When you are looking for a part for your car, truck, or SUV, it is important that you get the right part and if there is an alternate part for the vehicle, know what it is, why it is listed separately, and the difference between name brand and less expensive parts. The process is not as difficult as they dealer would make you think, but let's look at it together and show you what you need to know.
Buying New Parts
The first thing to consider is where to buy the parts you need for your car. If you are buying new parts, the dealer is the best place to get them is through your local dealership. The dealer will be able to give you the right parts for your car without question. The computer system used to inventory the parts at the dealership allows them to look up parts for any car made nut their manufacturer and will give the information about the part, related parts and whether that part is still available or not. If you don't know the name of a part, the pictures on the parts catalog can help you identify the parts for the parts counterman.
There is nothing that says you can't just go buy the parts then do the work yourself but if you don't have the tools and knowledge to do the work, you might be better of taking the car in to have it worked on. The parts do not need to go with the car, in fact, many garages will use the parts if you already bought them. Let the service crew do the research and source the parts if you don't have the parts on hand and keep in mind, they will very not likely give you a discount on the cost of the parts or services, but you can ask when you pick up the car,
Used Auto Parts
When you are looking for parts and want to stay on a budget, you might want to consider buying used parts from a salvage yard or auto parts recycler. The parts will often carry a 30 to a 90-day warranty, but the cost savings can be significant, so it is worth considering, especially for expensive parts like an engine assembly or a transmission. In some cases, you will go and removed the parts from old cars yourself, and in others, they will pull them and let you know when they are ready to pick up. In either situation, the lower price can get you back sooner.