When you wrench on your own ride, you work hard to source all the right parts to keep it running in top shape. However, with all the different auto parts stores, online shops, junkyards, and even new car dealerships offering the perfect part, how do you know you are getting the right deal for the right part? Let’s check out some quick tips to help you find the correct replacement part for your automobile.

Pay the Price at the Dealer

Yes, you will find the perfect match for your brakes, radiator, shocks, and sensors at your local dealership, but you will pay a premium for the convenience. You can source the same branded part from other outlets and save 10% or more over the dealer price. Dealers add a considerable markup to all of their inventory. It is easy and convenient for you and the dealer is charging you for that service.

The Year, Make, Model, and Trim Level Matter

If you think that an air filter for the Chevy Camaro will obviously be the same filter found on the Corvette, think again. Every part of your car is designed for that specific ride. Engines, air conditioning systems, lighting, exhaust, suspension…it all can change whether you are driving the base model or the sport trim with leather and luxury included. On older cars that have lost their badging and original paperwork, you can look up the VIN to find the correct year, make, and model to properly match the parts.

OEM or Aftermarket?

Do you need an original equipment manufacturer’s (OEM) part to make the perfect repair? Not always. The OEM parts were made for the factory to install during the build of the car. Aftermarket parts continue to be made for years after the factory stops production and are designed to fit your ride, but may not be made to the same standard as OEM parts. On the other hand, if the original part was recalled, an aftermarket part may surpass the original. For the best replacement part, look for an aftermarket part that meets or exceeds OEM specs. Those who advertise discounted or bargain parts without the OEM declaration may end up disappointing you with their performance.

Used Parts are Simply Not New

Many parts on your car wear out with use and will almost always require a new replacement part such as brakes, suspension, filters, and belts. Other parts truly stand up to plenty of abuse without showing significant signs of fatigue. When you are struggling to find the right replacement part for a vintage ride, consider checking out a junkyard. If they have the same year make and model on-site, it can be an affordable option for body panels, seats, dashboards, and other trim pieces.

Read the Reviews

If you are searching for the right replacement part for your automobile, take the time to read the latest reviews on the different parts on Auto Parts U. We take the time to put them to the test and provide the vital information you need to make the best selection for your ride.