Car Parts – Prices and the Internet

White's Automotive Center

Sponsored - Is this a good price for this repair? This is a question I get asked a lot by friends and family out of town. Of course, getting an estimate from multiple shops is the quickest way to answer that question but also the trickiest. Keep in mind, when looking for estimates, always consider warranties and how reputable is the shop. A shop that does not offer a warranty can charge a lesser price. Also, how long has the shop been in business and will they be in business long enough to provide a warranty? A small hole in the wall shop has low overhead, less skilled mechanics, and will offer a lower price but not a warranty because they are too small to cover the cost of redoing the work.

The other thing to consider is to make sure the estimate covers the same number of parts. For example, if you are replacing a timing belt; does shop A price the timing belt and labor only, then you call shop B and they price the timing belt, water pump, pulley, seals, drive belts, and labor. Shop B’s price will be significantly higher. So, make sure you are getting the same price for the same parts for the job.

Be careful when buying parts on the internet. Sometimes you can find a good price, but that is not always the best choice. If you are buying to put the parts on yourself, one problem with the internet is the warranty. Yes, they advertise a lifetime or multiple-year warranty, but how do you warranty the part? You will have to take the part off the vehicle for free. Then you must ship it back and then you will have to wait 1 to 2 weeks or more depending on the part place shipping. Now you have no transportation. Hopefully, you own a spare vehicle.

If you buy parts for a shop to install, then that is also risky. Most shops charge a higher labor rate if you bring your own parts. So, depending on how long it takes to put the parts on, you may spend more money bringing your own parts than if you just used the shops’ parts. So, get an estimate before you buy parts to see if it is worth the price. Also, the shop’s warranty is quicker to get your car back on the road. With the internet parts, you do not know the quality of the parts and shop heads know which brand works best with which car. For example, Bosch spark plugs work great in BMW’s and Mercedes but not Chevy or Fords. Give us a call at White’s Automotive if you have any questions – we’re here to help! Or you can submit your questions at