What types of spare parts to buy?

As with the purchase of a vehicle, you have the possibility to buy new or used spare parts. The second-hand market is booming, which requires garages to offer second-hand spare parts (verified and controlled by independent bodies) for the repair of your vehicle. Is this really interesting and safe? What are the different types of parts you can buy to repair your car?

Whether you plan to maintain your vehicle yourself or have it serviced by a professional, you have the choice of buying 4 different types of parts:

– New original parts

– New adaptable parts

– refurbished parts

– used parts

When you buy parts on the internet (see my article “Why buy car parts on the internet?”) you focus mainly on price but there are other technical criteria that are also important to consider, not all parts are equal.

New original parts

These are the parts sold by the manufacturer that you can only buy through a dealer. Packaging and parts are stamped with the brand and manufacturer reference. The warranty is generally two years.

Namely, new original parts are not always strictly identical to the parts installed as original equipment on the vehicle from the factory because the latter may have undergone technical evolutions and modifications.

Adaptable new parts

These are new parts that are scrupulously identical to the manufacturer’s parts (original new parts) but which are marketed by automotive equipment manufacturers such as Valéo, Bosch… Adaptable new parts are cheaper than original new parts. However, some operating elements such as the engine and gearbox are not available as adaptable.

Refurbished parts

As part of a standard exchange, you can purchase reconditioned parts from certain professionals authorized to do so. These are second-hand parts that are recovered from used vehicles and refurbished by cleaning, technical inspection…etc. Refurbished parts are returnable parts. This means that you must return the defective part to the seller in exchange for a discount or refund. Typical returnable products are turbochargers, alternators… etc. Professionals have a legal obligation to clearly stipulate that they are reconditioned and not new products, be vigilant especially on the internet.

Second-hand parts

As the name suggests, these parts have already been used on previous vehicles.

On the classified ad sites, you can find many used parts. Unlike reconditioned parts, second-hand parts purchased between private individuals do not provide any guarantee and you cannot always clearly identify the wear and tear of the part.

It is strongly discouraged to buy second-hand safety devices on your car as stipulated in the decree. As far as tires are concerned, opinions differ; I invite you to (re)read my article on the subject: Is it interesting to buy used tires?

Finally, how do I know if the new or used parts match my vehicle?

There’s nothing more frustrating than being left with the car dismantled on a bridge and the wrong part in your hands, isn’t there? To avoid this type of disappointment as much as possible, you must have your vehicle’s registration document and provide all the necessary information on the website or give it to the mechanic.

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