There are people who love buying cars for the very reason that they’re buying a project. Some people aren’t content with a car’s stock configuration. They might also love it when a car breaks down—all the more reason to tinker with what it already has and try to make it better by placing better car parts and taking out stock parts.
However, third party parts aren’t easy to come by at an affordable rate. Here’s how to maximize the deals out of those replacement parts.
Research, research, research. The important part of buying a car part is to do your research. This is not like buying a part for your model kit or a light bulb for the house. Make sure to ask for the same exact car part for the model you own. It spells the difference between buying the right part and buying a part for another car with money you saved for your car.
Politely ask for a lower price. If you can, try to lower the price for the parts. Some of the places where you can do this are at a store that sells OEMs or parts that are junk-yard finds. You can also compare prices between two stores and ask for a price as compared to the other store. It works most times, but if it doesn’t, don’t blow your lid off. Politeness should be your mantra.
Dive in at a junk yard. If you don’t want to buy anything or want to buy them at even lower prices, do the junk yard diving yourself. While it’s a far cry to find what you’re looking for at just one junk yard, chances are they could be even dirt cheap. Just remember to make sure that they’re still in working condition and they fit the car model you’re working on.
Know what you’re asking for.Junk yard parts are there for a reason; they’ve been in cars that have seen better days. Parts that are sitting there will rust under the glare of the sun and the beating of the rain. The best way to make sure you’re getting the best is to compare the conditions of different but similar parts for your car model.
Pick up another model. If you have the extra money, go and buy a whole car from the junk yard. If they have the part you’re looking for, there’s a good chance they have the exact same car—just not at the exact same condition. Take a chance and who knows, you might get a whole ‘mine’ for the parts you’re looking for.
Have fun! Just remember—it’s work, but if you love your cars and your tech, it’s fun work! Enjoy looking for the parts and revel in the feeling of getting them for a discount. Love what you’re learning from the experience and use it in the future, when you need to go find parts again.
There’s no reason to be grumpy looking for a part for your car. If you’re not a fan of fixing your car or finding parts for it, at least enjoy the hunt for a part that may cost about a third or a fourth of what it would usually cost in retail.