Unexpected car repairs can make you feel overwhelmed and unprepared. You’re often at the mercy of whatever’s convenient. But it doesn’t have to be that way. As with any other large expense, you should shop around before committing to a particular mechanic or their suggested repairs for your car or truck. Sometimes you can even cut down on the cost if you can find the part(s) yourself. From junkyards to auto parts stores and online shopping, here’s how to save when shopping for new and used car parts.
Find a Mechanic You Trust
The best way to save is to find a mechanic you trust, one that you’ve built a relationship with. They’re less likely to take advantage of you—and more likely to help you bring down the cost as much as they can.
When you need repairs, start by understanding the quote, from the cost of labor to any parts that need to be ordered. If possible, see if ordering the part yourself will make the repair more affordable.
Find a Junkyard Near You
Trying finding local junkyards or salvage yards where you can buy used parts. Car owners often “junk” their vehicles with plenty of working parts—maybe they just replaced the brake pads, for instance, right before the motor completely gave out.
A junkyard is a great option for finding affordable replacement parts, but you should proceed with caution. While you may be able to negotiate on the price, you have to know what you’re doing and understand what you’re buying.
The Best Websites to Buy Car Parts
Browsing for car parts online is a great way to compare prices quickly, educate yourself on the parts you need, and read customer reviews.
Online Auto Parts Stores
Brands such as Advance Auto Parts, Pep Boys, and O’Reilly’s are a good starting point for comparing prices. These sites can also show you whether your part is available for pickup at a local store, saving you the time (and sometimes the cost) of shipping. Some smaller parts and accessories will be just as affordable here as they would be anywhere else.
LKQCorp.com and PullaPart.com
These sites—and others—rely on their network of local scrap yards to provide the used parts you’re looking for. You can browse their selection online, find a location near you, and pick up the part. Their customer service can be an added benefit as well!
Thought Ebay was just for auctioning old baseball cards? Think again! You can find new & used automotive parts on Ebay motors, which may save you some money, depending on the deals you find.
Tires are expensive, but tirebuyer.com makes buying new tires easy and affordable. Just browse their selection (including tires & wheels for trailers and lawn equipment) and place your order. They’ll ship your tires to one of their affiliate mechanics to install them for you!
Sure, you can also save money by installing a replacement part yourself, but there are many jobs that will require a professional. Here’s why you should never replace your own windshield.