Buying auto parts for your car or truck can be challenging if you are unsure what you need or where to find it. Auto parts stores, car dealerships, and aftermarket retailers are all options when you need parts. However, if you are looking for something old or rare, you may need to dig deeper and consider used parts for your car.
When looking for new auto parts for your vehicle, the best place to start is the local auto parts store. If you are doing your own repairs, you can go to most parts stores and select the items you need. However, if there are variations in the parts and you are unsure which one fits your vehicle, the parts associate should be able to help.
The parts listings should be in the computer or a parts catalog with notations that can help determine which part your need. Often a single letter or number in the VIN (vehicle identification number) can be the key to deciphering which part fits your car. A good parts counter associate can sort things out and ensure you get the right part for your vehicle.
One benefit of buying parts through a chain parts store is that they have many locations that can transfer auto parts to your local store quickly. If you are working on replacing a part, and the local store does not have the replacement in stock, they can often have it transferred so you can pick it up the next day. The number of stores also means that if you make a repair and are out of your home area when a part fails, you can get a warranty replacement at any store in the chain.
Some auto parts are only available from a factory dealership's parts department. Dealer-only parts are often things that don't fail often, so parts stores don't stock them, or items that use some proprietary designs that the manufacturer does not allow aftermarket parts manufacturers to use.
The dealership will often stock these parts or can order them and have them available in a few days. However, dealer-only parts are often expensive, so you may want to call around to find the best price before your order the replacement parts.
Dealer-only availability only applies to new parts, so another alternative is to buy used auto parts from a salvage yard when you can't get a new one. The salvage yard operator may sell the used auto parts for a fraction of the new price. However, it is essential to remember that there is no warranty on used parts most of the time.
For more info about auto parts, contact a local company.