When you dine out at a restaurant, you might come across a sign saying something along the lines of 'no outside food allowed.' In the restaurant business, customers and workers alike understand and respect this rule without question. But do mechanics have a similar rule about car parts? Are you allowed to bring your auto parts to a mechanic? While there is no formal rule that forbids you from doing it, some mechanics might not be so keen on customers bringing their own parts.
In some ways, it's a good idea. But it could also pose some risks, or cause a total waste of money at the very least. In this article, we're going to look at the wisdom of bringing your auto parts to a mechanic. What you'll see is that buying car parts yourself could save you money and increase your confidence in the parts you're putting into your car. Yet, it could also present some issues with warranty and liability or waste your money if you bring in the wrong parts.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these pros and cons.
Pros of Bringing Own Auto Parts to a Mechanic
Here are the benefits of driving to a workshop with your own spare parts in hand.
Save Money on Car Parts
A good mechanic will always have access to the parts that your car needs. They'll have it in stock right at the workshop, or they'll know parts suppliers who can send it over as soon as possible. Unfortunately, you don't know what the parts supplier charges your mechanic. Once that part reaches the workshop, you'll also be clueless about how much of a mark-up they'll charge you for those parts. For all you know, you might be paying a hefty premium on pieces that you can get much cheaper elsewhere.
Let's suppose you were to search online for the car parts that you’d need. If you were to do your own parts shopping, you might be able to get the exact same part elsewhere at a much lower price.
So, if you were to drive to your workshop with the parts already in hand, you'll only pay for labour charges and save some cash as a result!
Money isn’t the only thing that you could save. Depending on the make and model of your car, you could end up saving priceless time as well.
Let's suppose you're driving a foreign car, like a Japanese import or a European luxury vehicle. Your mechanic can't use generic auto spares to fix up your vehicle, so they'll have to rely on specialised parts suppliers. As a result, you might have to leave your car at the workshop for days to wait for imported parts to arrive!
But if you’re savvy enough to know what parts you need and where to get them, you could come to the workshop prepared ahead of time. With the parts in-hand, your mechanic can get started on the repairs immediately so that you can get back on the road as soon as possible!
Confidence on the Quality of the Parts
Most mechanics are honest and transparent. The good ones will take the time to explain what they’ll do to your car. When all is said and done, they’ll often show you the old part that they took out, and demonstrate to you exactly why they needed to replace it.
Still, there are bad apples out there who might replace those parts with inferior spare parts. Depending on your level of knowledge about your car, you might not be able to notice what they’ve done.
By doing your own spare parts shopping and bringing the parts in yourself, you’ll have full knowledge of the work your mechanic will do for you. Once it’s all done, you’ll drive around with full confidence in the repairs, since you were the one who bought the car parts yourself!
Cons of Bringing Own Auto Parts to a Mechanic
Bringing your car parts might not always be a good idea. Here's why.
Mechanics will usually offer you some warranty on the work that they do on your vehicle and the car parts that they use. Sometimes, that warranty is just a 'gentleman's agreement' offered to you verbally. With larger and more formal workshops, they may have it in writing as well.
However, they might not offer you the same warranty if you bring in your car parts. To put it simply, they won’t be responsible for that car part if it fails after the installation.
Depending on the car part in question, your mechanic might not want to use it at all. Taking the previous point a step further, your mechanic doesn’t want to put in a car part that might fail and put your safety at risk. The mechanic’s worst-case scenario is being legally liable for a car part that ends up causing an accident, injury, or even death.
To avoid that scenario, what workshops do is insist on using car parts that they source from their suppliers.
Lastly, there is a clear risk that you might end up buying the wrong parts. Being a car owner is a lot like being a parent. You might have full confidence that you know what the problem is and have the best solution for it. Unfortunately, this isn’t always true. The simple reality is that you might be wrong.
You may end up buying the wrong car part that isn’t even compatible with your vehicle. Or, you might buy a part that you don’t even need to replace at all!
So, it would be wise for you to let your mechanic diagnose the problem and make their recommendations. You should use their extensive knowledge and experience to your advantage.
Of course, all of this will depend on the level of knowledge you have about your car. If you’re confident enough to get the right parts, and if your mechanic will allow it, then, by all means, do your own shopping.
In consultation with your mechanic, decide on the exact parts needed. With the correct parts specs, you can then head over to Carpart.com.au to check out what car parts are currently on sale or submit a request through the site’s Parts Finder and receive offers from suppliers all over Australia. In no time, you’ll be bringing the correct auto parts to your mechanic minus all the hassles!
By Ray Hasbollah