Having your car fixed when trouble arises can be a costly bill, especially if you need more than one part replaced on your car. You could choose to have a friend or family member fix it, or you could fix the car yourself, but many people don't have time for this or are not mechanically inclined. Either way, you can save money on replacing parts for your car, even if you have an auto mechanic to do it. Here are some tips for saving money by purchasing car parts elsewhere rather than having the auto mechanic who's fixing your car order them.
Get a detailed list from the auto mechanic (or friend/family) who's fixing your car. Find out how many car parts you need to be replaced and get an elaboration on what each part is for and the name of it. Tell the auto mechanic to print you out an estimate detailing all that is wrong with your car. Find out what price the auto mechanic is asking for the parts and labor. Tell him to put this on the estimate as well so that you can compare prices later.
Make a list of local junkyards within a 50-mile radius from your home (or further if your willing to travel). Contact each junkyard and request a price of the car parts you need. You'll need to make sure they have these parts in stock or can get them from another junkyard and find out what condition they are in. If your car is used, you can get away with used car parts, but just make sure they are still usable or have little miles. Try to get parts that match the make, year, and model of your car.
Sometimes you have to leave your information with a junkyard so that they can look and see if they have the parts you need or can order them. In the meantime, check out car parts online. Find the pricing of car parts for sale either on eBay or other various car part sites. There are many online websites that offer used auto parts and new parts for lower prices than an auto mechanic would charge. Be sure you know the make, model, and year of your car to search for parts and have an exact list of the parts you need. Make a note of the seller's contact information so that you can email or call them to be sure the parts they have are truly the parts you need. See the resource list below for links to car parts online.
Ask friends, family, and coworkers if they know of anybody selling parts for your particular car. Often times, people are selling cars for parts and would be willing to give you a deal for the parts needed for your car. Also, you could put an ad in the newspaper requesting parts for the car you have. Be sure to include your make, model, year, type of parts needed and contact information in the newspaper ad so that anyone calling will know the exact details of what you are looking for.
Request your car parts on Craigslist. Craigslist is an online list of classified ads where people can browse ads to find what they are looking for or place an ad to request the items they need. You can either search ads already in place to find used car parts or place an ad to ask if anyone has the car parts you need. Again, just like placing a newspaper ad, be sure to include your make, model, year, car parts needed, and contact information. You may only want to include your email address on Craigslist for safety reasons and to wean out all the people who will call and call if you leave a phone number.