Virtues of the Pick-Your-Part
One of the
biggest expenses that comes along for the ride when you own a car
is replacing pieces of the car especially small stuff like
outside mirrors, grilles, headlight assemblies, tail lights (and
tailgates, if you own a truck) and trim bits. No matter what make
or model vehicle youve got, eventually inevitably
somethings going to fall off or break off or get dented or
broken or otherwise need to be replaced.
when what I call Secondary Sticker Shock comes into play.
With late-model cars especially, some of these parts seemingly
(and often actually) just cheap plastic but cheap
plastic youve got to have, such as an outside mirror
are anything but cheap.
if you do the wrong thing and go to the dealership looking
for a new replacement part.
Now, new is
fine if you feel youve got to have new. This may be
an issue if the car is new, or nearly new. But if the car is a few
years old, then considering a part thats also a few years
old could be the way to go because the used part will typically
cost much less than the new part and do the job just as well
as a new part.
a true story:
A few weeks
ago, my wife went out shopping in our Nissan Frontier pick-up. When
she got back to the parked truck, she discovered the drivers
side door mirror was cracked badly. Someone had clipped it in the
lot and left.
Now, I dont
know how much the Nissan dealer would have demanded for a new door
mirror. But Id bet you an oil change and a set of plugs the
bill would have been a lot more than the $20 I paid at the local
pick-your-part for a used and perfectly functional and cosmetically
identical to the broken original replacement.
And I do know
that I saved about $80 on the tailgate pull handle which
the Nissan dealer wanted more than $100 for new but which I got
for $30 at the same pick-your-part place a few months prior.
What is a pick-your-part
place? Its a junkyard where you do the labor. There are hundreds,
even thousands of wrecked cars out back. You tell them what youre
looking for they check their computerized inventory
and if they have a donor vehicle on the lot thats got the
part you need, you agree on a price and then you go pick it. Some
pick-your-parts will also pick the part for you but then
you pay a higher price. Probably, itll still be a lot less
than what the dealer would charge though and so, well worth
doing if you prefer not to get your hands too dirty.
as door mirrors, grilles and so on dont really wear out. Theyre
not moving parts so the only wear issues are (typically)
cosmetic. In the case of my Nissans door mirror, which is
made of black plastic, the replacement used parts plastic
wasnt as shiny as the plastic of a brand-new part. But then,
neither was the also-used part it replaced. In fact, had I bought
a new part, the new part would have stuck out like the proverbial
sore thumb. One side of the truck would have an obviously new mirror
the other, obviously older. With the seasoned
used part installed, you cant tell the difference. Both mirrors
look about the same.
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Atrocities and Road Hogs (2011). Visit his
© 2012 Eric Peters
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