Maintaining and repairing a modern (or old!) vehicle can be costly, especially when it breaks down unexpectedly, which can happen at the most inconvenient time. Then – perhaps – you may want to keep costs down and source your auto parts to reduce costs. However, this is not a particularly good idea and here is why.

What are you getting for your money?

The global ‘aftermarket parts’ market has become awash with parts from uncertain origins and questionable quality. Although our industry bodies have made great strides in identifying the sources of many factors, it is impossible to completely stop substandard and fake products from entering Australia.

Professional mechanics can usually tell the difference between good and bad auto parts, which means the likelihood of the products being ‘fit for purpose’ increases. If something is cheap, there is usually a reason why it is affordable. Let’s investigate…….

Why you should trust your mechanic to source parts for you

Many factors appear to be identical in every way, and many factors seem to fit different vehicles and models when, in fact, they are programmed or calibrated to suit different situations. They will also not perform as expected if fitted to the incorrect vehicle.

In addition, if you purchase a part from a supplier, they may refuse to refund you if you bought the incorrect product based on your provided information. So, how do our mechanics at Ultimate Auto Care know the difference between the right and wrong parts for your beloved vehicle? Keep reading…

We know what to ask for

Common replacement parts may have multiple series of identifying numbers and letters. In some cases, one identifying number may determine the actual amount, while another number or mark may restrict its use to a specific vehicle or model within a model range.

In some cases, such as with electronic control units/modules, different versions of operational software may be ‘pre-programmed’. Most control modules are linked to the vehicle’s VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) to ensure the correct performance is programmed into that vehicle.

So, you could easily buy the wrong part unless you are sure about what you are asking for.

We buy from trusted suppliers.

Third-party manufacturers are usually authorised and licenced by the Original Manufacturer to manufacture parts to their high specifications. In practice, these licenced parts manufacturers supply parts to the carmakers themselves for the vehicle assembly line and to support their dealer networks.

Importantly, though, they also supply the aftermarket with parts identical to those above, often the only difference being the packaging.

We know fake or substandard parts when we see them

While price often indicates an affected part, other indicators may include unbranded packaging, spelling/grammar errors, and the weight difference between excellent and fake parts. These parts don’t fit properly or look and feel ‘cheap and cheerful’. So, why is letting your mechanic source your parts so important?

The two main reasons are:

Your safety may be compromised

A modern vehicle’s safe operation depends on the correct and efficient interactions of numerous systems and the correct process of hundreds of parts (and even entire categories of parts) that did not exist even 20 years ago.

Should just one ‘suspect’ or ‘substandard’ part potentially make your vehicle unsafe, it is simply imperative that you trust your mechanic to source the best option for you.

Warranty and Guarantees

We stand by our work. If your car does not work as it should after it leaves one of our workshops with parts we have supplied and fitted, all you need do is bring it back, and we will fix it. This is our promise to you.

Warranties: parts sourced by us and used to repair your vehicle are covered under the Manufacturer’s warranty, and we are suitably qualified to carry out such work.

So, if a part fails due to a defect in product artistry or manufacture, we will replace it under warranty. Times frames vary for warranty periods but can be up to two years on some parts (compare that to a phone battery which only has a 3-month warranty!!).

Under Australian Consumer Law, if you buy your parts, hand them to a mechanic, and have them put them in, this warranty can be voided. The workshop is not obligated to provide any guarantees/ warranty to the part/s (as they were not the supplier).

Instead, the guarantees provided may be limited to fitting the part. If the parts you sourced fail, you may have to pay for new features and the associated labour costs to have them professionally done again.

Thank you all for reading this blog, and we hope that by understanding the whole process, you will give our mechanics your trust in sourcing the best parts for your beloved vehicle, which we will love to fix and maintain for you.

Happy and safe driving. From the teams at all our seven Ultimate Auto Care workshops.

Ultimate Auto Care is a family-owned and operated business in Brisbane, with auto repair shops throughout the metro area. We have been providing honest and dependable auto repair and services to our local communities for years. Contact us today to schedule a logbook service or repair and let us help you keep your car running smoothly.