How to Buy Used Auto Parts

by Michael Arcand

Buying used auto parts can provide the do-it-yourself home mechanic with a cheaper alternative to new or refurbished parts. There are many different sources for buying used auto parts, which can have a lot of life in them depending on the mileage on the vehicle they came from.


Write down the year, make, model and VIN from the vehicle. The VIN is located on the dashboard near the firewall on the drivers side and is best viewed from outside the windshield.


Identify the part or parts that you want to buy from a used parts dealer. If a vehicle is very old it would be better to replace with new parts. Non-electronic and non-mechanical parts that don't degrade with normal wear and tear are excellent candidates for items to be purchased used.


Locate your nearest junkyard. Some used parts lots will allow you to go and pull the part off of a vehicle in their yard for an additional discount. Others may require a core charge, or a deposit, until you return the defective part, which they will later rebuild.


Search the local newspapers and advertising circulars for people who sell auto parts and buy used junk vehicles. These people will have used auto parts for sale. Some individuals may list older vehicles that they are selling for parts.


Search online sites such as Craigslist or the websites of used car part vendors. Just as with local newspapers, many of these sites will have salvage yards and used parts dealers listing on their sites. Another site not to be overlooked is eBay Motors.


  • check Take the defective part off of your vehicle with you. It not only helps with identifying the correct part, but could save you a core charge and another trip.

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About the Author

Based in Texas, Michael Arcand has been a full-time writer since 2007. His articles have appeared in numerous online publications, including and Tecca. Arcand completed his CompTIA A+ certification in 2005.

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