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!

Aftermarket Auto Parts Vs Used OEM Auto Parts Vs Brand New Discounted Parts

Alright! The worst thing has happened to your car and that worn out / damaged part needs a replacement. What is the first thing that comes to your mind?

I am sure it would be, “how do I get a replacement part that fulfills the need at the lowest possible price?” And believe me; most sensible people would think the same way.

Let’s face it; nobody likes to spend big bucks on car repairs and part replacements. In fact, if given a choice, nobody would even want to be in a situation where his/her car needs a repair or a replacement part.

This is basic human nature and we all exhibit it. As far as I am concerned, I would rather spend extra money on a fancy car stereo than go for a costly replacement auto part. I would any day prefer the cheapest possible repair or part replacement that does the job and so would you unless you are a celebrity and money sticks to you like a shadow.

So what are the options you can consider if your vehicle needs a replacement part?

In the current market scenario, we have 3 major options namely:

  • Aftermarket Parts
  • Used OEM Parts
  • Brand New Discounted Parts

Let’s discuss the pros and cons of each so that we can make a decision.

Aftermarket Parts for a vehicle may be defined as auto parts made by a manufacturer other than the original vehicle manufacturer.

But that is not necessarily the correct definition as most vehicle manufacturers do not make all the parts themselves. They may ask a different company to manufacture a certain auto part for them. In that case, the first definition would not hold true.

I believe the following example would make the concept clear.

If you are fitting an Air Filter in your ABC car and that Air Filter is not manufactured, not considered a standard fitment (stock option) and not recommended by the ABC Company, it qualifies as an aftermarket part as far as ABC Company is concerned. In that case, all warranty from ABC Company for your ABC car is void.

That is not the only consequence of fitting aftermarket parts in your vehicle. These parts are not tested for compatibility with all makes and models of cars. As a result, an aftermarket part may not function properly in your car leading to unforeseen problems. For example, an aftermarket Air Filter can harm you car engine if it is not compatible with your car model resulting in low engine-efficiency or perhaps total engine damage.

Aftermarket parts don’t necessarily confirm to laws and regulations for quality and performance. For Example, aftermarket headlights may not confirm to the local regulations in your state or perhaps your aftermarket engine does not meet the emission standards in your state. It is imperative that you ascertain correct details and features of an aftermarket part before you purchase it.

Depending on factors like quality and brand-name, an aftermarket part can cost less, equal or more than a brand new OEM part.

A good quality aftermarket part manufactured by a company specializing in a particular domain qualifies as a performance enhancing auto part and usually costs more than what a brand new normal OEM part would. Unless you are willing to shell out money on car customization, you don’t need to tread that path.

One truth about aftermarket parts holds good even today; “use it at your own peril.”

Used OEM auto parts for a vehicle are manufactured by the same manufacturer that made the vehicle. The only factor being, these parts are not brand new. They have been used before, probably in another vehicle of the same make and somehow found their way to a scrap-yard or salvage-yard.

In this case, a fact that one should consider before purchasing a used auto part is that used parts from a certain ABC car most probably will fit only ABC cars of the same model and year as per company standards. This is because manufacturers might introduce slight changes or enhancements in auto part designs and specifications every year for any particular model.

Since all OEM auto parts from a particular car manufacturer are of the same quality and tested for optimum performance by the manufacturer, you don’t end up making any compromises on this front. Remember, this is not the case with aftermarket parts.

Used auto parts could be your best option in terms of cost-effectiveness and quality provided you select the correct auto part online and buy it from a recognized seller only. The advantage of buying from established sellers is that you get original quality tested parts at low prices and usually with no shipping charges.

The only worrying factor about used auto parts may be about their history. The part could be salvaged from a car that got destroyed in an accident or perhaps from a car that was scrapped after serving a lifetime. Then there are also some used auto parts available that were used by the original manufacturer for testing purposes.

Whatever be the history of the part, you can get a confirmation from the seller over the phone before buying. Major used auto-part dealers exercise quality control by maintaining a log about the condition and history of a particular auto part so that the customer knows about the exact age and origin of the part he/she is buying.

Moreover, vehicle’s manufacturer warranty does not get nullified if you install a used OEM part in your vehicle.

Used auto parts are the most cost effective out of all the three options since they cost just about one-third the price of brand new OEM auto parts.

Brand New Discounted Auto Parts probably don’t need any description. These are brand new auto parts sold at discount prices. Definitely a great option but these are not available everyday and at every store. In fact, they are available occasionally and at the sole discretion of the dealer. If you are lucky enough, you might find the part you need on discount but as is the case usually, the parts that are sold at a discount are the ones that have the least demand. Hence, if you desperately need a brand new replacement part for your car, you might have to wait till it is available at discount prices.

To conclude, you can choose any of these options depending on your need and suitability but please remember that in the case of repairs and part replacements, you should take a step only after weighing the pros and cons of each available option.

Happy Motoring!

James Rodham

www.QualityAutoParts.com

VW Auto Parts

One of the largest crazes around the world is cars. We are not sure where this obsession comes from but since their invention people have been obsessed with making autos faster, fancier and better than they are. The funny thing is that most individuals think about their autos as machines and leave it at that. This is different from one group of auto lovers. I am speaking specifically about VW auto lovers. I can think of no type of auto that is more obsessed over or fawned over than the VW auto. The Volkswagen has a following that is unmatched by any other brand of auto. This is because many VW lovers treat their cars as people so much in fact that they name their cars. When many VW owners discuss their VW auto they say he or she and describe them as if talking about an old friend. This is not necessarily far off since many of the VW owners around the world have had their VW, or close friend, for in some cases decades. If you had your auto for twenty years you would likely consider it a friend.

A major part of having a car for many years and keeping it running is the ability to find the proper auto parts for it. Locating the right year auto part and the exact type of auto part is only able to be done on a newer car or one that has a serious following. VW’s have such a large following that finding VW auto parts is easier than ever. Gone are the days of going to the local junkyard and hoping they have the VW like yours and that the auto parts you need from that VW are still on the car. These days you can find new VW auto parts and used VW auto parts on the internet. Yes it is true and it is only a click away.

There are a number of auto parts distributors that specialize in one brand of auto parts and if you look for VW auto parts you will find that a great many of the specialty auto parts people do focus on the VW. Why is this?

The answer is simple. There have been so many types of cars over the years and most of them have not stayed in production or for that matter changed very much for the time they were being made. Auto parts stores only have to focus on a few model years and before long thee car is discontinued and the ones that were made die out and are junked never to need auto parts again. This is not so for the VW. The ones that were made thirty years ago are still on the road and going well. The VW lovers I know keep the old ones forever and just keep adding newer ones to the family. As the older ones get worn out for use they are in need of specifically VW auto parts.

The last area that I want to cover is the large amount of custom aftermarket parts for all of the autos on the market. I have been a VW fan for years and have watched the market grow for aftermarket VW auto parts. Granted if you need most auto parts like floor mats or similar you can go the auto parts store and get generic floor mats. They also carry the big names like Ford or Chevy in custom auto parts. The great thing is that in recent years the VW has gotten its due respect and the manufacturers have started to make a swarm of VW auto parts in all custom types. Just look around and you will see that the VW is still growing in popularity and the world of custom auto parts is bending to fit the VW in. Thank you to all of you fellow VW lovers. It is because of you that VW auto parts are easy to find and we can keep our “friends” driving on the road for many years to come.

Used Auto Parts – Affordable, Convenient, Practical and Popular

Owning a car is not just about a one-time purchase. Those who own one would definitely know what I am trying to say. Once the initial period of 3 to 4 years is over, the expenses kick in and this is the time when the manufacturer’s service warranty would also have lapsed. The truth is no matter how well you maintain your vehicle, at some point of time, there would always arise a need for repairs and auto-part replacements. This is because your car is just a machine composed of mechanical and electronic parts and all machines need maintenance and repair over a period of time otherwise they break down.

If you are practical enough in life, you would think that I am stating the obvious. But you might also be wondering what I am trying to arrive at. So here it is.

It does not matter what make, model or year your car belongs to. There can be a malfunctioning, worn out or damaged part prominent enough and you might still be thinking that your car is still new and proud of how well you have maintained it. But when that car breaks down in the middle of the road, it leads to the mother of all embarrassments. That is not all, I haven’t even mentioned the security risks, poor performance and constant relative deterioration of other car parts that can be instigated by a certain part failure.

After that stage, when it comes to repairs for damaged parts, the bills multiply and so do the service charges. This is the worst stage for a motorist. In this case, you have a few options available and it totally depends on you to choose the best one for your car. If you own a brand new car, it is better to seek help from your car manufacturer or dealer where you have purchased it. They can provide new OEM parts that will fit like a charm and make your car feel brand new again. The service might be free of cost but brand new auto parts are definitely not. In fact, brand new car parts are the costliest option available to you. But if your car is relatively old, would it make sense to install a brand new auto part? Definitely not unless money is not a consideration for you.

The competitive automobile market has thrown open another option and that is aftermarket parts. There are a lot of manufacturers that manufacture auto parts either under their own brand name or on behalf of some other car maker. The key is to ascertain whether an aftermarket part seller is recognized or recommended by your car manufacturer. If it is not, you might want to consider the fact that fitting such an aftermarket part in your car will void the car’s manufacturer-warranty. Also, cheap aftermarket parts may seem like a good option but these are not tested and verified to suit all car models. There may be a case that such an auto part can jeopardize the safety of your car and affect other original parts that are connected with it. Such parts may also not confirm to government laws and regulations in your state.

There are also some aftermarket-parts manufacturers who produce performance enhancing auto parts. But that would fall under the category of car customization since it is quite obvious that performance enhancing auto parts are costlier than even brand new OEM parts.

Then we come to the current trend in car maintenance and repairs, the used auto parts. Over the last couple of years, used parts have experienced a tremendous rise in popularity and there are sales figures to prove that. People are increasingly preferring used auto parts when they need replacement parts for their cars. There are a lot of reasons for this surge in demand, let’s understand some of them.

First things first, used auto parts are definitely the most practical cost-effective option. The reasons for that being, when you fit a used auto part in your car, it does not void any manufacturer-warranty since it is an original part made by your car manufacturer. There is no doubt about the compatibility of these parts with your vehicle since these are OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer’s) parts. These are original parts that have been used before in another vehicle of the same year and model. Also, most used auto part sellers clean and test these parts before selling them.

It is a fact that used auto parts usually cost one-third of what the brand new ones do and they also come with a warranty and a quality assurance if you buy from an established seller. That is what makes this concept so popular. There are also some other benefits of buying used auto parts from major auto-parts stores. You not only get genuine OEM used auto parts, but you also get great deals online without even thinking about stepping foot in a junk-yard or a salvage-yard. You can view auto parts online, buy them and have them shipped to your doorstep free of cost at the click of a button. You can also compare deals online to ensure you get the best value for your money. There is also a dedicated customer support available and you can even call the seller to verify your order. Shopping for used auto parts has never been easier. There is a range of used parts available for your car and all you have to do is switch on your computer and search the internet.

If you are searching for a replacement part for your car, I am sure now you know how to get the best deal even without moving a muscle.