Know Exactly Which Part is Needed
Once you find out there is an issue with the vehicle, it is necessary to either inspect the problem or have a mechanic determine what is needed to repair the car. Auto components usually need to be make and model specific. When shopping used, make sure to have all the information that is needed. If it is possible, bring the old piece when shopping, so there is no confusion as to what the vehicle will require.
Know What the New Purchase Price Would Be
Before shopping, take a few minutes and research the price of those new components if they are purchased new. This way, it will be easier to know whether or not the used is provided at a good deal. Make sure to have a printed copy of the price on hand when looking, just in case it may be necessary to negotiate a better price with the dealer.
Make Sure Returns Are Possible
One of the first questions that needs to be asked before paying for a used component is whether or not it can be returned it if it breaks or quits performing. Many auto salvage centers or a trusted car dealer will offer a 30-day money back or exchange policy. If the retailer does not offer any type of warranty, consider trying other sources that do have a return policy.
Maybe New is Better
Some parts are often better if purchased new. Vital components, like alternators, brake rotors, and others that have a tendency to wear out over time are overall more economical if purchased new. It can be risky buying some items used since it typically cannot be known how long they were used in the previous vehicle before they were sold to someone else. The vehicle may stop working after three months, which means a new component will have to be purchased, so it may have been less expensive to break down and buy it new in the first place. Auto parts that are typically considered safe to purchase used include fuel pumps, brake drums, air conditioner compressors, and CV joints.
Purchasing used auto parts from a salvage center or car dealer can be a big money saver, but they can also cost more if you careful research is not done ahead of time. Make sure to shop around different salvage yards, swap meets, a used car dealer, or classified ads to get the best deal. Most of all don't be afraid to ask a lot of questions before handing over the cash.