2 Questions to Ask Before Visiting a Second-Hand Auto Parts Shop

by Ernest Perez

If you don't feel like you know a lot about cars, but you want cheap parts to fix your broken-down vehicle, you may have to visit a second hand auto parts shop, also known as a spare parts shop. These outfits are for people with a tight budget who can't afford new parts, but need to repair their vehicles right away. But before you visit one of these shops, here are two important questions to ask.

Will You Allow Me or a Mechanic to Remove the Needed Parts? 

A very important questions, as some second hand auto shops have yards in the back, from which they procure the parts they sell. In those instances, you may receive a discount if you remove the parts you need yourself, because there's no labour cost involved on the part of the shop.

The most common type of part that these shops allow you to remove on your own are spare tyres, as these are not difficult to remove, even for someone with just a passing knowledge of how a car operates. Asking this question can save you even more money on the parts you need.

What Protection Do You Offer on Used Parts? 

Some spare parts are 'as is,' which means sellers provide their products without offering any guarantee of longevity. This doesn't mean that the parts don't work, of course, every part these dealers sell is in working order, but it does mean that if you install a used part and it breaks down within a few days, the 'as is' dealer won't offer you any kind of discount, refund or recourse.

To avoid that kind of situation, ask about the full terms of the sale. Does the shop offer a warranty on big-ticket parts such as engines? Is there a three-day refund period in which you can return something you buy for a full refund, or is there any kind of exchange policy? Don't just assume that a spare part dealer won't guarantee their goods, as many of them do in fact have buyer protections in place.

Remember that second-hand parts are only as good as the manner in which they were used by the previous owner, so if you're not a car expert, take a mechanic or someone who knows cars well with you when you visit the shop. They can spot blemishes or worrisome defects that could affect the performance of the part you are buying. For more tips and suggestions, talk to local experts such as Carbusters Auto Wreckers.