Looking to replace auto parts? If you’re currently in the market for new parts, there are several different sources that can return your vehicle back to a reliable workhorse or prestigious ride of luxury.
Depending on your personal tastes, a trip to your local auto dealer with native parts direct from the manufacturer may be the preferred choice. For others, shopping online opens a global marketplace where special parts and modifications are within your grasp. Here is our list of the best places to replace your vehicle’s gears and guts.
Best Auto Parts Resources
Direct From the Manufacturer
The most straightforward way to replace essential parts is to contact your vehicle’s dealership and request them directly from the manufacturer. You are guaranteed to get genuine components, have qualified technicians install the replacements, and have the parts thoroughly tested before your vehicle gets returned. Requesting parts directly from the manufacturer also ensures you’ll find the exact ones you need for any make or model you own, which saves a lot of time when your vehicle desperately needs to run smoothly again.
However, price and time to replace components are common disadvantages associated with this strategy. Genuine parts are more expensive because manufacturers take time to locate and ship them to your local dealership. They’re also higher quality than third-party offerings and specifically made for your vehicle. Depending on how smooth the process is between your dealership and the manufacturer, it make take weeks or even months before the part you need arrives and gets replaced.
Wholesalers and Local Shops
Wholesalers and auto part shops usually stock the components you need even if it’s not the genuine part that originally came with your vehicle. This gives you a choice between different third-party products. You could potentially save money compared to original replacement parts or find a larger selection of aftermarket parts used to boost your vehicle’s performance.
The staff is also typically knowledgeable about vehicle parts and they can help you find the right combination of inexpensive and powerful. Since these places are physical structures, the selection and availability varies with the size of the warehouse. As with most wholesalers, you can find the parts you need but most likely not the parts you want. If they’re not in stock, you would again have to wait for a shipment to arrive or try your luck with other franchise locations.
While these vehicle components are generally cheaper, you may have to pay additional fees to have a technician install the parts unless you’re knowledgeable enough to take on the task.
You will undoubtedly find the largest selection of vehicle parts online along with special deals and truly exotic modifications. Since online shopping has no middleman between the factory and customer, you can generally find better prices than almost anywhere else. There is also the convenience of shopping from your home and having the parts shipped to you with the option of a speedier delivery.
Most online auto stores are cheaper than their brick and mortar counterparts with the added benefit of easily comparing prices across many different competitors. You can even arrange local pickups to avoid shipping charges or see what’s in stock before wasting a trip.
Shipping costs can quickly get expensive if you plan on purchasing multiple parts online. Some online shops mitigate this by offering a flat shipping rate or free shipping if a customer reaches a certain price. Inexperienced vehicle technicians may also have a hard time installing parts if you simply buy online without having a plan afterwards.
Deconstruction Depots (Junkyards)
Buying used auto parts is a risky gamble but you won’t find cheaper prices than in junkyards. The availability of parts is often limited to older makes and models and there will never be a constant resupply of stock, but if you’re lucky enough to find the component you need, you’ll save a lot of money. This is probably a better option if you’re just looking to have your vehicle running normally again while you look for a new one.
Used parts are perfectly fine for the short term, but you’ll probably end up spending more money in the future replacing your replaced parts. Junkyards are both a good and a bad place to begin your auto parts hunt depending on what your end goal is with your vehicle.
What’s a good place to start online?
There are a number of good options online. One company that our visitors and panel have had success with for many years now when it comes to purchasing quality replacement auto parts is called Advance. They seem to have the right combination of selection, price and customer service. The site is relatively easy to use as far as finding what you want and if you need help there’s toll free number. They also run consistent sales which always helps.