Replacement auto parts can be expensive if you are buying new parts from an auto parts store. While there are times when new auto parts are necessary, there are some ways to reduce the cost of replacement parts and still get components that will last a long time and work correctly in your vehicle.
Remanufactured Auto Parts
When you arrive at the auto parts store, the associate behind the counter will help you find the parts you need. However, it is essential to ask them directly if the part you need is available remanufactured if you are considering that option.
Remanufactured auto parts are new parts that start with a used core or case. The remanufacturer will start with used components and strip them down to the base parts, refurbish things that are still good, then reassemble everything with new seals, bearings, and other necessary parts.
The result is a new part or component that is essentially new and is much cheaper to purchase than a brand-new part. The cost savings come from recycling things like the case and other materials that are expensive to manufacture. Not every part is available this way, but components like start motors, water pumps, and alternators are commonly found at auto parts stores, and the price may be half the cost.
Brands And Prices
Auto parts stores carry parts at several price tiers that can also make saving money easier. In many cases, the name brands you are familiar with are at the top of the price tier, with lesser-known brands coming in below them.
The trick is to determine if the quality of the parts is the same, and often the best way to compare them is to lay the two beside each other and look at each component. Several name-brand companies also make parts for smaller brands to sell, and the designs may be comparable. Often these large manufacturers make parts for the car manufacturer and as replacement parts, so take some time to research them because you can sometimes find parts of the same quality at very different prices.
If the auto parts store sells parts under its own brand, an associate can often tell you who makes those parts if you ask. The warranty on the store brand parts is sometimes better than the name brands, and many shops will recommend their own auto parts first.
If all else fails, the option to buy used parts is always there. However, the parts will not come with a warranty, and it is sometimes harder to determine the condition, so that should be the last resort. If you are going to consider used auto parts, take someone that knows cars and parts with you to ensure you get parts that are in good shape.
Contact a local auto parts service to learn more.