Motor vehicles contain hundreds of moving parts that receive normal wear and tear every time you drive the car. Weather also has an impact on auto parts because most cars are exposed to all of the extremes of heat, cold, and moisture of the outside world. Between the normal wear and tear and the impact of the weather, car and auto parts will break down after time and need to be replaced. If you like to save a little money by replacing your car's parts yourself, there are several ways to find the car and auto parts you need.
Brand new replacement parts can be very simple to find if your car is less than five years old. Most dealers have access to a full complement of parts that they can have shipped directly from the factory. Since dealerships also offer auto repair, you may find that the part you need is already on-site in the repair shop and they will sell it to you right away. The only problem with replacing parts on new cars is that many of the most recent models have parts that have to be changed using specific tools. It can be less expensive and time consuming to have the work done in the auto dealer's shop if your car is a very new model.
Used and Refurbished Parts
Finding parts for cars that are more than five years old is not difficult, but it is not quite as easy as finding newer parts. You may get lucky and find that the dealer still stocks the part you need, especially if it is a fundamental engine part that is similar in most cars. If the part you need is not readily available at the dealership, you may be able to find a suitable used or refurbished part at a local auto mechanic or salvage yard. There are also car and auto parts for sale online through auction sites or specialty sites dedicated to your type of car.
What to Expect From Your Local Retailer
Local auto repair retail stores will have many of the regular maintenance parts that commonly need to be replaced. You will be able to buy things like belts, hoses, and even smaller engine components like fuel pumps. Not every retailer has access to the same variety of parts. If you need something specific, speak with a clerk to find out if it is something the retail store can acquire for you. Usually the store will be able to give you an idea of where to find the part if they can't order it for you.
How to Find Parts for Older Cars
Older car parts can be trickier to track down. If your car is over ten years old, your first stop for replacement parts may need to be a salvage yard. Look through your local phone book for salvage yards in your area. Most of them focus on specific types of car parts, like foreign or domestic. Calling around will save you quite a bit of time before you begin to visit salvage yards.