You take your car to a dealership company for repairs, and you will most likely get new parts to replace the faulty parts. On the other hand, if you take your car to an independent mechanical workshop, the probability that you will be a offered a second-hand part is very high.
Dealership service companies and mechanical workshops are both capable of repairing vehicles. However, mechanical workshops with experience look at things differently, quite often problem-solving rather than reading procedures directly out of a handbook (which is what most dealership service centres do!).
Nevertheless, they do have their respective specialisations and do their jobs based on their individual SOPs, and we respect that. In this article, we will show you the pros and cons of both car parts options.
What Are Second-hand Parts?
These are automobile parts that are not sourced directly from vehicle manufacturers. Often, they are harvested from accident vehicles that still have functioning parts. These parts are suitable for a specific type of vehicle and are quite often of better quality than new aftermarket parts.
In Australia, about 80% of independent mechanical shops make use of second-hand parts in repairing cars brought to them. The reason could be that they trust second-hand parts supplied by reputable sources rather than new aftermarket parts from unknown manufacturers.
You will agree that car maintenance is a big deal, and anything that will cut down the price and still give about the same quality is a plus. Second-hand parts are significantly cheaper than new car parts, and this is the primary reason why panel shops prefer it. Although the quality might vary, an experienced and trusted mechanic always knows how to find the best suppliers.
Most of the time, second-hand parts are genuine or OEM and are typically more durable than new aftermarket parts. Manufacturers of aftermarket parts build their products to be competitive price-wise, striking a balance between performance and price. It means that to reduce the market price of their product, they also need to lower performance and quality.
Available in Great Variety
There are thousands of wreckers and scrap yards selling second-hand parts, with some even specialising in specific types of car or brands. These specialists tend to have more knowledge about their particular niche than anyone else in the spare parts game.
To get a new part, sometimes the wait is four or five weeks out of Germany, Japan or even Malaysia. With modern technology, most second-hand auto part dealers can order parts from each other and have them sent to different parts of the country overnight.
You will most likely get what you paid for. This case applies to second-hand parts a lot. It takes skill to identify and evaluate second-hand car parts. If you don't know your way around car parts, you should allow your mechanic to source them on your behalf.
Information about second-hand parts can flood you from so many different wreckers, and if you're new to it, the experience can be quite overwhelming. Don't always go for the cheapest offer if you have no means of assessing the item physically. Instead, go with the supplier you feel would offer the most help if the deal went bad.
Rarely Covered by Warranty
Unlike new parts, second-hand suppliers may not offer warranties. Go for those who do.
What Are New Auto Parts?
New auto parts can either be new OEM, genuine, or aftermarket car components to be used for the first time.
For new aftermarket parts, these advantages do not apply. You may read more about aftermarket auto parts from our other blog article.
Easier to Choose
This is true for new OEM and genuine parts. Your range of choices is limited to your car's brand and OEM. You don't have to bother about which kind or brand to choose, so also is the price. There's no haggling like what typically happens in used auto part markets because the price tag comes from a price list.
Assured Quality and Compatibility
New parts work precisely the way the old one that you replaced worked. You don't have to bother about incompatibility issues because it would be the perfect match.
Covered by a Warranty
Original part automobile manufacturers supply their products with at least a year's warranty. This could be voided if the manufacturer deems that the part was fitted incorrectly, or the wrong lubricants were used.
The price of new parts is about 60% more than those of second-hand parts. It, in turn, increases the financial costs for both the car owners and mechanics.
Limited Number of Sellers
The limited number of places to buy from is a major limiting factor. Although there are online platforms to buy from, it takes more time and resources.
With the comparison we have shared with you, it should be easier for you to make decisions now. Also, keep the lines with your mechanic open. He would know as he had probably been there and done that a million times over. When in doubt, ask a professional!