Buying Parts Online
by Pat Goss
Even though modern cars are very complex, there are still a lot of operations you can do yourself. But in order to do them, you’re probably going to need some help. And a good source for that help is the internet. But you have to be very careful, because the internet is full of scammers and people that would do you harm. So, make sure that whatever you do on the internet , you use a trusted source.
Alright, but what are you going to find? You’re going to find part names, you’re going to find exploded views of parts, so that you see how things go together. You might also not know the name of a part, and you can look it up by picture, so that you get the proper name and you can go out and order it. But again, make sure you always deal with trusted sources.
Now, believe it or not, there are some things that used to require a bunch of special tools, that were very, very costly, that you can actually do yourself these days without special tools. One example of that is the strut, in the suspension. You see, back in the day, you had to buy the strut. And then you took that strut, the new one, took the old one, you had to have a special spring compressor to remove the old spring, and you transferred the spring, and the mounts, and all of the parts onto the new strut. It was a dangerous job, the tools were expensive, and it certainly wasn’t much fun.
But today, you buy a strut assembly. So that all of the parts, they all have the same amount of wear on them. You’re getting all of the parts brand new. You’re getting a new spring, you’re getting a new strut mount, you’re getting the bearing in the mount. All of this stuff. And that makes for a better job. Plus, you don’t need an expensive tool.
Another place where we see that… In the past, you bought a ball joint. And you had to have a press, to press the old ball joint out, and the new ball joint in. Well, today these are usually serviced as assemblies. You get the control arm, with the ball joint, with all of the other related wear parts… all comes together. So you unbolt it. You don’t need that thousand dollar ball joint press, because you aren’t pressing anything. You’re simply unbolting it, and bolting the new one in. So there are a lot of things like that on the automobile. And if you use the internet as a guide, you’ll find that you’ll be able to do a lot more of your own repairs than you might have thought. And if you have a question or comment, drop me a line. Right here at MotorWeek.