts when it's time for a repair can save them money. But used auto parts can also come with an increased risk that your vehicle might break down again. That's why it's important to do your homework and only buy auto parts from a reputable local seller. Here are a few tips to keep in mind to ensure you are getting quality out of your next auto parts purchase.
Ask for the Parts Number and Do Your Research
If you are calling around for a specific used part and a local seller that you contact says it's in stock, don't immediately head to the store. Ask the seller to give you the auto parts number so you can make sure it's what you actually need. Cross-reference this number with any information you can find from your car manufacturer or an online database. This will ensure that you walk out of the parts store with the exact part you need and there will be no frustration when you get home and open the box.
Get the Age and Miles
A dealer having the right part in stock is only half the battle when it comes to finding what you need. You also need to get specific information from the seller about how many years old the part is and then find out how many miles the part has on it. A reputable seller should be able to give you at least a ballpark figure for every part that they sell because they usually get this information from the person that originally sold the part to them. If you can't find out how old the part is or how much use it has seen, it's probably best to keep searching for another part that you can completely verify.
Know Your VIN Number
If you want further confirmation that you are buying the correct auto part for your vehicle, you should also take your vehicle identification number into the parts shop with you. The seller can take your VIN and double-check it in their own database to help you narrow down your search. This will ensure that the part you buy will fit perfectly with your car and you won't have to try and get creative during the installation.
Contact a local auto parts seller today for more information. Be patient, do a little bit of homework, and you should be able to find the parts you need far below the cost of buying new.