- Posted by Sanderson Lincoln
- On June 14, 2016
You want high quality auto parts, but you don’t want to pay more than market value. How do you find them? At Sanderson Lincoln, we benefit from years of experience in the automotive industry. Here are our best tips for when and where to get quality auto parts.
Do your research
We recommend two different sites for research purposes. Car-Part.com offers more auto parts than any other website in the world. eBay is your second option. No matter what you’re looking for on Car-Part, select the “distance” field and enter your location. Then search to see what the market price is in your area. Do it again on eBay, but search by sorting “Pricing + Shipping lowest.” This will give you the lowest price that doesn’t just include the part, but includes shipping too.
You should also take a close look at the estimated delivery time. In some cases, parts will be coming from overseas and could take longer than a month to be delivered. This might be okay if you’re just planning ahead for car maintenance in Phoenix, but if you have major repairs, it may be worth it to spend more and get it sooner.
Buy from a junkyard
If you have a local junkyard, then you’re in for a treat. Generally speaking, there are two styles: full-service, where you let the tech know what you want and they pull it for you, and you-pick, in which you bring your own tools and wrestle the parts from the junked vehicles yourself. As you’d imagine, it costs more to have someone pick the part for you, but for some owners it’s worth it.
If you’re planning to pick your own parts, the most important thing is to be sure to bring the tools you need. Some junkyards actually charge you to use their tools and this added expense can be a deal-breaker for some. We recommend you bring:
- A pry bar
- Ratchet set
- Tin snips
- Safety goggles
- Combination and Allen wrenches
When to buy auto parts
Of course, if you’re in need of an emergency repair, then you’ll need to buy your auto parts right away, but if you’re wise you’ll consider the following rules of thumb when buying regular maintenance products.
- Buy oil between Labor Day and Thanksgiving. This is the time of year that large retail stores will push their unsold inventory as they make room for cold-weather parts.
- Buy a two-year supply of filters, belts, and wiper blades every two years. This ensures you can shop around for the best price and not be stuck having to buy from whoever’s handy when an emergency arises.
- Buy coolant whenever you’d like. This is a very inexpensive item that you’ll only need every five years or so.
- Buy tires during the “tire holidays” – Thanksgiving, Presidents’ Day, and Memorial Day. Try to combine coupons from the manufacturer with coupons from the retailer. We advise getting tires before they’re totally worn out to avoid a dangerous situation. Be sure to keep one of your old tires so you can use it a spare.
These are the best tips we have to help our customers find the auto parts they need when and where they need them. At Sanderson Lincoln, we also offer full service auto repair, should your job prove to difficult to do it yourself.