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The Reliability of Refurbished Car Parts: A Guide to Cost-Effective Repairs

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Car parts can often cost more than the labor for repairs, but you might have options for restoring your vehicle’s safety and normal operation. Refurbished car parts are commonly offered by repair shops, automotive parts stores, and individual mechanics to keep costs low. While using refurbished parts isn’t quite the same as purchasing them brand-new, they do tend to work well for most vehicle repair purposes. Learning more about what makes a part earn the distinction of being refurbished can help you decide if this type works well for your car repair needs. The professionals from Altra Insurance Services, a leading provider of auto and homeowners insurance San Diego residents trust for high-quality service and peace of mind, offer the following advice about using refurbished car parts.

Know the Difference between Refurbished & Used

In the car repair industry, you’ll often hear the terms “refurbished” and “remanufactured” used interchangeably. In many cases, there isn’t much of a difference. However, refurbishing parts tends to address only the components that need repair or replacement, whereas remanufacturing tends to cover the entire part. 

Used parts might not have had any changes made to them at all. As a result, picking out parts from a salvage yard means you may not fully know their condition.

Expect Refurbished Parts to Come with a Guarantee or Warranty

While you might not know what you’re getting with a part you pull from the junkyard, a company that refurbishes parts will typically offer some form of guarantee for their work. Typically, the warranty on a refurbished part won’t be for as long as one you’d receive for a brand-new part. But you might still find the warranties for refurbished parts are good enough to give you confidence in their ability to stand up to your driving needs.

Understand Why a Refurbished Part Might Perform Better than New

Figuring out which type of car part to buy also involves understanding your vehicle’s needs. If you have a classic car or a model that’s no longer being manufactured, the parts could be harder to find. In this instance, a new part might not be made by the original manufacturer. These knock-off new parts sometimes have lower performance ratings due to being made with lower-quality materials. 

Because of this difference, a refurbished car part may be more expensive, since it was made by the original manufacturer. Simply replacing the nonworking components of the part might allow you to still retain the longevity you’d expect from an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) part.

Use Caution when Choosing Safety-Related Parts

When you work with a mechanic, determine where he or she sources used and remanufactured car parts. This is especially important when it comes to parts associated with safety. For instance, it’s best to choose new seat belts to install in a vehicle rather than pulling ones from a junkyard, where you can’t be sure of their history. Making sure to always choose refurbished parts that come from a known remanufacturing source is the best way to know you won’t be left stranded or at risk for an accident.

Using lesser-quality parts on your car can increase your risk of getting into an accident, so for your protection and the safety of other drivers, make sure you use reliable components. Another form of crucial protection is that provided by dependable car insurance. Chula Vista drivers can rely on the high-quality service from Altra Insurance Services. If you need affordable, dependable insurance, give us a call today.

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