The Do’s and Don’ts of Shopping Online for Auto Parts

Taking care of your vehicle is a very little price when you consider how much it is essential to have a car in your life. The level of comfort it brings when you finally have your own car is unbeatable, but it sadly can be quite costly.

Shopping for auto parts for your car can also be extremely draining emotionally and physically. It takes a lot of time and dedication to go from dealer to dealer or car shop to car shop to find the small piece that makes your windows clean.

Once you finally find it you will then have to deal with worrying about whether you are paying the fair price for window wipers or you are being charged extra fees that are unnecessary.

Lately, more car owners are shopping online for auto parts and the reason for that is it’s less expensive and easier to compare. Shopping online for auto parts on Partsgeek will save you tons of money and time.

It’s very time consuming when you shop for auto parts by going to the store and many people decide to buy the first thing they find, as they don’t want to deal with the hassle of getting the best price for it from somewhere else.

Here is the best dos and don’ts of shopping for auto parts:

Do your research

Before buying an auto part for your car online, you have to make sure that you are getting the right part. The internet is a great source for searching things related to your car and how to do the proper diagnoses to learn what needs to be changed or fixed.

There are catalogs available online such as OEM or ETK for European and Asian made vehicles to ensure that you are not buying the wrong part. These catalogs will help you find the part number that you need before placing an order online, as well as information about these auto parts and identifying your car model.

Learn auto parts acronyms

When shopping for auto parts on your own without the help of a mechanic or a store representative might cause you to feel overwhelmed and confused. Auto parts are categorized based on several things such as what kind of manufacture it came from or how it is made and sold.

Learning the automotive industry’s acronyms will help you understand better when you are purchasing an auto part that is high quality and will keep you safe on the road.

Acronyms for auto part replacements:

  • Genuine: These replacement parts  from Parts Avatar will come in a Genuine box and will have the vehicle manufacturers stamp on it. The auto parts company is different from the vehicle’s manufacturer, as these auto parts companies specify in making genuine parts. They are called Original Equipment Manufacturers such as Genuine BMW.
  • OEM: means Original Equipment Manufacturer. It is similar to Genuine replacement parts, as it is made originally by the manufacturer and it is the same part as the Genuine. The difference between them is that the manufacturer sells the parts using their own packaging instead of putting it under the car manufacturer’s name. Some examples of OEM are Bosch, Lemforder, and Aisin.
  • Aftermarket: aftermarket parts are made to be exactly like OEM parts with how it fits in the vehicle as well as how it performs. These aftermarket companies manufacture products using the same material as other manufacturers but are not in contract with a major vehicle company or became considered as their OEM.

When choosing an auto part that is not OEM or is less expensive, you could be risking major damage for your vehicle. The quality of auto parts are separated into three categories:

  • Category A: This is considered a high risk, meaning that if the auto part doesn’t work well it could result in serious accidents that are life threatening. It’s important to purchase Genuine or OEM for parts that are necessary for brakes or steering.
  • Category B: It is seen as a medium risk that can cause damage to your vehicle only. It is recommended to purchase Genuine or OEM for category B as well. That includes parts such as engines and gaskets.
  • Category C: A low risk for your vehicle and if the auto part doesn’t work well it has the potential to cause minor damage to the car. You have more flexibility with this category to purchase something cheaper as a replacement. This category includes auto parts such as lights and rubber pieces.

Put delivery into consideration

When purchasing an item online, there is always an unexpected delivery time. Even though many online stores promise that the shipping will be extremely fast, you never know what can happen during the delivery process.

If you know that your car needs a replacement part, make sure you order it immediately before further damage happens to it. It’s also important to not schedule a day for repair with your mechanic, as you might find that your order has been delayed or the seller sent the wrong item.

How to choose the right online store

There are simple guidelines to follow when shopping online for quality auto parts.

Customer service

It is crucial to find an online store that provides customer service. If you need to track your order or have received the wrong item, you need to have a way of contacting the company.

Most online shops will have a live chat, an email, a phone number, and an address listed on their website. Avoid sites that don’t have any way for customers to contact them.

If you aren’t sure if the customer service is real or not, simply give the number listed for them a call and ask questions before making a purchase.

Comments and reviews

Every site will have reviews and comments published online by customers. You can learn about the online shop’s reputation by searching for the name on Google, Reseller Ratings, Yelp, or Trustpilot. Look for positive reviews and warnings that buyers have posted about their experience.