Your car is a long-term investment. When you buy a car you’re probably looking to have it for years to come. It’s only natural if you’re using it over time, not every part will last the same amount of time.
When you do need to eventually replace parts due to normal wear and tear, acute damages, or simply for upgrades, it’s important to keep in mind a few things about what you purchase.
New or Used?
It’s often a shock how much a new part from a dealer will cost compared to a used part resold elsewhere. But it gets a bit trickier with non-genuine parts – costs can often be a lot closer together when comparing a new knock-off and a used genuine part.
You’ll be trying to calculate which will last longer and be the most valuable to you. If it’s cheaper, is it worth it to get a knockoff new part? Though you might think the fact that it’s new will make it more effective, genuine or warranted used parts are often, in fact, higher quality and the better bet.
Genuine or Generic?
Non-genuine parts that fail and damage other parts can void your warranty if your car is still covered by one from a dealership. It is wise to search for genuine parts that – although they may be a bit older – are likely to last, than to direct your attention to the newer ‘generic’ options.
Of course, for some more common items it won’t make a huge difference – windshield wipers can be interchanged – but you’ll want to make sure parts for your engine are more carefully managed.
Online or at the Yard?
When you’re shopping for parts you can do some preliminary searches online. Many sites have a large inventory, either from an auto company or from individuals who are selling. Note that market values differ by location, so when you’re searching for a good price you may find a bit of variance based on where you are.
To avoid scams online, you should always check the photos closely to see if there is any damage. And be weary of shockingly low prices – if someone is selling an alternator for $15, it’s likely going to be a big waste of time for everyone because it’s unlikely to be genuine or usable. If you’re purchasing a part online and having it shipped, check their return policies and double check that you’re ordering the right thing.
You can also go to the parts reseller themselves, often junkyards or wreckers, who usually have knowledgeable mechanics who can help you out. If you’re not positive which part you’ll need, take your car in to a wrecker or mechanic so you can get a set of professional eyes on it. They may also be able to personally recommend places to get service or installation that you might not find otherwise. If you’re looking for rare or specialty parts, call in advance to see if they have them before coming in.
Some parts will need changing more than others – items such as air filters, brake pads, batteries, radiators, and tyres will likely need replacing once or twice during the life of your vehicle. Other items, such as the alternator and transmission, should last the life of your vehicle unless damaged or misused.
For questions about genuine auto parts you may need, get in touch with Perth Parts Solutions in Malaga, fifteen minutes from the Perth CBD.