Replacing parts on your vehicle may seem like a daunting task for someone unfamiliar with the automotive industry, but Toyota of Hollywood offers a comprehensive guide to locating replacement parts to help those who have no idea where to begin and even those who know what they are doing but could use a refresher on the basics.
1. Finding a Replacement Part
There are three options available for you to find a replacement part for your vehicle should the need arise. You can purchase a factory OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) part, a new aftermarket part, or a used part. Each option has its own strengths and weaknesses that need to be considered before you purchase your replacement part.
2. OEM (or Original Equipment Manufacturer) Parts
Factory OEM parts are parts that are federally licensed and guaranteed to be the exact same specifications as the parts used by your vehicle’s original manufacturer. OEM manufacturers build the parts to be an exact match to your original factory part and are often the best fit for a replacement. These parts often have the best overall quality and durability of the three options for replacing a part but are also the most expensive. Using OEM parts has the added benefit of keeping a vehicle’s resale value high if the replacement is documented because the high quality of such parts. You can purchase OEM parts through a dealer or from contacting the manufacturer directly.
3. Aftermarket Parts
Aftermarket parts are often parts designed to be exact replicas of OEM parts but are not built by companies that are associated with the original automobile manufacturer or federally licensed to guarantee the quality of their parts. These parts are less expensive than their OEM counterparts but often suffer from not being as close a fit and in terms of quality. However it should be keep in mind that some aftermarket companies produce parts of extraordinarily high quality. You can purchase aftermarket parts from dealers and shops around the country or from online venders.
4. Used Parts
Used parts can be either OEM parts or aftermarket parts that have been used previously. This is a great way to save money and purchase an OEM part at the same time, provided the used part is in good quality. You should be aware that used parts can vary in quality from good to bad depending on how they were previously used, but are often the least expensive of the three options. You can purchase used parts from salvage yards or from private sellers across the country or from online venders.
5. Locating the Right Part for You
The best way to determine which option is best for you is to do your research. What do other people say who own your vehicle, what do dealers say, what the general consensus about a particular part manufacturer is. These and questions like these are important and you should find the answers before deciding on what part to purchase. Look at testimonials to learn the common defects and characteristics of any one part before you buy. Once you have decided on what part is right for you locating the right part is usually not so difficult. Many suppliers offer both OEM and aftermarket parts, but occasionally rare specialty parts and parts out of production may require consulting with a parts specialist. In these instances it could be very expensive to secure a replacement part.
6. Add-on Accessories
Add-on accessories are like replacement parts in a number of ways. Some are factory authorized while others are solely products of the aftermarket. A wide variety of add-on accessories exist that are designed to enhance the engine, exhaust systems, wheels, tires or just about any other component of a vehicle you can think of. The abundance and variety of available parts depends in part on the popularity of the vehicle. Like replacement parts, you should research what add-on accessories are right for you before committing to any purchases.
Hollywood, CA 90028