You may be ready to order auto parts online to upgrade your vehicle. Perhaps you need to make a repair or to complete routine maintenance. Some drivers purchase auto parts online to save money, and they may request professional installation service. Others have the knowledge, skills and tools necessary to complete the installation work on their own. Regardless of the type of auto parts that you need to purchase today and what type of project they may be used for, these effective tips may help you to make a smart buying decision.
Consider New Versus Used Auto Parts
Before you start searching online for auto parts, determine if you need new parts or if used parts would suffice. Used parts may be refurbished and in great condition, and they may be available at a fraction of the price of new parts. If you have a very old vehicle, buying used parts may be the only option. New auto parts, however, may be under warranty. They may also be required in order to maintain your vehicle’s manufacturer warranty. In some cases, drivers find it worthwhile to pay more money for new parts.
Understand the Difference Between OEM and Aftermarket Parts
While the difference between new and used parts is substantial, it is not the only differentiating factor to pay attention to. Auto parts are classified as aftermarket or OEM parts. OEM means original equipment manufacturer. An OEM part is produced by the manufacturer and is identical to the original equipment that your model was made with. Using these parts essentially restores that area of your vehicle to like-new condition. These parts may be more expensive, but they have known quality and will have a sure-fit when they are installed. Aftermarket parts may be identical to OEM parts in some cases, and they are available at a fraction of the cost usually. However, their condition and quality may be questionable in relation to OEM parts. In addition, installation may be more challenging if they do not fit quite right.
Find the Parts Numbers
After you have decided between new and used parts as well as OEM and aftermarket parts, you are ready to search for parts online. To do so, you will need a parts number. Your auto dealership may help you to determine the parts number for the item that you need if you cannot locate it on your own. There are also helpful websites that offer detailed information specific to your vehicle’s year, make, model and trim.
Comparison Shop for Price
You can purchase auto parts online from many retailers. Many dealerships are also offering auto parts for sale through their website, and these parts may be available for immediate pickup in some cases. Regardless of where you purchase your parts, you understandably want to get the best deal possible on quality parts. Therefore, locate the parts that you need through several different websites so that you can accurately compare prices. Place items in a shopping cart so that you can see the final price with shipping and taxes included to make an accurate comparison. Once you find the best price possible, take the additional step of researching the parts’ quality and condition. Reading online reviews may give you a solid indication about this.
Research the Return Policy and Warranty
One final step to take before finalizing your purchase plans is to review the retailer’s return policy and warranty details. Reputable retailers should have a reasonable return policy, such as if the parts do not fit or you ordered the wrong parts. They also should have a solid warranty policy. While no component will last forever in mechanical equipment like a car, the parts should have a reasonable lifespan with solid reliability. When reading online reviews, pay attention to the company’s reputation for standing behind its warranties.
Buying auto parts online is a convenient way to find quality parts at a great price, but it does require the right strategy and reasonable effort. When you apply these important tips to your efforts, you can feel confident that you are getting a great deal on the auto parts that your car needs.