Buy Aftermarket Auto Parts Online and Save!

The internet has proven itself over and over again to be a great source for comparative shoppers looking to save money. The newest internet opportunity to saving your valuable dollars is on costly truck and car repairs. Auto repair savings has historically been limited to the Do it Yourselfer or the backyard mechanic – ultimately the savings came in the form of labor. Thankfully, those days are over, as more individuals are utilizing the internet to source and purchase the auto parts they need online and then bringing them to a local garage or backyard mechanic have them installed. The internet provides bumper to bumper coverage of virtually any and all truck and car parts and can offer significant savings over the local auto parts store. I have heard of savings of over 70% on some aftermarket parts. If you take the old standard calculation of car repair costs into consideration (50% parts + 50% labor) the overall savings could be as high as 35%.

Let’s take a typical 4 wheel brake job as an example. The vehicle I used was a 2001 Chevy Cavalier – 2.4 litre engine with front disc brakes and rear drums. I made a few calls to local auto parts stores (I purposely avoided dealerships and OEM parts to generate a better price comparison). I did not include calipers.

I was able to source front semi-metallic brake pads, front rotors, rear brake drums, rear brake shoes and new brake hardware online for $101.40 which included shipping and any and all applicable taxes – delivered to my door! The same brake parts (I specifically did not select any parts they classified as “Premium” level parts) from a local auto parts store came in at $345.47. To be honest I was a little shocked by the fact that I could save over 70% on aftermarket brake parts. I thought a 70% savings would be specific to parts that were normally “dealer” specific.

Couple of other things to take into consideration, I have heard that garages are starting to charge a higher hourly rate if you bring in your own parts, a corking fee if you will. Not unusual as they typically mark up auto parts that they purchase for you by at least 20%. The overall extra cost to you however is minimal as they usually receive a garage discount from the auto part store.

Another important consideration is to make sure you purchase the right auto parts online – determining with 100% accuracy which auto part fits your vehicle can be very difficult. Most online stores offer toll free numbers and friendly knowledgeable staff that will cross reference your vehicle to ensure you get the right parts. You don’t want to end up with parts you can’t use and have to potentially ship back at your expense (some online stores also charge a re-stocking fee). Another option is to contact a dealer to confirm the part numbers you need before you go online to purchase. Dealerships can use your VIN # and provide another level of accuracy when it comes to identifying the right part for the right vehicle.

Bottom-line, there are significant savings available online for auto parts. The days when the only way to save money on auto repairs was to do it yourself or hire the local backyard mechanic are gone.

How to Buy a Junkyard Transmission

Whenever you are faced with a potential, unexpected car repair it can be a stressful task. There are certain mechanical failures that may make you panic – mainly the engine and transmission. It is common knowledge that repairs on either of these components are very costly and you may not have the money to take the car to the shop. The good news is you need not panic as there is another option that can sometimes cut your costs in half.

If you need transmission repair there are a few options to consider:

• Take the vehicle to an auto repair shop and pay for parts and labor

• Buy your new parts from the auto store and do the repairs yourself

• Buy used auto parts and have an auto repair shop do labor

• Buy used auto parts and do the repair yourself

The first option of using a repair shop will always be the most costly option. You will pay more for parts as well as labor. Your second option will save you some money by only requiring out of pocket funds for new parts. However, be advised that new auto parts are often marked up quite a bit. Your third and fourth options are the best choices if you are looking to lower your budget significantly. Let’s discuss them in more detail.

Buying used auto parts makes some people feel uneasy. This should not be a problem if you go to a trusted and experienced junkyard. There, you can often find almost-new parts and components that have significant years and miles left on them. If you need a used transmission, an auto salvage yard should be your first stop, regardless of whether you want to do the actual repairs yourself or have the transmission installed professionally. Before you go to the junkyard you should follow these steps:

• Make sure you know what you are looking for. Consult your car’s manual to determine the exact type of transmission that your car has and the specifications you need.

• Determine what actual parts you need. If you have an automatic transmission, look for other components that are needed such as a torque converter. If you have a manual transmission, you may need a new clutch in addition to the exact transmission. You can always call the car manufacturer to get full details on what you need so that you have all proper parts assembled before your repair.

• Carefully examine all parts. When you visit the junkyard, look at all of the components of the transmission. Cycle through all gears of the transmission and make sure that you do not hear any suspect noises, especially grinding. It should be fairly easy to get through all gears. If you have difficulty doing so, you should probably move on to the next potential prospect. Look for clean oil between the gears. You should also examine the input and output shafts to make sure the input shaft is not too loose and the output rotates easily.

If you follow these easy steps, purchasing a junkyard transmission and other used auto parts will greatly cut your costs and allow you to make your transmission repairs much more affordable – whether you do it yourself or just get used parts and take them to your repair shop.