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3 reasons you shouldn’t bring your own part to the mechanic

two techs discussing inspection
Want to bring your own part to the mechanic? In a world of being able to purchase most anything on the internet, it may seem like a life hack to buy your own auto parts off sites like to save money at the mechanic. We don’t blame you for wanting the best deal, but there are good reasons why most shops advise against this practice. Here are three reasons you shouldn’t, and what to do instead:
(5 minute read)

1. Quality Control

We’ve all purchased something off the internet and been frustrated when the item we receive is a cheap, low-quality version of the item we actually wanted. When it comes to auto parts, often is the case that you “get what you pay for.” When you do your own part-sourcing, it’s very hard to ensure the quality and safety of the part. For household items that may be a risk worth taking. When it comes to parts that keep you safe on the road, we think it’s better safe than sorry.

“Buying your own aftermarket parts can lead to fit and quality issues and the shop you bring it to will not always warranty any work that is done on parts that are provided for them vs parts they choose. It can be a liability for the shop to use parts from suppliers they are not familiar with.” (Brian Healy, Director of Operations at CarCare To Go)

The fact of the matter is that aftermarket parts aren’t built specifically for your car. So, while it may be cheaper in the short term, it often won’t be a perfect fit and/or may not last as long as an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) part.

2. Finding the Right Part

Here’s a scenario: your Check Engine Light comes on. You’re an experienced car owner so you have a code reader. You read the code, and it tells you something is up with the catalytic converter. So far, so good. You order a new catalytic converter on a site for $350 – what seems like a great deal. Then, you bring your car to the mechanic and ask them to install the new part and explain the code you got on your code reader.

Well, once the technician gets under the hood and does a diagnostic, it becomes clear that the problem is more complex or different than you initially thought and you actually need a different part than the one you purchased. You see where we’re going with this? Sometimes ordering parts is simple, but more often than not mechanic’s have great relationships with parts suppliers both OEM and after market.

3. The Importance of a Warranty

Here at CarCare, our warranty is a point of pride for us. All CarCare services come with a 12,000 mile/12 month warranty on all work we do. If you bring your own parts, we can’t provide a warranty on the parts because we can’t attest to the quality or where the part came from. For full protection of the investments you make in your vehicle and maintenance, it’s wise to ensure you get full warranty on all work you have completed.

We understand clients are looking for (and deserve!) the best deal possible. It’s why we are dedicated to fair, transparent, and competitive pricing on our services. Here are a couple things you can do instead of bring your own part to ensure you get a great deal:

  1. Ask your advisor to use the most affordable aftermarket parts. Let the team know up front that cost is a concern for you. When they source a part for your repair, they can choose the lowest price option. (In some cases, this may mean the part doesn’t last as long as a trade-off, but that’s where communication early and often about your priorities is so important!)
  2. Complete easy maintenance on your own! We provide add-on services like windshield wiper replacement as a convenience to our clients, but some maintenance like wiper replacement can be done by you if you want to save a few dollars.
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