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A guide to second hand used car parts

  Tuesday, 9 January 2018

It’s a fact of life that road vehicles go wrong.  As much as manufacturers try to design and manufacture highly reliable cars, the wear and tear from their consistent use means they can be susceptible to faults.  Worse still, accidents on the road are often unavoidable.  Sometimes you and your vehicle may be involved in a prang where another driver is at fault.

Depending on the value of your vehicle, if it develops faults or is involved in an accident, it might not be cost-effective to purchase brand-new replacement car parts to keep your vehicle roadworthy.  That’s where second-hand car parts come in: an economical choice that’s often kinder to the environment too, allowing used parts to fully pay off the energy debt created in their manufacture.

If this is the first time you’re considering purchasing and fitting second-hand used car parts to your road vehicle, make sure you read on to understand fully the UK’s used car industry and how to get the best deal.

Ways of identifying the second-hand car part you require

From the moment you have ascertained the fault of your vehicle, the next step to purchasing a replacement used car part is finding the right part for the make and model of your car.  Even a single range of vehicles from a manufacturer will have a range of versions brought to market over time, with parts differing through the years and as technologies develop.

It’s therefore important to use the following methods to pinpoint the right second-hand part for your specific vehicle:

  • Locate your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
    Your first port of call should be to locate your car’s VIN, which can be found in your manufacturer’s data tables.  You’ll be able to use your vehicle’s VIN to locate matching parts for your model.

  • Look for a part code
    In some instances you may be lucky enough to find the relevant part code on the part you need to replace.  It may be obscured or covered by dirt and grease which accumulates over time, so do your best to check the part thoroughly.

  • Visual identification for experienced buyers
    For those who know what they are looking for, it may be possible to recognise a second-hand car part simply by looking at it.  Alternatively, your local breakers yard may also be able to identify a like-for-like replacement.

Where to buy used car parts

Once you have identified the replacement part your vehicle needs, the next step is to physically locate somewhere that can sell it to you.  Scrap yards are always a good starting point, as they accept end-of-life vehicles for scrapping that have some car parts which can be broken down for use on a like-for-like vehicle.

If you are located in the Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire area, we recommend that you visit our comprehensive range of used car parts at ASM Auto Recycling.  Our breakers yard houses more than 250,000 vehicle parts suitable for Maserati’s to Mazda’s.

Used car part warranties and guarantees

Most sellers of second-hand car parts will offer a minimum of one-month guarantee on any replacement part.  Nevertheless, the bigger and more expensive the part, the longer you should demand for a warranty or guarantee for assurance.

At ASM Auto Recycling we offer a 90-day guarantee on all used car parts that we sell, giving you three months of genuine peace-of-mind at the wheel.  We believe this is very important in terms of quality control and ensuring more vehicles can stay on the road for longer.

The car parts you shouldn’t buy second-hand

On the other hand, there are some car parts that you shouldn’t consider buying second-hand.  These are parts which will decline in efficiency and performance quicker the older they get.  It’s therefore important to always purchase the following parts brand-new:

  • Exhaust systems
    As exhausts get older, the chances of them developing fissures, cracks and even holes are significantly greater.  Second-hand exhaust systems will not last long!

  • Wiper blades
    Used wiper blades from end-of-life vehicles are never a good choice.  They’re already crammed with grime and dirt and it’s difficult to ever get them truly clean again.

  • Oil filters
    In any vehicle, oil filters have limited shelf-lives.  Oil is a necessity for your engine but, if you use a second-hand filter, the chance of your oil becoming dirty and damaging other components is much higher.

  • Brake plates
    Brake plates will always wear out over time.  So, if you purchase second-hand brake plates you will have to accept these will have a very limited lifespan.  That’s because the friction applied by the callipers to the brake plates is so great.

Purchasing second-hand used car parts can absolutely save you money on your motoring in the long run and it is friendlier to the wider environment; giving existing parts a new lease of life, resulting in one less brand-new part required off the production line.

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