12 Tips to Save You Money When Buying Car Parts and Accessories
Whether you love working on your own vehicle or you do it because you just like to save money by performing repairs and maintenance yourself, there is no reason to over spend on automotive parts and accessories. CarPartsCoupons.com is dedicated to helping do-it-yourself mechanics save money. Coupons for new replacement car parts and accessories are great, but they’re honestly just the tip of the iceberg. Your quest to save money on automotive parts doesn’t begin and end with coupons. Saving money and being frugal is a lifestyle that doesn’t always come easy to guys and gals who turn wrenches on their own cars and trucks. Saving yourself some hard earned cash on car parts does take a bit of work but it probably isn’t as difficult or time consuming as you might think.
Are you wondering how to buy car parts online and save money? That’s just one of the reasons we’ve decided to take the time to put together this post to save you time and money. Without further delay, let’s get into our money saving tips for shopping for auto parts. We’ve used these same techniques to save ourselves hundreds to thousands of dollars on car parts and vehicle repairs over the years.
1. Shop Around:
Shopping for car parts and accessories is just like any other form of shopping. To get the best deal you need to look around and consider your options. Hastily buying from the first place you deal with may be fast, but it is seldom the most affordable route. You’ll be amazed just how much you can save yourself by simply comparing the price of identical or similar parts across multiple stores and online automotive parts retailers.
Have time to wait for parts to be shipped to you? Ordering online can sometimes save you a significant amount of money and score you discount car parts and accessories. If you’re in a hurry there’s good news. Many stores even allow you to buy parts online and pick them up in store. This is the perfect way to take advantage of our car part coupon codes.
Even if you’re not mechanical you can still save money and time on many basic vehicle repairs by shopping for and buying parts yourself. Dealer parts and professional mechanics are expensive. You can often save yourself a significant amount of money by purchasing parts yourself. Even OEM parts that are the same thing you’d purchase at a dealer’s parts department counter can often be purchased for a significant discount via online sources. While most professional mechanics and garages won’t install customer supplied parts, some will. It is definitely worth inquiring about. Your neighborhood mechanic, friend or family member will likely be happy to install parts you’ve supplied.
2. Search for Car Part Coupon Codes and Promo Codes
We seldom make any major purchases without taking at least a few minutes to check for coupon codes or printable coupons online. You would be amazed how much this simple habit can save you over the course of a year. Shopping for car parts and accessories is no different. There are many car part coupons, automotive promo codes and even printable coupons out there just waiting to be used.
We’re shocked how many people just aren’t aware of this or choose not to spend the time. Fortunately we scour the web for you and dig up some of the best automotive coupon codes and discounts for car parts. Many of the major automotive part and accessories offer free shipping promotions and plenty of stores allow you to buy online and pick up in store. It’s the perfect solution for getting your car parts fast and at a fair price.
3. Do Your Homework: Compare The Savings of All Coupons Available.
Do yourself a favor and don’t get lazy when you find your first coupon. Don’t get us wrong, saving something is always better than paying full price for your replacement car parts. Why stop there? Why not see if you can save yourself another few bucks for a few minutes more work? Some might even say it’s your duty or obligation as a consumer to help ensure fair market prices.
Don’t be afraid to do a little math before pulling the trigger on a purchase. Some retailers offer several active coupon codes at once. With that in mind always take a few moments to compare the savings you’ll receive with the different car part coupons available to you. A coupon might sound like a good deal at first glance until you dig deeper into the other coupons available to you. Let’s consider an example purchase scenario when two coupons are available to you. Let’s say our two coupons are as follows: one coupon for “$10 off any purchase $50 or more” and another coupon for “15% off your total purchase.”
If you’re spending just $50, the first coupon is your better choice. The coupon saves you $10 while the 15% off coupon is only going to save you around $7.50. Now suppose you need to purchase a little more than $50. If you’re spending say, $90, the 15% off coupon is going to end up being the better choice in the long run. That coupon would save you $13.50 off your purchase instead of only the $9.00 savings offered by the 10% off coupon.
Another tip is to watch for free shipping. If your purchase requires a part that must be shipped to you a coupon code for free shipping can often save you more than other coupons. Let’s pretend you have your choice of either a coupon for free shipping or a coupon for $10 off your purchase. If you save $10.00 but shipping for your order is $17.99 you’d obviously be better off redeeming the offer for free shipping. You’d be amazed how often these little details are overlooked by customers in a hurry that can’t be bothered to think through the options available to them.
We apologize for the math lessons, but we’re just trying to make the point that you can often save yourself more money if you do some basic calculations. If math wasn’t your best subject in school, no worries! Even the most mathematically challenged shadetree mechanic can figure out which coupon is best for their situation. Most websites will allow you to add all of the parts you’re interested in buying to your virtual online shopping cart and calculate shipping and promotional discounts without actually checking out. If you can’t do the math you can simply type in the different coupon codes and see which code gives you the best price in the end.
I know what you’re thinking but don’t get too excited. There aren’t too many websites that will let you stack, or use multiple, coupon or promotion codes. You’ll need to choose one car part coupon code in nearly all cases.
4. Split Larger Purchases Into Multiple Transactions When Using Coupon Codes.
Let’s say you’re buying over $200 worth of parts for your next repair job and you have a coupon for car part purchases available to you that offers you $40 off a $100 purchase. Don’t just settle for the $40 savings . You could probably easily double your savings in this situation by breaking your purchase up into two $100 transactions. Use the same “$40 off $100” coupon code in each transaction and double your overall savings to $80. Why would you ever walk away from keeping an extra $40 in your pocket? This may seem obvious but I’m amazed how many people overlook this simple money saving tactic. If you do a few regular repairs or maintenance jobs on your vehicle every year, you can see how the savings really starts to add up.
If you’re wondering whether splitting purchases into multiple transactions is OK, this tactic is perfectly legal and ethical. Check promotion or coupon rules and regulations for more details if you’re worried, but most large auto part chain stores have employees dedicated to crunching the numbers on the coupon code game. If they weren’t still making good money doing it, rest assured you wouldn’t have active coupon codes to use! Besides I can guarantee you they still have plenty of consumers that are oblivious to the potential savings available to them and simply pay full price.
5. Ask About Price Matching:
Some car part and accessory stores will match, or even beat, the prices of their competitors on many items. This is a situation where your mileage may vary. Price matching policies vary from website to website and often even from local store to local store within the same major automotive parts retailer. Enforcement of price match policies is often left to store managers. That being said it’s often worth taking a moment to ask if your favorite car part store offers price matching.
Price matching is often limited to matching in print advertisements only, but there are situations where retailers will match their own website or pricing of the websites of their competitors. One good example is AdvanceAutoParts.com. At the time of this post they’ll match the price of identical or nearly identical items on the sites of their major competitors.
We know for a fact they’ll match amazon.com’s price on identical parts. This author recently replaced the oxygen sensor on my own vehicle and amazon.com had the sensor I needed nearly $30 cheaper than Advance Auto or any other local retailer in my area. I was able to use the live chat option on their site to get the price match. In my case I simply provided the details and waited a few minutes for the customer service representative to confirm everything. You cannot checkout online this way but she simply called me at home as soon as we were done and I paid via credit card over the phone. I was even able to pick up my part locally in store within a half hour.
Taking a little time to inquire about price matching can be a huge benefit. Many car part retailers even post their price matching policy on their websites. Take a few moments and save yourself some cash!
6. Search for Affordable Auto Parts on Amazon
Sometimes you’ll run into the situation where local and online automotive part and accessory retailers simply cannot touch a price Amazon is able to sell something at. In that situation it might be worth waiting to receive your parts. If you’ve got the time your order will typically arrive within a week or less depending on the shipping method you choose. If you’ve got the time to wait for shipping, this can be a great way to save money on auto parts.
7. Check Ebay for Car Parts and Accessories Too
Ebay Motors and Ebay are a great way to find anything from normal parts to the obscure. I’ve often found genuine OEM parts at a significant discount. This is also a great way to find both new and used OEM quality parts at a significant savings. Ebay is definitely worth a look when you need to buy replacement parts and accessories at a discount.
8. Don’t Be Afraid to Buy Used Parts
Bright, new and shiny car parts are always nice, but they aren’t always necessary. While I try to stay away from using used parts for critical parts like engine internals or when safety is an issue, there are plenty of scenarios when buying a used part is just fine.
Things such as body parts like fenders, lights, and trim pieces can often be found in great used condition. Interior trim pieces and components are also great candidates for used parts.
The Danger Test
We urge you to use caution and common sense here. Sometimes the risk doesn’t outweigh the savings reward. Personally, I try to stay away from buying used for things like belts, hoses, pumps, engine internals, suspension and brake components. This may not apply if they can be rebuilt, overhauled or I can otherwise guarantee myself they’re good. I often employ what I call the “Danger Test”. It’s not a very original name but that’s not important. When considering buying a used part it has to pass the danger test. I ask myself the following questions:
- Does the new part cost significantly more than it’s used and worn counterpart?
- If this used part breaks, falls off or otherwise fails is there any chance I’ll lose control of the vehicle or have impaired braking or handling abilities?
- When this used part breaks or fails in any way is it likely to damage other components on my vehicle or lead to more expensive or extensive repairs?
If the answer to any of the above three questions is “yes” I steer clear of the used part. Obviously there are exceptions to every rule, but err on the side of caution. Putting the safety of your family, yourself and other drivers on the road isn’t worth saving a few dollars. We always recommend buying high quality new parts for important areas such as engine, steering, suspension and braking components.
All warnings aside, there certainly is a place for used parts in automobile repair. Your local junkyard or “you pull” auto parts wrecking yard can be a wonderful source for affordable car parts.
Buy Used Auto Parts Online
In today’s modern age, don’t be limited by local availability. There are many online sources for auto parts. LKQ is a reputable source for high quality used OEM auto parts. According to their website, they have over 100 locations and are the largest supplier of recycled OEM parts from auto parts in the United States. They offer everything from interior parts to complete used transmissions and engines.
Of course, ebay is always an option for used auto parts online as well.
9. Consider Buying Rebuilt or Rebuilding a Part Yourself
Rebuilt parts are the fun gray area between buying used and new. As with buying any automobile part, you want to do your homework here. Done right, a rebuilt part can be just as good as a new part while costing you a lot less money. Then again, rebuilt can mean headaches if you’re unsure of the quality.
If you have the opportunity, we highly recommend asking some questions and digging a little deeper into what a company or business considers “rebuilt”, “remanufactured” or “overhauled”. What it means to you and the business owner are often two different things.
We’ve seen “rebuilt” amount to nothing but a coat of shiny black spray paint on still worn and used components to components that are professionally rebuilt using all new seals, bearings components etc. It’s certainly worth inquiring about what the rebuild process entails. Do they replace or rebuild everything or only failed pieces and components? Do they offer any sort of guarantee on their rebuilt components? These are all great questions to ask when considering purchasing a rebuilt part or having one rebuilt.
Get Involved and Know What You’re Getting!
Everything from engines, electrical parts,hoses and pumps to suspension and brake components can be rebuilt, renewed and rejuvenated.
An alternative to buying a previously rebuilt part is to remove your own part and have it rebuilt by a professional. We’ve frequently done this with electrical items such as alternators, starters and other electrical components. These items can often be removed, rebuilt and replaced on the vehicle in a single day or two at a price much more affordable than replacing with a new or previously rebuilt part. Most major cities and towns will have a “local” guy that’s been rebuilding alternators, starters and other expensive components for years.
We’ve also had custom or hard to find fluid hoses and lines repaired or remade to save me both time and money. Radiator shops are a great place to inquire for these types of services. If you use a shop with a good reputation they’re very likely to stand behind their work and protect their name in their local community.
Yet another alternative is to rebuild a part yourself if you have the necessary knowledge, willingness to learn and patience. Rebuild kits are available for many automotive parts such as alternators and brake calipers. Learning how to rebuild a part is sometimes just a YouTube search away! Spending the extra time to do it yourself can often save you tons of money.
10. Check for Rebates
Auto part rebates are another great way to put money back in your pocket. Some stores and many manufacturers regularly offer mail-in rebates or gift cards when purchasing their products. These are most common for specific brands of specific parts. For example, consider a rebate offered if you purchased a set of four Monroe shocks.
If you’re purchasing things like brakes, a set of four tires or shocks, spark plugs or oil change supplies checking for rebates online can often save you some cash. Rebates are a little more difficult to come by than coupons but it is still worth looking. Many stores aren’t aware of current active manufacturer rebate promotions and many simply leave it to you to figure it out.
11. Use Gift Cards To Purchase Auto Parts
This one isn’t so obvious but it can be helpful, especially if you’re making a significant purchase. Did you know there are many websites where you can purchase unused gift cards? Better yet, you do so for a discount off of their face value or remaining balance! Every year thousands of people post their unused or unwanted gift cards for sale on the internet at a discount.
The good news is auto part store coupons are typically one of the best deals on these sites. You can expect savings of anywhere from 2% to 10% or more if you’re willing to be patient. This process does involve a bit more work. For example, you’ll have to wait for them to arrive via email or mail before you can use them.
Need some sites to start your search?:
Check out discount gift cards at CardKangaroo.com
12. Combine the Tips Listed Here
Don’t stop with using one of the tips we show you here. Put in some extra work and watch the savings pile up. For example, most major automotive part retail franchises allow you to use gift cards with coupons. Some stores even allow coupon use on sale priced items! You see where we’re going with this right? We routinely purchase items with a coupon code using a discounted gift card that also have a redeemable rebate!
Signed up for a rewards program at your favorite auto parts store? That can mean even better savings! We frequently run into scenarios where we: purchase a product with a coupon, get a discount via a gift card, claim a rebate, and earn auto part store loyalty rewards for the same transaction! Doing your homework and combining or tips for saving money on auto parts can really pay off.
There you have it, 12 tips to save you money when buying automotive parts and accessories. We’ve given you plenty of tips to help you find car part coupons and details on how to maximize your savings with those coupons and promo codes. Saving money with auto part coupons is just the beginning. Try combining the techniques above to save even more.
Once you learn the tricks of the trade you’ll never pay full retail for replacement parts and accessories again. Saving your hard earned cash is simple AND fun.
What do you think of our 12 tips to save you cash when buying car parts? We’ve done our best to list all of our ideas above but we probably missed some. Do you have any tips or suggestions we might have missed? Let us know in the comments section below!