The Missing Link: The Availability and Cost of Car Spare Parts

the machinery inside a car

There are hundreds of car brands and models. You can choose from Asian, European, and American. It almost becomes a daunting process to choose the car you want. Of course, what’s even more problematic is if you have a limited budget for it. It’s far easier to buy a car when you can buy any brand and model you want. Everyone, of course, loves a Mercedes-Benz but not everyone can afford it.

But brand and model are not the only considerations one has to make before buying a car for the first time. Second-car buyers know too well the importance of considering this one important tidbit when buying a car: the availability and cost of the spare parts. No matter how powerful your engine is and how much the car manufacturer promises durability, sooner or later, you will find yourself needing a new alternator or some other parts that only your mechanic understands.

Sure, it’s easy to call the insurance company and file a claim. You don’t have to always pay for major repairs and replacement. But lo and behold, your mechanic might tell you that it’s going to take a while before they find that specific valve cover that your car needs.

The Hardest Spare Parts to Find

Car parts for models that have been discontinued are the hardest to find. Sometimes, you’ll have to look for those in junk shops and online auction houses. Replacement manual transmission, car mechanics said, is the hardest to find. Since many countries have discontinued manual transmission cars, those who still own one are having a hard time looking for spare parts.

Some other spare parts that are hard to find are steering coupler, fender or door for older cars, electrical parts, exhaust manifold heat shields, oil cooler lines, and many others. The older and rarer the car, the harder it is for car mechanics to find spare parts for them. If you want to make sure that you won’t encounter problems when you need to get the car fixed, go for more popular brands or ones with third-party manufacturers.

Japanese cars are popular across the globe. As such, a lot of third-party manufacturers are producing spare parts for Japanese models. It doesn’t look easy to find spare parts for Subaru, but the truth is you can find a Subaru head gasket at a lower price from other car shops than from the manufacturer itself.

Not all car parts, of course, can easily be replicated by third-party manufacturers, authorized or otherwise. They must also look at the demand in the market before they begin producing the spare parts they think will most likely sell. A thorough look at that demand will give you an insight into the kind of car you should buy.

under the hood of a car

The Missing Link

Understandably, people are not so gaga over the thought of needing spare parts even before they get to drive their new car. Who would want to think of the car’s maintenance and possible repairs in the future, after all? But this has always been the missing link in many of the decisions that car buyers make. The availability of spare parts, its price, and aftermarket sales are vital components of your car-buying decision.

Neglecting this tidbit will lead to bigger problems in the future. When you can’t find the spare parts you need, it wouldn’t matter if you’re driving the hippest car model in your block. It would be nothing but a display car if you cannot take it safely to and from wherever you want to go.

Remember that not many brands openly sell extra or spare parts of the models they produce. At some point, you might have to outsource a spare part from an unauthorized manufacturer. Or, you will need to wait until the dealership can find the part from a warehouse across the country. Worse, you’ll need to wait months before it arrives from the other side of the world.

Plan what brand and model you are going to buy. You may want to stay clear of new models for now since their parts will not be readily available. Although you want to look trendy, the ensuing headache it entails is not worth the trouble.

When it comes to buying your first car, the number one rule is to be pragmatic and practical about your choice. It is easy to fall for the trendiest model with the coolest feature, but the question remains: how easy or hard is it going to be when it needs a tune-up or replacement? Would you rather it sit in your garage for months? That does not seem to be a good choice.

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