Used Auto Parts vs New Auto Parts—The Showdown

As experienced ‘car guys’ and parts salespeople we’re regularly asked–”Are new auto parts really better than used auto parts?” And our answer, of course—is…of course. New auto parts and OEM parts are the ideal fit for your car. They are designed exactly for your car and are in tip-top condition. They also have the longest warranties. Having said that however, they can be pricey, and certain used auto parts have such long lifespans that putting them in a used car won’t negatively affects its value as they may outlive the car.

So, while new auto parts are ‘better’—used auto parts have their time and place. Selecting between the two is a decision that every car owner must make for themselves. Let’s consider the pros and cons of each:

Used Auto Parts

Pros:

  • Cheaper than new car parts.
  • May have extended warranties available.

Cons:

  • Even with the extended warranty, if the part fails you’ll need to pay for the installation of a new part (unless you have the knowledge and tools yourself).
  • Won’t last as long as new parts, which can be a concern if you have a new or newish car.

New Auto Parts

Pros:

  • Generally they have extended warranties included in the ticket price.
  • Have a longer lifespan than used car parts.

Cons:

  • They’re expensive.
  • Can be harder to source for older cars.

Choosing between the two part types isn’t just a one-time decision, it should be evaluated every time you need a new part, on a part-by-part basis. For example, any rubber-based part should be purchased new as they wear out over time, so there isn’t much value in purchasing it used. Shocks and struts also have a short lifespan, which makes them ideal to purchase new. Certain low-cost items should also be purchased new, like motor mounts, as the savings of sourcing used isn’t worth your time. Big ticket items such as starters, alternators and suspension parts are ideal parts to be sourced used, as the savings is substantial.

When purchasing used parts—always be sure that you purchase from a vendor like Woodbecks, who wouldn’t sell any used part to our customers that we wouldn’t install in our own cars.

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