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Buying auto parts for home repair

Skoal CatSkoal Cat Registered User
edited September 2011 in Help / Advice Forum
I'm going to start learning how to do some basic auto repair/maintenance at home, and am looking for a good site to buy from. I'm of course assuming online prices are really that much better than AutoZone etc. Once I have a website to peruse, I'm also planning on coming back here for product recommendations.

ceres wrote: »
Skoal Cat is correct.

Posts

  • L Ron HowardL Ron Howard Registered User regular
    Find a forum for the make and model of your car.
    Often times aftermarket manufacturers and factor dealers will also join the community, and you'll be able to get peer reviews from wrenchheads who have worked on the same car, recommendations, and how-to's. They'll have the OEM part numbers, aftermarket equivalents and upgrades. Sometimes you'll even get really good guides that people have done, complete with pictures and everything you'll need to know about what you're doing; which'll be things like complete engine or transmission swaps, or just really hard-to-do replacements, like changing the oil filter if it's not in an intuitive location or there are other difficulties.

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  • schussschuss Registered User regular
    rockauto.com always worked for OEM type stuff.

  • L Ron HowardL Ron Howard Registered User regular
    Rock Auto is a retailer that specializes in the aftermarket.
    You can get better OEM deals through the forums, as often times specialty dealers will sell their wares to people on the forums for a discount, you might possibly need to join the official 'fan club', for lack of a better term.
    In the past, I've owned an SVT Ford. When I joined the National SVT Club the Ford sponsors, and joined the official forums and posted a bit so people knew me, exact name escapes me at the moment, you can call one guy at the dealer, and get OEM parts right from Ford themselves for a small percentage, like 5-15%, markup, as opposed to 300% that you would normally pay if you walked up to the counter at any Ford dealership. I've seen this on several forums.
    Obviously, this isn't on everything. Just the popular ones. If you have something like an old Triumph TR-8, there's obviously not going to be such a system, since the OEM is kind of out of business. Whereas if you have an Acura Integra, they have a similar system for OEM as well as discounts through various vendors on the forums.
    I hope I'm not being too esoteric or unclear.

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  • Sir CarcassSir Carcass I have been shown the end of my world Austin, TXRegistered User regular
    I've read that Amazon is a good place to buy auto parts, strangely enough, but haven't tried it myself.

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  • Skoal CatSkoal Cat Registered User
    Rock Auto is a retailer that specializes in the aftermarket.
    You can get better OEM deals through the forums, as often times specialty dealers will sell their wares to people on the forums for a discount, you might possibly need to join the official 'fan club', for lack of a better term.
    In the past, I've owned an SVT Ford. When I joined the National SVT Club the Ford sponsors, and joined the official forums and posted a bit so people knew me, exact name escapes me at the moment, you can call one guy at the dealer, and get OEM parts right from Ford themselves for a small percentage, like 5-15%, markup, as opposed to 300% that you would normally pay if you walked up to the counter at any Ford dealership. I've seen this on several forums.
    Obviously, this isn't on everything. Just the popular ones. If you have something like an old Triumph TR-8, there's obviously not going to be such a system, since the OEM is kind of out of business. Whereas if you have an Acura Integra, they have a similar system for OEM as well as discounts through various vendors on the forums.
    I hope I'm not being too esoteric or unclear.

    I'm looking more for, say, brake pads, oil filters, and a timing belt. Still valid advice?

    ceres wrote: »
    Skoal Cat is correct.
  • L Ron HowardL Ron Howard Registered User regular
    Skoal Cat wrote:
    Rock Auto is a retailer that specializes in the aftermarket.
    You can get better OEM deals through the forums, as often times specialty dealers will sell their wares to people on the forums for a discount, you might possibly need to join the official 'fan club', for lack of a better term.
    In the past, I've owned an SVT Ford. When I joined the National SVT Club the Ford sponsors, and joined the official forums and posted a bit so people knew me, exact name escapes me at the moment, you can call one guy at the dealer, and get OEM parts right from Ford themselves for a small percentage, like 5-15%, markup, as opposed to 300% that you would normally pay if you walked up to the counter at any Ford dealership. I've seen this on several forums.
    Obviously, this isn't on everything. Just the popular ones. If you have something like an old Triumph TR-8, there's obviously not going to be such a system, since the OEM is kind of out of business. Whereas if you have an Acura Integra, they have a similar system for OEM as well as discounts through various vendors on the forums.
    I hope I'm not being too esoteric or unclear.

    I'm looking more for, say, brake pads, oil filters, and a timing belt. Still valid advice?

    Absolutely. Not all pads, filters, timing belts, coolant, etc. is the same. For instance, if you have a Volkswagen, they have their own special coolant. It's better to get it through the dealer than possibly fucking up your engine with something from AutoZone. Things like the timing belt you can get aftermarket, or as an OEM replacement; it's really your call and how you handle your cars. I, personally, try to use OEM from the company which produced the car, when possible, because of the deals. Even for things that will get replaced regularly like brake pads. But I'm goofy like that. If you want to get better gripping brake pads, for instance, you can get deals through the vendors that frequent the forums. There are even some brake pads that are stock replacements that are much better than the stock ones, and that info is not something you'd be able to get from going to Checker and asking the dude behind the counter.
    Like with ebay, the vendors will do their best to make you satisfied, because the community is usually pretty good; even on large websites with a popular car.
    Oil for your cars is a religious war, btw. No two people will ever agree which oil is the best.
    The only other advice I can give is be up-front with people that you're pretty new with it, and will need the stupid, tedious step-by-step help with things. If the community is half decent, you'll get exactly what you need to do the repairs. You will only pretty much hurt yourself if you try to come off as an expert.

    Now, if only I can figure out why I'm trying to sell this so much...

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  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    I buy some stuff from the dealer/OEM and some stuff from places like rockauto. For example I bought my blower motor from rockauto ($35 vs $130 from the dealer), but my oil filters from the dealer (costs $2 more, but they toss in the crush washer and Autozone/Pep Boys do not have the crush washer).

    If you've no experience doing this kind of work yourself an owner's forum isn't a bad idea. They often have stickies or write-ups on basic service including pictures, and they tend to be pretty helpful to newbies. I haven't tried using a forum to source parts, but they look to be a good place to flog your OE stuff if you upgrade anything.

  • webguy20webguy20 Registered User regular
    Also buy the Chilton/Haynes books for the vehicles you're working on. It makes life SO much easier to have the book sitting right there while you fuck with it.

    Deffinitely get in tight with an online community. The deals and advice you can get is indespensible.

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