Taking good care of our four wheelers requires much more time, effort, and knowledge than most of us would like to admit. Sure, when the time comes to replace some of the worn-out parts, the components currently available at the mechanic’s shop will patch the vehicle up, and your neighbor will be offering some useful advice, but are these good long-term solutions?
Not quite. Every vehicle has its own specific needs, and completing this puzzle requires that you have the right piece at the right time at the right price. Let’s see if we can help you make the right pick.
The different types of available car parts
Making the right pick requires that you have a good grasp of the alternatives currently available on the market. Let’s break them down for you.
Genuine parts are the components produced by the manufacturer and installed into the vehicle during assembly. As you can probably guess, they are the most expensive but also the most reliable option. If you own a brand new vehicle (less than 3 to 4 years), these genuine parts are often the only way to keep the warranty in effect or preserve the integral car systems.
The OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) components are not made by the car manufacturer but they use the same factory lines and manufacturing process. Because of that, they offer pretty much the same quality and, in a lot of cases, make a better purchase due to a somewhat lower price.
Aftermarket parts are the components produced by the licensed third-party companies. They are also the only viable option for the car models that are no longer actively assembled or don’t have a very strong market presence. But, that doesn’t take anything away from their overall quality. For instance, the quality of the aftermarket Toyota parts you can find in stores is pretty comparable to genuine and OEM parts available in other markets.
Consider using refurbished parts
Refurbished, used, and recovered car parts may not be the most popular mechanic’s picks. But, using these options in the case when components are not that important for the performance of the vehicle may save you some money for the upgrades that truly matter. What, then, are these non-essential parts you can use? Well, the things like handles, wiper blades, handles, and trims. Spending too much money on them will undermine your efforts elsewhere.
Check the warranty
Take this even more seriously if your mechanic offers you to install used or refurbished components. Genuine, OEM, and aftermarket parts usually come packed with the manufacturer’s warranty. When dealing with used parts, you have no such commodity. So, if your mechanic offers you to replace some of the integral systems like clutches, batteries, and similar with the used unit, accept the deal only if you get a written guarantee.
Look for referrals and reviews
Seriously, nothing beats the good old recommendations from friends and family. Some products may have glowing reviews (and stacked price), but if some people you know have a bad experience, check the components they are actually pleased with. Of course, professional online reviews are not without their merits, but if you are going to resort to them, be sure to check the customer’s comments for personal experiences and opinions.
Upgrade the performance
This move will slightly inflate the price of the repair, but in some cases (for instance, springs, brakes, and intake), you will also get improved efficiency. As a result, the upgrades will be able to pay themselves off in the long run. Sure, you will have to do a bit of budget, but if you take an honest look at the matter, it’s really a win-win situation.
We hope these few tips will help you nail the perfect replacement part the next time you need to repair your vehicle. Proper car maintenance requires a lot of patience and effort. However, we don’t turn this challenging task into a nightmare. Now, you have some good places to start your search.