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What warranty should I get on used auto parts?

Recycled Auto Parts Warranty

By Ben Silver - April 9, 2015

When you're looking for quality used auto parts there are a few key characteristics to look for in the recycler you choose to do business with.  One of the main things to look out for is what warranty they offer on the parts they sell.  This seems obvious, but it's good to get some baselines to go off of before you purchase a part.  

In the old days, a used engine or transmission could carry a 30 day warranty and that was sufficient.  There were fewer options for garages and consumers to purchase from, so competition hadn't created better value offerings (like longer warranties) at this point.  Now days, there's more competition in our industry (as with most) and this has created a need for differentiation and an increase in value offerings.  This is great news for consumers. Not only are you getting more for your money, but you're able to use the standard warranty a company offers to help you differentiate them from the competition.

I believe that most professional recyclers with quality run-tested used auto parts should offer consumers a standard warranty of at least 90 days on the parts they sell.  This is a fairly common offering across the country among top quality salvage yards.  Any Team PRP Yard will offer you this as a standard, and Team PRP is the "Gold Standard" for automotive recyclers in my opinion (more on associations in another blog coming soon).  If a recycler is selling engines or transmissions with only a 30 day warranty, I would look into their reputation with garages and dealerships (most likely one is doing your install, ask them) before you purchase from them.  Also, check if they're BBB Accredited and have an A+ Rating.  Because of "reputation management" companies and the wholesale nature of automotive recycling, these sources are more reliable than internet ratings and reviews.

Will the standard warranty on engine or transmission cover labor if my part is bad? That's a great question inquisitive reader.  All "Standard" Warranties, that I know of, at salvage yards or used automotive parts dealers will NOT cover labor in the event of a defect.  This is something be aware of as well.  This means that if you do have defect, even within the 90 day warranty period, you're on the hook for the installation again.  The recycler will replace the part, but they won’t pay the mechanic to do the job again in most cases.  This happens rarely but is a concern for some consumers.  Fortunately, professional automotive recyclers will offer warranties for labor coverage or insurance at an additional cost.  This cost can be negligible for the peace of mind and insurance on your labor investment.  In many cases, labor warranties will also extend the duration of the warranty.  At Central, we offer 1 Year, 3 Year, and even Lifetime Warranties with Labor Coverage.  Ask the salesperson if this type of coverage is available if he or she has not offered it up front. 
So, use the information provided in this blog when you start probing the internet for used auto parts, and especially if you’re in need of a replacement engine or transmission.  Although our industry has improved dramatically, and unethical salvage yards are gradually being weeded out, these tips can help you separate the good from the bad and the ugly.  

Ben Silver
Owner/CEO, Central Auto Parts
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