Car repairs are worth it. The automobile carries the most important cargo – your family, in other words. Even though you might want to save money by having the vehicle replaced, you are better off getting some work done. If you are fixing up your car, you will need replacement parts. Whatever DIY project you are tackling at the moment, something needs to be replaced. If you are lucky, it will be only a few pieces. When it comes down to auto parts, there are countless options in the market.
Because replacement parts are important for all vehicle owners, the industry offers a great many options. You need to get your hands on the components you need, so take the time to shop around. This guide will help you make an informed decision.
Decide between OEM and aftermarket car parts
You can save considerable amounts of money by replacing the auto parts before the recommended schedule. Vehicle parts can be real lifesavers, yet you have to be very careful when shopping. A trim piece that does not work will not help you too much.
Actually, it can put your life in danger. Defective car parts can result in accidents and life-threatening injuries. Decide from the get-go if you want OEM or aftermarket components. Each option has its pros and cons.
- OEM parts: OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer. OEM parts can be found in dealership service departments and independent service workshops. The pieces are made by the car manufacturer to the specifications of a particular make and model. If you are in need of replacement parts, consider OEM auto parts. They are more expensive, but they last the longest possible. Not only are they highly-priced but also the labor cost of a repair is very high.
- Aftermarket parts: As the name suggests, aftermarket car parts are not sourced from the manufacturer. They are manufactured by a third party to meet the specifications of various cars. If they are direct replacement parts, they will not void the automobile`s warranty. While aftermarket cars are similar to OEM parts, there is a considerable difference in terms of quality. What is more, they are not always a perfect fit.
You can head over to the official dealership or buy car parts from an independent store. The choice is yours.
Do your research
You will be able to find more affordable car parts on the Internet. Shopping online is convenient, in addition to the fact that you can purchase components at ridiculous prices. However, it is still necessary to do your homework to ensure you are making the right purchase.
You need to know exactly what you are putting in your vehicle and not end up with an astronomical bill. Look for a retailer that sells everything from brakes to fluids and accessories. Although you can have the items shipped to your doorstep, an in-store pickup is a really useful feature. In recent years, eBay has become an important place to buy replacement parts.
It is easy, you just have to use your cell phone. Make a thorough comparison of the products found on several websites. When you come across what you need, see what the market price is in your area. Pay attention to pricing and shipping costs. The delivery time is equally important.
Use the VIN number to identify the best car parts
The VIN number is highly important for purchasing replacement car parts. The car`s vehicle identification number reveals everything you need to know, including engine size, model year, and trim level. When you have this kind of information at hand, you are able to determine the exact configuration of your automobile and, most importantly, locate the right parts.
If you do not have the VIN number, do not worry because there are other ways you can order. The most prevalent one is by make, model, and year. However, you need very specific details. If you happen to provide the wrong information, you will end up installing the wrong replacement parts, which can have drastic consequences.
To find a proper-fitting part according to your car build, carry out a VIN check. The 17-digit code of letters and numbers can be found on the dash of the automobile by the bottom of the windshield, on the driver`s side. Other common locations include the sticker on the side of the door on the driver`s side, on the engine block, and on insurance cards.
When you have the vehicle identification number, you can get a history report. There are numerous services you can use for a VIN check. Pick one, pop in your ride`s digits and the site will give you the info you need in a matter of seconds. This includes key information such as its manufacturer, the year of production, the plant where it was manufactured, the type of engine, and so much more. Offer the right information and you will surely get the right auto part.
Check for product availability and finalize the transaction
When making purchases for automotive spare parts, it is essential to check availability. If you are shopping online, all you have to do is hit the “Check Availability in Stores”. You will immediately see if the components you are interested in are available in stores. Generally speaking, shops store large quantities of various parts.
However, you do not want to have any surprises. Get information on stock location and number of available units. Carefully examine the availability of the auto parts before finalizing the order. Have peace of mind knowing that you have the necessary parts for your DIY project.
Last but not least, place the order. Online sellers allow you to trace your order. Since shipping can take weeks, you will want to know where the items are at any given time. If you can afford to wait a little bit longer, shipping costs will be lower.
You might want to check customer service capability before clicking “Buy”. Who are you going to call if the order does not arrive on time? If you are certain the car parts seller is reliable, strike a deal.