Used Vehicle Parts Online

There are millions of cars on US roads, and they’ll all need a repair or upgrade at some point in their life. Going to a shop to get your car repaired is always recommended. But getting the parts sold to you directly by the repair guy isn’t always your best option. They charge a lot more money than dealers because they know you’re desperate. If you want to save yourself a buck, your best option is to search for the parts yourself. And going for used car parts will save you even more cash. Back in the day, sourcing vehicle parts would see you trawling around salvage yards on foot. But thanks to the internet, you can find all your used vehicle parts online.

If You are Worried About Finding Used Parts at a Junkyard…

You might have some reservations about buying car parts online. Particularly from a junkyard. But the days of disorganized yards are gone, and they can be an excellent place to start. Many have their parts available online or in searchable online databases that you can order from. Here are some quality tips to help you find the used vehicle parts online…

1. Identify The Used Vehicle Part

It goes without saying that you need to know what you’re looking for before your search begins. And though this isn’t strictly related to buying used car parts online, it is the most important step of them all. If you know cars, you’ll be able to quickly identify the problem and which part needs replacing. If you aren’t familiar with cars, get a repair shop to look over the vehicle and identify the problem for you.

Some online outlets will require you to put in car details to find the part you’re looking for. So it’s handy to know them beforehand. Along with the car manufacturer, model, year, and engine type, it’ll help to have the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) or Chassis number. All spare parts have a Chassis number that you can compare with your own. That way, you know if it’s right before you commit. 

2. Decide if You Want OEM Or Replacements

Next, you need to decide if you’ll want original manufacturer equipment (OEM) or replacement parts. OEM parts are ones made by your car manufacturer. And replacement parts are made by other companies under the license of the car’s original manufacturer. Replacement parts will be much cheaper, especially if they are used. And they’re still often high quality. 

If you were doing a restoration project though, you would likely want to get OEM parts. For a quick fix on your commuter car replacement parts are suitable.

3. Understand the Difference Between Remanufactured, Reconditioned, And Salvaged

In your search, you’ll encounter all these terms. Especially as your search is for used vehicle parts online.

  • Remanufactured parts are generally ones that are made up of multiple components. And so when one part fails, that’s been replaced rather than the whole thing. They’re pretty much as good as new and are a great option.
  • Reconditioned parts also have multiple components where a failed part has been replaced rather than the whole thing. But this time they’ve been replaced with used parts, rather than new. Because of this, they’re cheaper and harder to estimate how long they’ll last.
  • Salvaged parts are your typical used parts that have been stripped from scrapped cars. They’re the cheapest and an excellent option for older vehicles where their replacement parts aren’t being manufactured anymore.

4. The Search and The Terms You Use

Now you know what you’re looking for, the search can begin. Thanks to online search engines, it won’t be as difficult as you think. And having a better idea of your exact requirements helps thin the results. You may want to consider using the above reference tips into your search terms. For example: “1968 mustang salvage front bumper brackets”

4A. Using a Local Area Online Search for Used Parts

You’ll likely have auto recyclers and junkyards in your local area. And the easiest way to find them is through a quick Google search. You can also use our handy tool to find Junkyards near you. Because of modern technology, most recyclers and junkyards are online and have a computerized search system to find the part you need. So it’s not as much of a headache as it might sound. 

Localizing your search could be using additional search terms such as “near me” or “in Richmond Virginia”. These add on modifiers will help you find used auto parts in your local area.

4B. Using a Nationwide Online Search for Used Parts

Going local is always preferable because you may know the dealer or build up trust with them for future used part searches. But occasionally, your local pool won’t have what you’re looking for. In those instances, do a nationwide search.  To avoid huge shipping costs, you can still focus your attention within an easy-to-travel distance. But nationwide searches open up a lot of doors for you.

To do a nation wide search you can remove the modifiers added during the local search. For finding used vehicle parts online this way, you may also need to consider shipping time and costs.

5. Sealing The Deal on the Used Vehicle Parts

You know what you want, and you’ve found it. Now is the time to seal the deal. And there are a few things you need to know beforehand to help.

5A. Trust Goes Both Ways

They need to trust that you will pay and you trust you are paying for a quality part.

Buying used car parts through dealers or junkyards is always a preferable option. And that’s because you can call them directly once you’ve found the part and ask questions. You’ll find out more about the condition of your part and build a relationship with the retailer. Not only that, but you can understand their operation better and whether they’re a trusted dealer.

If it makes you more comfortable ask for photos of the part to be emailed and any specs or condition reports they have on the part. If you are buying a transmission or motor, it is possible there may be service records you can request.

5B. Pay For The Used Vehicle Part

Once you’ve found your part, get on the phone. It’s easier and safer to pay over the phone. It means you’ve secured what you want in minutes. And you aren’t pipped to the post by another online browser. You may even get some money off if you’re a pro haggler. Or the dealer could throw in some extras like a warranty or easy returns if the part isn’t right.

6. Picking Up The Used Part

Wherever you can, go and pick up the used vehicle part yourself. Particularly for bigger parts, because shipping for those can throw your budget out the window. These places also are not going to hold a paid part forever. Make sure you have a plan that when you buy something you have a means to transport it.

The Bottom Line When Buying Used Vehicle Parts Online

Buying used vehicle parts online is easier than ever, thanks to the internet. And if you follow these tips, you won’t be pulled into false advertising or a bad deal. If you’re unsure about any dealer or establishment, get on the phone and chat with them. Or use Google to look up reviews. 

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James is an avid junkyarder and mechanic. He has visited Junkyards in every US state and has restored over 30 makes and models of vehicles. He has several automotive and recycling related blogs that generate over 150K views a month.