Auto Repair Advice: Do's & Don'ts of Buying Auto Parts, both domestic & import

Most people feel as if they have handed over an arm, a leg after buying auto parts. Naturally once a car breaks down, everybody wants to get it fixed right away. Dishonest car technicians can read the body language of customers’ underlying desperation and they will take advantage in order to earn an extra buck.

There are those that think they can beat getting ripped off by repairing their cars themselves. Used auto parts often spare customers week-long waits for shipping orders. Unfortunately, this same practice happens at new and used auto parts stores. The store representative may find a similar used car part; but, it may not match the requirements of your vehicle or it might not work right at all.

Exercise caution when shopping for used auto parts. Know exactly what you need when you walk into a new or used auto parts store.

Bring the old part with you so that you can make comparisons with what you came in for to buy. Ask the person behind the counter to identify the part and how to replace it. Most legitimate auto parts stores will share this information with minimal hassle. Remember to ask about their return policy. Run the other way if the rep tells you that their store does not exchange auto parts when you leave the store with the product in your hands.

Only buy used auto parts for low maintenance, less wear-and-tear repairs. Purchase new alternators, starters, brake rotors, and all other parts that wear out eventually.

  • Customers should know what they need when they walk into a new or used auto parts store.
  • Bring the old part to the store to see if the new or used replacement looks right.
  • Ask questions about the part and how to install it.
  • Inquire about the auto parts store's return policy.

People can find used auto parts at swap meets or attend gatherings where car enthusiasts go to bring their stuff they no longer need to trade or sell. Swap meets offer great bargains for used auto parts; however, a no-return-policy usually applies at these meetings. A no- return-policy means running the risk of buying something that might not work for your vehicle. The same rule applies for buying used auto parts at junkyards. If the swap meet or junkyard doesn’t have the part, then the next place to check would be the Internet.

  • Check out swap meets and junkyards for lower prices on used parts.
  • Beware of the no return policy with swap meets and junkyards.
  • Exercise caution when bargaining for auto parts at swap meets.

The Internet is a great source to buy auto parts. Many customers go to the Internet when they have exhausted all the other options. While the Internet may offer better deals, it poses a higher risk of getting ripped off than when purchasing auto parts locally. Many online stores carry foreign and domestic parts. In addition, customers may even find a low-price guarantee or rebate on certain types of parts.

Before placing an order over the web, make sure to read the store's return policy. If the online store refuses to accept returns, than continue researching for the product you want on the web.

After you purchase the auto part, take it to a knowledgeable mechanic to have it installed, or you can install it yourself. Automotive manuals are available to download online. You can also find do-it-yourself (DIY) guides and instructional videos that can assist in the installation process.

  • Hire a competent mechanic to install the auto part after purchasing it.
  • Find an applicable automotive manual suitable for the model and make of the vehicle that needs the repair.
  • Research do-it-yourself (DIY) guides and instructional videos to learn more about installing the part.

Online shoppers can compare the price tags from one company to the next faster than they can locally. The Internet has plenty of price comparison search engines that will help shoppers find the best deal that fits their budget. Beware of shipping costs. Some will be able to find competitors who offer free shipping while others do not. It never hurts to save a few extra bucks, especially on shipping charges!

Follow these links to learn more about auto repairs and buying auto parts:

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