Buying Parts Online
by Pat Goss
Whether you’re a do-it-youselfer or a professional, getting the right part to do the job correctly, well it’s critical. And to give us some pointers about online shopping, we have Tom Taylor from Rock Auto. Tom, welcome to Goss’ Garage.
Alright now what are some of the advantages to shopping for your auto parts online?
TOM TAYLOR: Selection is the big advantage. Even if you drive an older vehicle that may not be common in your area anymore, there’s likely still parts for it available online. For example this older Dakota Pickup here, you can get engine parts, chassis parts, brake parts, and you can even get body parts like the tail gate we have pictured here.
PAT GOSS: OK so we have more selection covering more years and models and things like that, also I’ve noticed in some situations where you can pick the level of part that you want.
TOM TAYLOR: Absolutely, you have a lot more choices, a lot bigger selection. A good example are gaskets. You might go into a store and they’ll hand you one gasket and you think that’s your only choice when there could be half a dozen different choices.
PAT GOSS: Well this is a classic example here a basic paper gasket as opposed to this composition gasket.
TOM TAYLOR: Absolutely this is a 25 cent gasket, this is an $8 gasket, but this one might be more likely to prevent leaks the first time.
PAT GOSS: OK so you pick what you’re comfortable with.
TOM TAYLOR: Right.
PAT GOSS: OK, now we have a distributor here and how do you treat this? Is it an assembly? Or can you buy individual parts? How does it work?
TOM TAYLOR: You can do both and you can before you replace the parts yourself or have your professional mechanic do it, you can decide, you can look online see photos, find out what the different parts are called. You can, hey this is the igniter or the initial control module, this is the cap. This is the drive gear. You can decide if you want to replace individual parts or you can say I can start fresh and get a completely remanufactured distributor.
PAT GOSS: And these pictures to me are critical because you’ve actually seen what you’re working on and if you go talk to someone at a parts counter or called them on the phone, they haven’t seen what you’ve seen. And online you look at the picture and you match it up with what you have in your hand or what you’ve seen. But there are some sites out there where they play some funny games, multiple names and things like that.
TOM TAYLOR: When you’re researching or shopping online make sure if you are looking at three different sites that they are really three unique sites not just versions of the same company. You see the same parts over and over again, that maybe a clue that hey this is the same site in three versions.
PAT GOSS: And if you wind up in that little circle you’re going to limit pricing and availability and all sorts of things.
TOM TAYLOR: Right you think your research is complete and you’ve really only looked at one place.
PAT GOSS: Tom, thank you very much. And if you have a question or comment, drop me a line right here at MotorWeek.