If your car needs major repairs, the cost of new car parts can quickly add up – but the good news is buying second hand parts is a smart, cost-effective way to get your car back on the road.
Just because you’re buying a part that’s been refurbished doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with it. People have been swapping out worn parts with second-hand ones since the first Model T rolled off Ford's production line. And, with consumer emphasis switching to recycling, it makes sense to reuse correctly working parts where possible.
With the number of cars in Australia outgrowing the human population (in 2016, passenger cars increased by 43 per cent while human population grew only 27 per cent), plenty of parts in perfect working order are being recycled on a daily basis.
That means there's a vast industry dedicated to recycling and reconditioning car parts of every make and model imaginable, so they're as good as new – and you can take advantage of the savings next time your car needs an overhaul.
Why choose second-hand?
You’ll save a fortune on simple parts, lights and trim when compared to buying them new from the dealer. But you’ll also save time – ordering a new part can be a lengthy process, especially if it has to come from overseas. Used spare parts mean you can get your car back on the road a lot faster.
There are the eco-savings to be considered, too. Even when a car is deemed unroadworthy, selected parts might be in tiptop shape. It doesn't make sense that they're just thrown into landfill when they still have a long life of useful service ahead of them. In addition to saving you time and money, you'll also be protecting the earth's resources by helping to cut down on mining and manufacturing processes.
And reconditioned parts still come with a limited warranty, which gives you added peace of mind.
What’s the difference between used, second-hand, reconditioned and refurbished?
Used and second-hand car parts are salvaged from a used car with low mileage, generally bought from insurance companies and car dealers. They’re likely to be in near to original condition – especially if you source them from a reputable dealer or yard.
Reconditioned auto parts have had work done on them to recreate the original condition – that is, it's likely been cleaned, serviced, upgraded and tested in high tech, purpose-built recycling facility. They usually come with rigorous quality assurance and safety checks already done. You’ll be hard pressed to tell the difference from an original part, and it's a more expensive option that used parts, but your costs will still be around 50% less than if you buy new.
How do you find second-hand parts?
Whether you’re after a reconditioned engine, diff centres or gearbox, a great mechanic will be able to find it for you quickly and easily. They can also assess whether the part is in good working order and is the best value for your car’s needs.
You can also ring around local car salvage yards and wreckers or check their online catalogue (if they have one) to see what’s on offer near you. Many up for grabs come from models with few kilometres on the clock, so chances are you’ll be able to replace your worn out part with something relatively new.
Once you find a likely match, you’ll often need to register your interest and wait for a confirmation email with details and prices (this is where working with your trusted mechanic prevents unnecessary legwork on your part).
If you’ve got questions about whether you should buy used, refurbished or new parts, we can help. Call us today on X.