For many car owners, their car is often a source of pride and joy. They take car in cleaning it, upgrading it and repairing it. However, whether you use your car primarily to get from A to B, see it as a hobby project, or are working on it with the aim of selling it, at some point in the ownership process you are likely to need to buy replacement parts. Sometimes this will be because a part has broken, but sometimes you will just be looking to improve the standard parts that come with the vehicle.
The rise in car ownership, combined with the number of people who like to upgrade their cars, has led to a surge in the number of available car parts. There are more parts distributors than ever before, meaning you can almost always find the parts you need, whatever you are trying to accomplish. However, for many people this has almost led to too much choice. How do you know what is a good price? How do you know the parts are reliable? How do you know they will get the job done?
To start working through all the options, and get what you need, here are three key considerations for finding reliable car parts, whether you are buying for a Honda or a monster truck.
Identify the part you need and the job you need it to do
The easiest way to start is by identifying the correct part you need. There are lots of different forums online, where the car community shares knowledge and information about car parts. If you are looking to replace a part, check the current part for version information and model details, if you are looking to upgrade, check online for parts which can get the job done. Make a list of requirements and check any part matches up to it, as well as being compatible with your vehicle.
Online or in store purchase
There are lots of online dealers, but most garages and repair shops will also keep a good stock of parts, particularly if you are buying for a well know brand. You might want to consider buying in store if you want to ensure you can easily return the part, or get face to face advice. However, if you know what you need and are sure you are buying from a reliable site, you will often be able to get bigger discounts buying online.
Registered dealer or generic brand
This is a key question, should you buy genuine parts from a registered dealer, or opt for a generic brand which may give you better performance? Generally, if you are just buying to replace a part you should opt for a genuine brand, and the same is true if you want something guaranteed to work with your car. However, if you are confident in your ability to repair a car, don't mind about breaking your warranty and need a custom solution, a generic brand could be a good option.