Hey guys, Nick & Chad here from The Last Coat.
Like most things nowadays, when it comes to buying car replacement parts, you’ve got LOADS of options to choose from. Here are 4 ways to getting a good deal on quality replacement parts:
- OEM, aftermarket, or remanufactured - which one should you get?
In theory, OEM parts (original equipment manufacturer) should deliver the best quality, in terms of long-term performance.
That being said, usually… you do get what you pay for. Which is why OEM parts are also typically the most expensive parts.
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Fortunately, you can also buy aftermarket parts. Aftermarket parts are, in theory, parts manufactured to similar or identical specifications to OEM parts. Only they’re manufactured by independent companies, like ZF, Bosch & AISIN.
Aftermarket parts are generally cheaper than OEM parts - but quality varies.
Lastly, you can also sometimes buy remanufactured parts. These are typically OEM parts that had problems… but were then fixed by qualified technicians. These are generally the cheapest parts, if you can find them available.
Do remanufactured parts last as long as OEM or aftermarket parts…?
Sometimes yes, and sometimes no. There’s no way of knowing this up-front. The truth is, some of this is a bit of a crapshoot. Which is why...
- Deciding where to buy...
Again, you have loads of choices here. You can go to a dealership… an automobile parts store… an OEM manufacturers store… or you can go to any number of places online, to buy this same part.
You should also do some research on the quality of the part you’re buying, as well. In person, you can ask the folks who work in the auto parts store, or check with a mechanic you might know… and online, you can google “Part Manufacturer + Exact Part Name + Reviews,” as in “Bosh iridium spark plugs reviews”
- Pay attention to costs...
This is quite easy to do online - just check out the same part or the same manufacturers part number across a variety of vendors. Offline, you can do this in person, but picking up the phone and calling around makes this same job much faster.
Generally, prices online are cheaper, but there are always exceptions to the rule, especially as the price of the part increases
- Talk with your mechanic, or find a reliable mechanic to speak to...
If you can find a good mechanic to advise you on your purchase, what he or she has to say can often be very helpful. Mechanics are out there in the field on a daily basis. They know things like how one specific part from a specific manufacturer might be a great value, except in certain cars where for some reason, it’s just not able to perform as well.
Even if you have to pay a few bucks for the advice, it is probably going to be money well spent. Especially if your prior efforts at finding this information out, haven’t been as productive as you’d like.
Keep these tips in mind when you need a new replacement part, and let me know if you know of any other steps that are helpful here!
Nick & Chad - Team TLC
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