Purchasing Car Parts
Identifying the Right Car Parts
1. No matter how handy you may be, or how much you think you know about cars, don’t make a diagnosis without checking with a qualified mechanic first. If you have problems later, you may void your warranty or ability to exchange the purchased car parts once installed.
2. Rather than rely only on the seller to recommend the right parts, call your local dealer and get the part numbers you require. Some dealers may not give this information out over the telephone. In these cases, call another dealer.
3. Contact the online seller and confirm the part numbers. Do this even if they have the car parts listed for your application (without the part numbers).
4. If you receive parts that look incorrect, do not install them. If you do, you may not be able to exchange them. Contact the seller immediately.
5. Be aware that some car parts have multiple part numbers.
6. Be aware that some parts may have superseded part numbers or may have been revised and look different to the original car parts or photos provided online. In these circumstances, the part is OK.
7. If buying from a seller in another country, it is essential that you use part numbers to identify the required car parts. Overseas applications may vary even if the cars appear to be the same.
8. Unless the buyer is very reputable, make sure you only buy parts which have photos of the actual part on the advertisement. That way you know what to expect when you receive them.
9. Although not always effective, checking the photos may help differentiate them from other car parts that may also be applicable to your application.
Quality of Car Parts
1. There are various levels of quality when buying online.
2. Ask the seller about brands of the parts you are interested in.
3. Please be aware that the vehicles manufacturer does not always manufacture the car parts you are replacing. For example, many cars have Bosch fuel injectors installed in the vehicle by the manufacturer. In these cases, Bosch fuel injectors are the genuine replacement. If you buy your fuel injectors from Ford, they may come in Ford packaging even though they are Bosch injectors. If you buy online and receive them in packaging such as Bosch, that does not mean they are not genuine.
4. Ask the seller whether there is a warranty and for how long the warranty applies to your car parts. Also ask whether there are any conditions on the warranty. One such condition may be that they be installed by a licensed mechanic.
5. While there is a preference to replace used auto parts your car parts with genuine parts, many aftermarket brands are built to OE quality standards and will suit your application just fine.
6. In the EFI market, you can always rely on brands such as Bosch, Delphi, Hitachi, Denso,Walker, VDO, Valeo, Standard, General Electric, Walbro, Pierburg, Bremi, Bougicord etc.
7. Cheaper car parts manufactured in countries such as China are the ones where greater care needs to be taken. While some of these car parts are built well, others are not. Ask your seller about the reliability of these as well as the warranty.
8. Remember you get what you pay for. There are many online sellers listing car parts that appear to be a bargain, however it is important to note that these may not last very long, or worse still, they may put you and your family in danger.
9. Be aware of fake or counterfeit car parts and report someone trying to sell these. A Bosch 044 fuel pump for example may be listed as “Bosch 044 ‘style’ fuel pump” or “Bosch 044 ‘replacement’ fuel pump”. This may be misleading as the fuel pump is not a genuine Bosch and ‘Bosch’ should not feature in the title. Others simply advertise fake parts as genuine items and sell these with fake packaging. Buy from a reputable seller and purchase using PayPal (see below) so that you’re covered.