Are Used Parts Good for Car Repair?

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If you own a used car and take it into an independent repair shop, at some point you’re going to be faced with the question of whether or not refurbished parts should be used on for your repairs.  In fact, some independent repair shops automatically assume a car owner is willing to accept used parts in order to keep repair costs down, unless the customer states otherwise.  However, are used parts just too big a risk to justify the saving?

Part of the perspective on answering the above starts with the condition of the car in the first place. Most cars taken to an independent repair shop have already been on the road for quite a while, typically at least five years, which is when most warranty coverage expires, and taking it to the brand dealer becomes too expensive.  This means the existing car parts have seen a lot of road time, exposure to the road, some corrosion, and ‘wear and tear’.  As a result, the typical out of warranty car and its parts are in a comparable condition to the used spare parts being to utilized in a repair. In addition, the older a car gets while being maintained by an independent repair shop, the more likely that the used part, being used in the repair, is in newer condition than the car itself.  This means that after roughly seven years, the car owner is definitely seeing a big return for the savings on the used parts used.

However, if a car is fairly new, it should not be getting repairs with older parts.  First, a warranty should be used as much as possible in every circumstance.  A car owner has already paid for the protection in the price of the new car, so it’s a waste of money to not insist on the related coverage.  Second, a car needing repairs after just being bought is a clear sign there may very well be a design or assembly problem from the factory.  In that situation, the dealer and manufacturer need to be held accountable for the repair, since the car bought needs to be up to standard, based on what is acceptable for a car sold as ‘new’.

Quality independent repair shops will generally back up their work with limited warranties, on the parts they source and the service they provide.  Not everyone will offer this protection, but good shops who want long-term customer relationships make such offers a regular practice.  When good parts are combined with quality work, customers should feel confident with the work provided from a quality repair service, and not worry about part performance.

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