Purchasing aftermarket parts – Tips to avoid being cheated

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Buying aftermarket parts for your vehicle can save you a lot of money.  Buying OEM (original equipment manufacturer) parts from the dealership can be costly, and the more money you can save the better. You can purchase parts online or at any chain or specialty auto parts store. Doing some research online can give you an idea of the price, as well as give you some manufacturers for the parts you are looking for.

If you need the part right away, you may want to search a local auto parts store’s website to check the availability of the part and the price. If it is something that you do not need right away, and you find a cheaper price than the auto parts store quotes, by all means, save the money buying it online. There are things you need to keep in mind before you buy any parts for your car. You always want to be sure that you are getting a quality part that you can depend on at a good price.

OEM vs. Aftermarket

First, you need to know the difference between the terms aftermarket and OEM (original manufacturer equipment). You may or may not know that auto manufactures do not make their own parts.  They hire outside companies to manufacture the parts they use to build the vehicles, the sell them through dealerships with the auto manufacturers logo on the box. There are, however, a few manufacturers that make the parts they use, and if you own one of these cars, chances are you are not fixing it yourself. So any part you buy from a dealer is made to the manufacturer’s specification to be identical to the original part you are replacing, but the extra cost is for the box with the carmakers name on it. Aftermarket parts are less expensive, but usually, not of any less quality than an OEM part. Aftermarket parts are produced by companies that buy the patent to the specifications for the original part, and produce it at a lesser cost. They also use their own name on the product, leaving the extra cost of having a “brand” name on the part. There are companies that cut corners in making aftermarket parts, so you want to do some research before you take advantage of what may not end up being a good deal after all.

Search the net and read reviews

Now that you know that aftermarket parts are supposed to be made to the exact specifications that the dealer designed, you can check some online reviews for parts makers. Most legitimate online parts sites will allow customers who have purchased a part to offer a review. It is sometimes worth spending a little time reading them to make sure you are getting the quality part that you should be. You want to check prices on a few different sites as well as the customer reviews to determine which is the best one to buy. Do not let the price be the only aspect of why you decide to purchase a specific part, the cheaper part may be better quality than the one that is a little more expensive and vice versa.  Once you find the best reviews and best price on the parts you need, look on the site for any special offers they have as well. Sometime they will offer free shipping if you purchase over a certain amount, or include a coupon in your order for a discount on your next purchase. You also want to make sure that the parts are guaranteed, and the guarantee outlines the procedure in case there are problems with the part. If there is no guarantee on the part, find somewhere else to buy it. One you find a website that offers good parts at good prices, it is a good idea to keep using them and take advantage of other money saving offers they may have.

Aftermarket performance parts

If you are buying aftermarket performance parts, you want to stay with a company that does nothing but that. You obviously do not want to buy an air intake from a company that sells dog collars as well. Most aftermarket high performance parts can be expensive no matter where you look. This is one time that you want to find a good manufacturer and stick with them. Buying aftermarket performance parts from an unknown manufacturer or one that sells things other than parts can cost you more than just the price of the part. Finding aftermarket performance parts is not difficult as there are many sites for car enthusiasts that will give unbiased opinions on parts. If it works for them, it will probably work for you as well.  The same principle applies to high performance parts as well as replacement parts, the most expensive is not always the best and the lease expensive is not always the worst. Pay attention to customer reviews, and be realistic about what you want to spend.

Summary

Taking you time to research aftermarket parts, both replacement and high performance can save you a lot of time and money. Find reputable sites and read the customer reviews; they are one of the best ways to make sure that you are getting a good product at a reasonable price. Do not skimp on price when you should not, it will just ending up costing you more anyway.

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Things to consider when buying a used engine

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Overview

 

Looking for a used engine can be more of a challenge than looking for a whole car.  At least when buying a used car, you can see if it runs, but in the case of an engine, sometimes you just have to trust someone’s word on it. There are many places to buy used engines, so do not limit the source of your search. Engines are an investment, and spending money on an engine that does not run or has major problems negates all the money you saved. You do not want to end up spending as much as a new motor would have cost fixing a used one. Just like a used car, you do not want to buy someone else’s problem. You want to make sure you do some research, know what questions to ask and know what to look for when you contemplate the purchase of a used engine.

Do your research first

The first thing you want to do is know exactly what engine you are looking for, then be able to find a comparable engine that may have been in a similar car, or a different year of the same car.  There are a few reasons for this. The first being that you obviously want to find an engine identical to the one that you are replacing, just in good working order. It makes installing the new engine much easier as it is just switching one for the other. Another reason is there are some motors that you do not want to buy used, you want to find a motor of the same size and fit from a different manufacturer.  An example of this is a specific motor that was put out that had issues with oil flow through the motor, and eventually a very high number of them seized due to oil sludge. You obviously do not want to put in the same engine with known issues that you took out. Learn what American carmakers have similar foreign counterparts that may use the same engine.

Know where to look

Once you have all the specifics on the engines you want, as well as a list of comparable motors of different model years or manufacturers. You can search online anywhere from salvage yards to engine shops to private sellers. If it is a common size engine, you may want to stick to a salvage yard or engine shop, as most will come with some type of information as to the vehicle they came out of, so you will have mileage and some guarantee that it is a running motor. If you do not plan to install the engine yourself, an engine shop can take care of that as well. A good salvage yard will also be able to steer you in the right direction if you are going to rely on someone else to install the engine. You may only want to resort to a private seller when you are looking for an older engine that is not as easy to find in salvage yards. If you do choose a private seller, if you are not able to see the engine run, and there are broke down cars all over their yard, chances are you need to spend the little bit you might have saved on a better source of a used engine. If a private seller is selling a whole vehicle with the engine you want, and it runs you are better off paying a little bit more to have the whole car and know you have an engine that runs, then paying good money for a paperweight.

Summary

No matter where you end up buying a used engine from you want to make sure that you have a guarantee it runs, and some type of warranty to ensure that once the engine is installed in your car it will last more than starting it to make sure it runs. You also want to be sure that the warranty is valid whether you have a shop install it or install it yourself. If they only guarantee an engine that is installed by a professional shop, it may be worth the extra money to spare the headache if something does go wrong, you will at least have a warranty. As with any large purchase, it is all about research before you spend money. The more educated you are about any product you want to buy, the less chance you will be spending money on something that does not work, or you do not need.  You also want to give yourself options in case your first plan, although it may be the ideal one, is not realistic. Set out on your search for a used engine with all the information you need, and find a reputable seller. In the end, it can be one of the best investments you can make in your current vehicle to save from buying a new one.

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Hybrid cars and Helium Powered cars – Insight

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The hybrid vehicle market has become much larger since the debut of the Toyota Prius back in 2000. The idea of alternately fueled vehicles is not new, some of the first electric powered vehicles date back to the early 1800s. With the push toward greater fuel economy and green technology today, the popularity of hybrid vehicles has grown.  Almost every major car manufacturer has a hybrid vehicle available to consumers. Although some of them are a little pricey, the savings in gas is well worth the extra price you spend up front. The design of hybrids has also changed dramatically from somewhat odd-looking vehicles to vehicles that you have to look closely to even realize they are a hybrid, such as the Chevrolet Volt. Carmakers understand that people are looking for ways to save money on gas as well as be more environmentally friendly, but also want performance and style earlier hybrid models were not able to offer

Hybrid vehicles

Vehicles that use two different power sources are considered hybrids. A gasoline combustion engine and one or more electric motors power almost all the hybrid vehicles in production today. These are referred to as Hybrid electric vehicles. They are designed to be able to switch between gas and electric power depending on the distance you are going to travel. The Chevrolet Volt currently holds the record for miles you can travel just on electric power at 36 miles. For those that do not travel far from home, there is a potential to never put gas in it. You will pay more upfront to have one of the most fuel-efficient hybrids available, but never having to spend money on gas might just be worth it. If you are not as interested in looks and more concerned about fuel economy and the environment, there are quite a few hybrids available that are definitely worth the money for what they can do, not what they look like. You want to research all models of hybrids available, read the reviews of both the experts and owners and then make a decision for yourself. If you have never driven a hybrid, keep in mind if you are looking for a sports car, this is definitely not the vehicle for you.  If you want to save money on gas, pass almost every gas station you see without stopping, and not contribute to the demise of the environment, then a hybrid is perfect for you.

Helium powered vehicles

The latest technology being developed for vehicle power is the use of helium. Helium can potentially eliminate the need for a gasoline engine for those that truly want a completely green vehicle. The technology behind helium-powered vehicles is called Thermoacoustic Propulsion. Breaking down the term you get heat and sound that makes the power to run the vehicle.  This may sound extremely high tech, but the concept is simple. A cylinder or tank of helium is installed in vehicle; it is then heated by some type of external heater. As the gas heats up it produces sounds waves that create pressure, that when applied to water will generate steam. The steam is then used to generate electricity to power the motor. It works under the same idea of boiling water with or without a lid on the pot. If you have a lid on the pot, more pressure is created and the water will boil quicker, with the lid off there is less pressure and the water takes longer to boil. Of course, all this is still in the development stage, but it seems to be quite an efficient way to power a vehicle, although like any other new technology, would probably be out of most people’s price range.

The effect of oil companies on progress

The oil industry continues to protest any technology that could potentially produce a vehicle that no longer requires the use of oil or gasoline. Unfortunately, this is a country that depends on oil, and oil producers depend on automakers. When automakers start designing vehicles that no longer require gasoline, the oil makers have a tendency not to back the automakers any longer. It is a vicious cycle that will probably end up with a completely gasoline independent vehicle never being mass-produced. For now, there are vehicles that you can buy that can at least help the environment and save you money on fuel to some level.

Summary

Hybrid vehicles are not a new invention, but it has taken modern technology to produce them in such a way that they can be mass marketed to consumers. They are also trying to make the vehicles more attractive so more people will be interested in purchasing one. With no end in sight to rising gas prices, the popularity of these vehicles will no doubt increase.  There is ongoing research being done to develop other ways to produce vehicles that will not require gasoline. The choice is up to you if you purchase a hybrid vehicle or not, but the oil companies are still hoping you buy big bulky gas hogs. Therefore, it is all up to you who you want to support.

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