Did your vehicle decide to stop running because of a malfunctioning radiator? Or did you notice a fender bender while cleaning your vehicle over the weekend? Regardless of the case, these instances may require replacing some car body parts.
A fender bender shouldn’t be a problem. Not only is it not a matter of life and death, but it is also easy to find parts and get rid of the dent. But in more serious cases like engine problems, you need to address them quickly.
Data reveals that about 6 million car accidents happen in the United States every year. About 6% of these accidents involve fatalities. Sometimes, faulty wiring or old car parts are the culprits.
Thus, an immediate replacement is necessary.
But what exactly should you do when you need some replacement car parts? Continue reading below for the answers.
Assess the Nature of the Damage
The first thing you should do before replacing your car body parts is to assess the damage. Is it more of a cosmetic concern? There are many common parts of the car that are prone to damage.
The front bumper leads the way, as it is the first one to take the impact of a collision. The fender is another, especially when the collision happens during a turn.
The grille and rear bumper also make the list. The same thing goes for the hood and the front and rear doors.
These are parts of the car that take visible damages. They may or may not affect the safety of your driving. However, the extent of the damage can force you to put your vehicle in the sidelines for a few days.
Meanwhile, other parts play important roles in terms of performance and safety. You will find these parts in the engine block. The engine block is like the central computer that makes your vehicle run.
It contains different parts that play different roles. There are the pistons, the crankshaft, and the camshaft. There are also the valves and the cylinder head.
If any of these bogs down, it may compromise the performance of your vehicle.
Hence, determine the damage and the affected parts. If you’re unfamiliar with these parts, consult with a mechanic for guidance.
Car Body Parts: New or Used?
After analyzing the damage, the next thing to focus on is the type of replacement parts. Should you go for brand new parts or used parts? The answer to this question depends on some key factors.
If your car is still under warranty, then the best way is to go for new parts. The manufacturer’s warranty should cover the parts and labor. However, the warranty only covers manufacturing defects.
But if an accident or improper use causes the damage, then you can forget about the warranty.
Also, consider your budget. Can you afford brand new replacement parts? The good thing about going for new parts is the quality you are getting.
Since these are new parts, you can be sure that they will perform at the optimum level. But of course, you need to go for parts coming from reputable sources.
On the flip side, used parts are more affordable. But with a cheaper price tag, don’t expect them to last as long as their brand new counterparts.
The good thing about second-hand car replacement parts is availability. There are OEM and aftermarket parts that come from salvaged vehicles. All you need is to find the parts coming from the same vehicle model as yours.
There are companies offering automated machinery. These are excellent sources for those small parts inside your vehicle’s engine.
Before deciding, determine the importance of the parts that you need to replace. If they play integral roles, it is best to go for brand new ones.
Compatibility is a Must
After deciding on the type of replacement parts to use, you need to ensure you are getting the right parts. This means finding the parts that are compatible with your vehicle.
You may hear stories of people using incompatible parts in their vehicles. Yes, they may get their cars running again. But the question is, for how long?
Are their vehicles also safe for driving? Discrepancies in shapes and sizes of certain parts can affect the road safety and performance of a vehicle. After some time, these parts may damage your vehicle.
In turn, you will end up spending more money over a new round of repairs.
Get the Right Tools for DIY
If you decide to take on the DIY route, make sure you have the right tools and equipment. When shopping for parts, ask the seller if the parts will work on your vehicle. Give them the exact make and year model of your vehicle.
This will help them find the exact parts that you need. Thereafter, prepare the area where you will perform the repairs and replacements. Ensure the cleanliness and safety of the area.
And speaking of safety, make sure to wear proper gear. Wear protective glasses to keep your eyes safe. Be sure to document everything.
Keep the receipts of all your purchases. Take before and after photos of your vehicle.
Be patient but keep your determination up. Before and after you replace anything, check it three times.
Let the Pros Take Over
If the damage is too extensive, do not force yourself to take on the task. Instead, bring your car to the dealership or repair center. Let the pros take over and give you a fair assessment of the damages.
Request an estimate as to how much the parts and labor will cost. From there, revisit your budget and insurance and see how far it will take you. If you are a long-time customer, ask if they can give you discounts or special payment options.
Increase Your Knowledge of Car Maintenance
Knowing what to do when you need car body parts can save you money, time, and resources. By getting the right replacement parts and tapping a capable mechanic, you can get your can back in the road in no time. And if you wish to increase your knowledge of car care and maintenance, there are a lot of things to learn.
Check out our other articles on automotive. We discuss important topics that will help keep your vehicles in excellent shape.