When searching for auto parts for cars, it helps to have an understanding of the key concepts used in the industry. If you're hunting for auto parts for sale, learning about these four core ideas will help you get more value for your dollar.
Types of Auto Parts
There are two kinds of new auto parts available on the market: OEM and aftermarket. OEM refers to products that have been created by the "Original Equipment Manufacturer," and it mostly covers items that you need to obtain from a dealership or a licensed partner of the company that builds your make of car. Aftermarket parts are manufactured by third-party suppliers, and these represent most of what you'll find when you go to any auto parts store.
OEM items tend to be significantly more reliable due to the fact that they've undergone the manufacturer's quality-control processes. Aftermarket parts, however, can often be excellent, but you need to know more about the sourcing.
A manufacturer will frequently not license its products to the aftermarket until the model of car they go to ceases to be a major repair profit center. This process can take between 10 and 20 years, and it largely depends on how many units of a particular type of vehicle are still on the road.
Used vs. New
Trying to find a part or to get a good price on one can present its challenges, and many people elect to purchase used auto parts to accomplish their goals. New parts are significantly more likely to have warranties, and you can rest assured that if you bought a part from a major name in the business that it'll be honored. Used parts are less likely to come with much of a warranty, but the used market often represents the easiest way to find parts for older vehicles. In some cases, especially for the oldest of vehicles, your options may be between buying used parts or machining them yourself.
If you're a frequent buyer at an auto parts place, you should inquire about getting a discount. Many garages have this option, and stores often extend discounts to backyard mechanics and consumers.
You should always have a detailed understanding of each warranty when buying auto parts for sale. Some products are warranted to survive anything you can throw at them, while others won't be warranted if there are signs of misuse.