3 Factors To Check When Buying Used Auto Parts


There are plenty of ways to get your hands on used parts for your car, from nationwide scrapyard search engines to local pick-n-pulls to online auction sites. These methods each have pros and cons, but certain buying strategies are universal between them. Understanding these strategies can help you get the best deal on the best parts for your car.

Whether you're looking at a listing online or talking to an employee at your local scrapyard's counter, here are three factors you'll want to consider when purchasing any used part to install in your car.

1. The Donor Car's Mileage

Is age just a number? Maybe, but it's a number that matters when dealing with parts for your vehicle. Manufacturers typically don't change their vehicles too much between generations, so your donor car pool will probably include a wide range of model years. Of course, this fact also means that you can expect a range of mileage.

Most used parts sellers will keep some basic information about each donor car, including its age and mileage. At a minimum, it's a good idea to ask about mileage. If in doubt, paying a little more for components with lower mileage is usually worthwhile but not always. Parts that don't often fail or aren't subject to wear are fine to buy from higher mileage donor cars and might even save some cash.

2. The Part Number

Checking the actual part number of any used component you buy is one of the most critical things you can do. While parts are often compatible across a range of model years (and even models), this interoperability can be deceiving. In some cases, manufacturers may make subtle changes even within a single generation, resulting in altered part fitment or compatibility.

Manufacturers typically stamp part numbers directly on their components, so this information should be available on any used part you purchase. Checking this number and confirming its compatibility with your specific model, year, and trim will help save you time and money and ensure that you don't discover a fitment problem after you already have your engine bay half disassembled.

3. The Warranty

Used parts sellers will often offer limited warranties or guarantees, which can be useful. While it's rare for a used part to carry a long-term warranty, it's not uncommon for warranties to last long enough to help save you from dud parts or problems the seller couldn't reliably test. Always ask about the warranty or return policy before you make your purchase.

However, warranties are not a replacement for careful inspection. In many cases, inspecting a part (or even testing components such as sensors or other electrical components) is the best way to ensure that there won't be any problems. If you're buying your used part in person, a little due diligence can help you find a great replacement part for your car at an excellent price.

Contact a supplier to learn more about used auto parts


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