By Ben Silver - July 19, 2017
Finding the used auto part that you need with the right warranty can be challenging. There are a number of factors and variables that affect the availability of the part you’re looking for and how long and how inclusive the warranty may be. The focus of this blog will be on what warranty you should expect from a used auto parts dealer or salvage yard. I would say that this article is based off of my extensive experience dealing with auto salvage yards in the Denver area, but this information could probably be applied nation wide.
One of the key factors with what type of warranty you should expect on a used auto part, is which type of auto part you are purchasing. We’ll break this down by category and go over the nuts and bolts of each auto part group.
This group includes most of the auto parts that have moving components and mechanical function that are not electric. These parts would include the engine, transmission, front or rear axle assembly, transfer case, differential, etc.
The warranty you get or purchase on these parts requires the most consideration, as they are the most likely to have some sort of failure. They have moving parts and wear parts that can eventually cause trouble or need replacement, which might be why you’re in the market in the first place. I believe you should accept nothing short of a 90 Day Warranty on these parts. This is the industry standard and will give that part enough road time on your vehicle to know that everything is in proper operation. Some automotive recyclers will offer extended warranties for up to 1-3 years. This can certainly be considered if you’d like to insure a major purchase like and engine or transmission for a longer period of time. Some factors may be how long you hope to driver the vehicle, how many miles are on the vehicle and the replacement part, etc. Many recyclers will also offer a Labor Warranty. A labor warranty on a used part can be a great value, should there be an issue with the replacement part. Given the high cost of labor to replace an engine, transmission, or other major component, it may make sense to purchase a labor warranty with your product. Labor warranties are basically an insurance plan that covers or helps to cover the cost of labor in event of a defect. This type of coverage is not standard in the used auto parts business, but may be offered by certain recyclers.
This group of parts would include the radio, starter, alternator, window switches, and other electric automotive parts. Some recyclers refuse to warranty these products because of the finicky nature of auto electric and a fear that the part will just be used for diagnostic purposes. I personally don’t think consumers should stand for this. In used auto parts, there is always the possibility that there is an issue with the part. This risk should be mitigated by the used parts dealer in the way of a warranty. Some recyclers will offer a 30 Day Warranty on everything, including electrical components, which is fine because you still have the opportunity to install and test the product. Personally, I think a Standard 90 Day Warranty on electrical auto parts makes the most sense and covers the consumer appropriately. This is certainly something to be aware of if you have a Hybrid vehicle and are doing major electrical repair, replacing the hybrid battery or the inverter/converter. These parts can be very pricey and a solid warranty should be part of the purchase.
Body and Suspension Parts
These are the rugged warriors of the vehicle. Generally speaking, these products are only damaged in a collision, although some suspension parts can have components that will wear out over time. The warranty isn’t quite as pressing with these products, as they are not as likely to fail after a number of months or miles put on the vehicle. At Central Auto Parts, we still put a 90 Day Standard Warranty on these products to allow our customers some time and flexibility should there be an issue with one of these parts types.
As you can see, we feel like a Standard 90 Day Warranty on the part is sufficient to cover most used auto parts. But, consumers should consider making the investment in an extended warranty or labor warranty when purchasing a more expensive product. Each scenario is a little different and all the variables need to weighed to be fitted with the appropriate warranty for your vehicle and case. Our friendly and professional sales team can help you figure that out when the time comes. Until then, drive safe and enjoy the rest of the summer.