Why Used Can Be Great
If you buy a used car part, you’re bound to get a lower quality than you would if you bought them new, right? Not at all. Car parts devalue at about the same rate as cars (read: quickly), which means that an engine or transmission with just a couple thousand miles on it is bound to be much more affordable than its brand-new counterpart, even if the differences between them are virtually impossible to spot. The key to finding reliable used car parts is knowing the qualities to look for in order to make sure you’re choosing the best option available within your budget.
What to Look for in Used Parts
Generally speaking, the rule of thumb when it comes to searching for car parts is to look for the highest possible quality within the most reasonable price you can afford. What does “highest quality” mean, though, in the world of car parts? It means little to no wear and tear, low mileage, and as close to like-new performance as possible.
Are parts with all of the above just unicorns that you’ll be hard-pressed to find? Not at all. What they are, however, is Grade A. Grade A is the highest rating a used car part can receive. In order to qualify as a Grade A piece, a part must have less than a credit card size’s worth of total damage. It must also have less than 60,000 total miles on it, or less than an average of 15,000 miles a year. These qualities help to ensure that a car part can perform for a large amount of time at a high level, protecting your investment and making sure you get the best value possible.
Choose a Dealer Who’s There to Help
Your parts are only as good as your dealer, and finding a reliable dealer is a sure-fire way to make sure your used car parts perform as well as you need them to. First and foremost, if a dealer does not cover their parts under a warranty of at least one year, consider it a major red flag. It’s crucial that a dealer is able to stand behind the quality of their parts and protect your investment by covering the piece under a full warranty. Generally speaking, one year is the industry standard for a solid dealer.
It’s also a good idea to work with a dealer who practices price transparency. They should be willing to give you a free quote on their car parts so that you can make sure you’re getting the best deal possible for a quality piece. Of course, it’s important to work with a dealer who sells exclusively Grade A parts. This will help you make sure any part you look at has been vetted for quality and exceeded a high standard for both structural integrity and performance. By working with a dealer you can trust, you’ll make sure all your bases are covered before you even dive into your search.