A Quick Guide to Choosing Replacement Car Parts
Cars are an essential part of our lives for most of us, providing us with a way to get from A to B efficiently, quickly, and easily, whether it’s for work purposes or for leisure.
Unfortunately though, this reliance on cars and the thousands of miles they rack up over the course of their lifetimes can result in a bit of wear and tear, meaning you’ll eventually have to undertake some repair work at some point.
And, when this time comes around, it can be difficult to know where to start when looking for replacement car parts, especially if you’re not familiar with the world of motoring to begin with.
With that in mind, we’ve put together a quick guide to choosing replacement car parts.
Understand the different types of parts
Firstly, you’ll need to get to grips with all of the motoring jargon surrounding car parts when shopping for your new component.
Green Flag has written this handy guide to give you all the information you need, but we’ve detailed it in a nutshell below.
Genuine, OE car parts are those that have been produced by the original car manufacturer and specifically designed for your make and model and are essentially the parts your car came with at the start.
Aftermarket parts are those that have been produced by an external third party who have bought the right to manufacture the components from the original manufacturer, but the parts will often be designed to fit a number of different vehicles and makes.
Choose the right one for you
Once you fully understand the different types of parts available as a replacement, it’s important to decide which type is best for the job you require, as each type has its own pros and cons.
Aftermarket parts can be a good choice for those who are looking to keep the costs down as they are much cheaper than buying genuine car parts. Similarly, as these parts are manufactured a while after the originals, some aftermarket parts have been reverse engineered to fix any faults in the original components.
However, by and large, it’s always best to go for genuine parts. We spoke to genuine parts dealers VW Motor Parts, who said: “Aftermarket parts have a huge spectrum when it comes to quality and it’s very hit and miss whether the part you purchase will be up to the job.
“They’re often made from poor quality materials and are prone to need replacing more often, meaning the original saving you make can actually be offset by lots of costs down the line.
“On the other hand, genuine parts are always high quality, more reliable and more value for money in the long-term.”
Do your research
Once you’ve decided whether to go genuine or aftermarket, the next step is actually finding the right part for your car.
Although this may sound fairly easy, cars that have been in manufacture for a number of years will have lots of variants of any one component, while those that are out of manufacture may not have as much choice on offer nowadays.
In order to find the right part, use the registration number of the vehicle and try to find a part number on the original part, which will allow you to locate the right one.
However, be careful to double check as many aftermarket sellers won’t accept returns if you get the wrong part.
Get a warranty
Finally, it’s important to make sure that any part you purchase will be covered by a warranty, which is why it’s recommended to source the part through a dealership rather than doing it yourself.
Most mainstream dealers will offer a warranty on car parts, which is often not available on an aftermarket part.
Similarly, aftermarket parts could void your existing warranty in some cases and you can check out this post by Edmunds for more information.