When you take your car into the shop for repairs, the technician may recommend changing some parts on the vehicle. The parts you use on the vehicle are often parts that the shop sources from their vendors, but many shops will use specific auto parts that you request.
The most common source for the repair shop to get the auto parts for your car when they are making repairs is the local auto parts supplier. However, if you prefer OEM (original equipment manufacturer) auto parts for your vehicle, let the technician or the repair shop know.
The cost of the OEM parts may be a little higher, and they may take a little more time to get, but the shop will use them on the car if you request it. This is an excellent way to ensure that it stays original for a vehicle that is all original and rare or has some collector's value. Still, the choice is simply about keeping genuine parts on the vehicle for some people.
Some repair shops will even allow you to go and get the car parts you want them to use, then drop them off at the shop for the technician to install. The shop can give you a list of parts to buy so you get everything needed, and then you can select the quality you want for your vehicle.
Off-The-Shelf Auto Parts
If you let the repair shop or technician select the auto parts they use to make repairs on your vehicle, ask about the quality level of the parts. Auto parts stores often carry parts in several price tiers that reflect the quality of the part.
If the tech tells you they need to replace your starter, you can request that they use the top-tier starter or opt for the middle-of-the-road brand to save some money. Most shops make their money on the labor, so the parts they use do not matter to them as long as they are of good quality and function properly. Most shops will not put on parts that they know are inferior, but they will work with you to ensure the best car parts for your budget range are put on the vehicle.
Used Auto Parts
Showing up at the repair shop with used auto parts and asking them to install them may work, but many shops are hesitant to use salvaged parts because there is no way to know the piece's quality. If the repair shop agrees to install your used auto parts, they will often not warranty the work on the car because they do not want to be responsible for a failed component.
Some shops have the equipment to test starters, alternators, and other parts and can check them before installing them. However, a used part that is good today may not have much life left in it, and the test can determine how long the used car parts will last on your vehicle.
Contact an auto parts store near you to learn more.