In light of today’s economic climate, everyone is looking for a bargain. One of these bargains can be found in an unlikely place, the auto recycler. Auto recyclers specialize in dismantling inoperable vehicles for the purpose of removing all parts that are in good condition and reselling them to the public.
Choosing used auto parts is a value that most are unaware exists. The savings that can be had is tremendous. Some statistics state that new parts are so extraordinarily expensive that to build the average automobile with them would cost well over $50,000. The experience can be compared to dining ala carte at an expensive restaurant. When ordered as a meal, entrée’s, appetizers and desserts are far less expensive than when ordered individually. The same is true for a car and replacements, just a much larger scale.
To put this in perspective and for the sake of argument let us say take a look at the part recently needed for my own vehicle, a 2004 Volkswagen Beetle. A part called the dual mass flywheel had to be replaced on my transmission. The mechanic gave me and estimate of $1500 to complete the repair. When asked for a breakdown of the charges, he explained that because of the need to drop the transmission out and disassemble it then replace the damaged part, and then reassemble and reinsert the transmission, that this would be approximately an eight-hour repair job so the total labor would be approximately $750. The part would cost $750 bought new from the dealership. After I had recovered from the shock of the cost, I asked if he would be opposed to installing a used part rather than a new one. He stated that he would be happy to do so. I did some research and soon I had located the necessary part at a nearby salvage. The cost – $230 including a 30 day warranty. I chose the used part. That was several months and a savings of $520 ago and I have not had any more problems out of my transmission.
Clearly, as my situation demonstrates, there is a significant amount of money to be saved when choosing to utilize salvage parts. While not all used parts cost 75% less than that of a new part, it is obvious that this is an area that needs to be explored before proceeding with a costly repair.
The savings grow substantially when dealing with engines and transmission. The mark up on these at a dealership is incredible and it always pays to investigate the options when one of these needs to be replaced. Depending on the year make and model of the automobile, the savings on engines and transmissions can exceed 100% in some cases.
As most automobiles need to be repaired at some time or another, remember that when given the estimate by your mechanic, it pays to inquire about utilizing used parts. If that particular mechanic is not interested in exploring this route, keep in mind that a second opinion is always an option as well.