Tips to Save Money On Auto Parts

Buy OEM parts

It is simply not true that OEM parts are always more expensive than aftermarket parts. Remember that cheap parts are usually cheap for a reason, so if an OEM part is more expensive than an aftermarket part, the higher price serves to remove the reasons why the aftermarket part is cheaper.

These days, there is no telling where any given aftermarket part was made, or even who made it. The global parts market is flooded with cheap, substandard garbage that does not conform to any accepted safety and quality standards, which in practical terms, means that you could be endangering the lives of your family by refusing to pay “exorbitant” prices for safety critical parts at the dealer.

Moreover, if an OEM part fails, you know who to talk to about it, which is often not the case with aftermarket parts. The result of this is that you often have no recourse, and you simply have to buy another part at a different auto parts store, hoping it won’t fail again within a few days. Thus, by occasionally paying more for an OEM part, you can save a lot of money, time, and aggravation in the long run.

Compare prices

If you do choose to go with aftermarket parts, despite the risk of receiving substandard auto parts, you can often realize substantial savings by shopping around. However, when you do shop around, you must compare prices for the same brand.

If you don’t know your way around the parts jungle, it is easy to fall prey to unscrupulous dealers who do not have your best interests at heart. Reputable auto part manufacturers will always brand their products, so stick to brands you know and trust: auto parts that come in unbranded white boxes (or in plain plastic bags) may be cheap, but you just don’t know what you are buying.

“Cheap” never translates into “good quality”, which means that by the time you had replaced an aftermarket auto part of uncertain provenance for the third time, you’ve probably spent more money than you would have done had you bought the part from the dealer in the first place.

Buy used auto parts

We are not suggesting that you should always buy used parts, but where used parts do not pose a safety risk, such as trim panels, mirrors, body parts/panels, and the like, you can often save substantial amounts of money. Moreover, by shopping around and comparing prices at a few junk yards, you can often negotiate a price that will make you come back for more.

Buy refurbished parts

Major auto parts like alternators, drive shafts, and transmissions are always expensive when you buy them new, but refurnished parts can be a viable alternative that can save you substantial amounts of money. However, not all refurbished parts are rebuilt to OEM standards, so if you want to take this route, be sure to investigate the company that does the refurbishing.

Remember that no refurbished auto part ever comes with a warranty that matches the warranty of a new part, but the warranty should offer at least two thirds of what a “new” warranty offers. Nonetheless, a warranty means nothing if it is not backed up by a solid history of superior after sales service, so be sure to check out the supplier’s record with regard to after sales service.

Buy auto parts online

A quick online search will turn up a multitude of online parts retailers that carry huge stock inventories, and often at prices that beat those of walk-in stores. In addition, some online retailers’ will deliver the part to your door, or sometimes at a nearby auto part store, which can save you both time and money.

However, you need to check on a few things before you purchase auto parts online, the most important of which is the retailer’s returns policy. Electrical parts are for the most part not returnable, regardless of where you buy it from, but some online retailers will not accept returns of any auto parts if the packaging had been opened.

This can make online purchases problematic if you cannot supply a sample of the part you need, so be sure to check out the terms and conditions set by each online retailer- not doing this could double the cost of the part if the retailer won’t accept a return, and you have to buy the part from a walk-in store anyway.

Use loyalty programs

Almost all auto part stores and chains offer loyalty programs that could save you the full price of a part if you have enough points or benefits to redeem against the price of that part. However, to get the best from any loyalty program you need to make frequent purchases to collect points, which means that if you only buy auto parts occasionally, a loyalty program is likely not the way to go.

Do preventative maintenance

Nobody actually likes spending money on auto parts, but one sure fire way to save on money on parts is to stick to the specified maintenance schedule of your vehicle. This may sound counter-intuitive, but by replacing worn parts when you should, you save money by not having to buy related auto parts that were damaged because you did not replace worn parts in time.

Fixing secondary damage can run to several times the cost of the part or component that should have been replaced, and these additional costs can add up to ridiculous amounts over the life of a car. So, shop smart, don’t replace parts unnecessarily, stick to the maintenance schedule, and you will be amazed at how much money you are saving on auto parts all of a sudden!

What to Know Before You Buy Auto Parts

Before you buy auto parts, you need to keep a few things in mind. If you plan to do some or all of the repairs on your vehicle on your own, you may save yourself money by doing so. However, you will cost yourself more money if you buy the wrong thing from the wrong provider. The key is to be knowledgeable about both what you need and whom you are buying it from. When you do, you may find that it is easier to make this process a smooth one.

Buy From a Pro

One of the most important things to do when you need to buy auto parts is to buy from a respectable professional. Though you can buy online or buy from massive warehouses, it is best to find someone that is local and that offers quality products for the type of vehicle you own. This way, you get the attention you need. For example, you can be sure you are getting exactly what your make and model need and you know that what you are buying is worth the investment you are making.

Look for a Guarantee

In most cases, the part you need will come with a short-term warranty. However, it is a better idea to find out if the company offers a return policy. What if you get the part, get home, and then find out you bought the wrong thing? Most companies offer some type of exchange policy and that can make all of the difference. Know what you are buying and what type of guarantee or warranty you are getting when you do so.

Does the Company Offer Options?

In addition to these things, find out if the company offers you the options you need for your repair. For example, some will offer used and aftermarket parts. This can help you to keep the costs lower. They may even offer used tires, which could save you a significant amount on your next purchase. Be sure the company you select offers the specific type of part you need as well, such as radiators, batteries, gas tanks, or transmissions. Do not assume that all companies carry all of the items you may need.

It may seem like buying auto parts is an easy process, but what you may not realize is that some companies are just better than others. They offer a better price and they keep you coming back with friendly service. Some even offer websites where you can find out what is in stock and ready for you. That can save you time, along with making it easier for you to get what you need.

Things You Should Do When Looking For an Auto Repair Shop

Car trouble? Are you sick and tired of the overheating and the non-stop oil leaks? Sometimes there are things that we can’t troubleshoot, and well, what mechanics can do – only they can do. You can’t always figure out the cause of an oil leak just by your own diagnosis. You would definitely need to see a mechanic in an auto repair shop. But, looking for a good auto repair shop can be a difficult and challenging process. How do you know you’re picking the right shop? What are the factors you should consider?

The first thing you should do is that you should drop by the shop to check if they have trained, hardworking mechanics and high end equipment. Of course, there are also other things you need to check out. There is always more than meets the eye. An auto repair shop that looks classy and well maintained doesn’t necessarily mean it can provide you with good customer care, honest work and reasonable prices.

It is best to know something about vehicle repairs so that you are not caught off guard when conversing about the repair. You should also be cautious of the shops that take advantage of an unknowledgeable client. When people sense that you don’t know much about something, they may grab the opportunity to rip you off, or worse, tell you to have something repaired that isn’t really broken.

You should also consider feedback about the shop. Ask around. If you know someone who has any experience with that shop, listen to his or her comments. It always pays to be inquisitive.
Do a background check on the auto repair shop. You need to know if the shop’s mechanics are highly trained and competent.

Ask for a written estimate for major repairs. You can compare prices with other auto repair shops by checking them out yourself. You can give other shops a phone call or visit their websites to do the research to save time. You would also want to check into the quality of materials the shop uses for their clients, and the brands of their parts as well.

You would also want to ask for ongoing promotions and offers to save you money. Make sure you find out about their service warranty. Aside from the rates, you also deserve good customer care. Make sure they entertain all your questions and answer you thoroughly.

Knowing all these factors, you can carefully decide which shop to choose. Don’t be in a rush though, and don’t be impulsive. Doing so can save you hundreds of dollars, or cost you a lot. If you live in Florida, check out a very competent Orlando auto repair shop. Check out their free services and get your own online quotation. So choose wisely before making that big move. When you finally decide and if you are fully satisfied with the auto shops’ service, you’re lucky to have found an auto repair shop for keeps!