Your vehicle is an essential tool in your daily life, so ensuring that it runs smoothly is a priority. But, like any piece of machinery, it will need repair from time to time. When this happens, a major decision that car owners face is whether to purchase new or used car parts. Furthermore, if you choose used parts, how do you know the parts are reliable?
It’s natural to be skeptical about buying used parts. However, understanding how to select only the best parts from only the most reliable sources can dispel fears. The potential savings are huge, so it’s well worth your time to investigate and save. For instance, buying parts from Tom’s Foreign Auto Parts can save you up to 75% off new OEM prices on thousands of parts. Taking a step-by-step approach to the process will make sure you get exactly what you need:
- Step 1: Find Out Exactly The Part You Need
- Step 2: Get To Know The Seller
- Step 3: Get To Know The Actual Part
Read on as we explore each of the steps to consider when seeking reliable used car parts, and learn about the many advantages of choosing used parts.
1. Identifying Your Part Needs
When considering the reliability of used car parts, it is crucial to first accurately identify the specific part you need. If you’re not really familiar with the part you need to replace, it can be easy to mistake one part for another that is just slightly different. The best thing to do is use your VIN number to make sure you find the correct part number. Another useful strategy is to bring your old part to a local junkyard for comparison or, if buying online, compare your part with the picture shown on the website. Accuracy in part identification is an important first step in ensuring you get the right component for your repair needs.
At Tom’s, we offer images of the parts we sell and video of the car it came from. You can see the actual donor vehicle or engine that the part comes from, leaving no doubt about fit, function, or quality. You can also shop by part type, by the make and model of your vehicle, or by keeping up with our newest parts offerings by viewing our new stock here.
2. Researching Sellers
After determining the part you need, your next step should be investigating potential sellers. There are numerous avenues for purchasing used car parts, including junkyards, online sellers, and local shops. To prevent scams and ensure quality, it’s essential to do a quick background check on the seller. Check for reviews, online mentions, and social media profiles. Also, make yourself familiar with their return and exchange policies, and find out about their warranty offerings.
It’s not uncommon for used parts sellers to offer a short-time limited warranty, or even no warranty at all. That’s not the case at Tom’s Foreign Auto Parts. We offer a standard 6-month guarantee and an optional lifetime guarantee on all our parts. You can check out the details of our parts guarantee here.
Being thorough in your seller research can help protect your interests and ensure you get a reliable used car part.
3. Assessing Your Part
Before purchasing, don’t hesitate to ask questions about the part. You should know the part’s age, the mileage of the car it was taken from, as well as the exact make, model, and trim level of the vehicle.
In the case of body parts, it’s important to consider paint colors. Certain parts can be painted or stained to match your car, and others can not. Be sure you inform yourself of the paint color code you need to match. At Tom’s, we utilize Cut Sheets to be sure you get exactly the body parts you need.
Keep in mind that Tom’s Foreign Auto Parts is one of only a small number of salvage yards that offer our entire (and expansive!) inventory online. You get the benefit of seeing the actual part you buy before making a purchase (like the alternator pictured above). If you still have questions, you can always contact us for help.
Should You Buy Used Auto Parts?
Ultimately, the decision between purchasing new or used car parts boils down to personal preference. It’s a good idea to consider looking beyond the usual, well-known national brand chain stores for these parts. Local yards or online retailers often offer the same parts at more reasonable prices and with more reliable support.
Buying high-quality used parts also reduces the number of parts that end up in landfills. Tom’s has been in the auto parts business for over 30 years and is one of the nation’s most reliable and trusted auto recyclers.
Tom’s Foreign Auto Parts specializes in used parts, and we’re among the best at doing it. We have many hard-to-find parts on hand. We have a huge and accurately cataloged inventory which means we can help you confidently identify and order the part you need. Shop online or contact us and let us help you find the parts you need.