If you're looking for second-hand car parts, then auto wreckers can be a good source. These companies remove any usable parts from the vehicles they dispose of. They then sell them on to mechanics and consumers.
This can be a cost-effective way of getting parts. It may also hook you up with a hard-to-source piece on an older car. However, before you buy parts from a wrecker, you should ask the following questions.
1. Where Do the Parts Come From?
People send cars to wrecking yards for a variety of reasons. Some are written off after an accident if they are too badly damaged to repair; others end up in a situation where a repair wouldn't be cost-effective so the insurance company writes them off. Sometimes, cars simply get too old to be viable drives any longer.
Ideally, the parts you buy from an auto wrecker are from cars that are on the relatively new or still-useful scale. Older parts from ancient vehicles may have too much natural wear and tear to last all that long.
So, ask the company where their cars come from. Some will accept any car and strip it for useful parts; others focus on buying more recent models from insurance auctions.
Once you know the provenance of a part, you can decide if it is a viable purchase or not. If the auto wrecker runs checks on their parts, so much the better.
2. Do You Get a Warranty?
Some auto wrecking yards make basic checks on their parts but sell them on an 'as-is' basis. A good wrecker will check the parts out and give you some kind of warranty on them.
At the very least, with a short warranty, this gives you the chance to fit the part and check that it works OK. In some cases, you get a longer warranty automatically or get the chance to extend the warranty you get.
3. Do They Specialise in Your Brand?
Some auto wreckers work with any type of car; others specialise in certain brands. It can help to use a specialist here. Specialist wreckers often have more parts in stock for their brands than generalist companies. They also understand the brand and its models so can be a useful source of advice and tips.
So, if you are looking for second-hand parts, talk to a company like a Subaru wrecker in your area.