Buying auto parts that are good quality and will work on your car or truck is easy if you know where to look for the parts you need. Most auto parts stores offer parts for all you're car's needs, and some could even save you money.
New Auto Parts
When you are buying new auto parts from a parts store or dealer, the parts that are going to be the most expensive are factory replacement parts made by the original equipment (OE) manufacturer. These are the same parts used when your car was manufactured, and they often have the longest replacement warranty on them.
Because these parts meet the vehicle manufacturer's requirements, they are typically the most direct fit and will look like the original part that came on the car. The installation is often more straightforward, and even though the price is a little higher, it can be worth using these parts on a car that you are trying to keep original or for the most durability from the vehicle.
Most auto parts stores carry a few OE parts, but for factory original parts, you may find that the local dealership is the best place to look. If the parts department does not have the auto parts you need in stock, they can order them for you. While you will pay a little more upfront, the warranty is better, so in the long run, you may save money because these parts last longer than other parts.
Some of the most common parts you will find on the shelf in an auto parts store are reproduction parts. These are parts made by a third party, but to the OE specs, they function like factory parts and fit the car properly.
The material used to make the parts might not be the same as OE parts, but this reduces the cost to manufacture the parts, and the sale price is often lower. The warranty on the parts is often shorter and more restrictive, so if you encounter a problem, exchanging can be more difficult.
Many auto parts stores also carry a line of parts that are lower in price than standard reproduction parts, and they typically only have a thirty-day warranty on them, if they have one at all. These parts will save you a lot of money on the repair, but they will likely need replacing again before you sell or trade the car. The parts are not made from the same materials as OE parts, and in many cases, they are universal parts that you can use for several different vehicles.