Top 5 Questions to Ask at an Auto Spares Store

Whether you are a weekend automotive engineer or a seasoned auto refurbishing professional trying a new project or venture, shopping for auto spares can be a daunting task. A vehicle is a complex machine with many working parts and if you don’t understand how it all fits together, it could be very intimidating.

Professional engineering, careful planning, and years of research have created your precise automotive machine, and your knowledge and understanding of the vehicle you’re working on is what will keep it performing at optimum level.

In every town, suburb, or city in South Africa, there will always be an “auto hub” where a conglomeration of new or used auto spares will be available. You’ll often find it close to the second-hand car sales companies that dot the main roads. Close to these vehicle sales plots usually lies a multitude of auto spares stores selling absolutely everything you can imagine from brand-new parts to used or rebuilt components and aftermarket accessories.

Deciding on which dealer to use or which brand products are best for the specific job or rebuild you have lined up could be very confusing if you are not informed of the various types on the market.

With this in mind, we have come up with a general guide of the five most important questions to ask at an auto spares store as you meander through the parts procurement process. Armed with these five questions and answers when undergoing your next parts run will assist you in making sure that you get the best “bang for your buck.”


1) What are the Differences Between OEM and Aftermarket Auto Spares and Parts?

Original Equipment Manufacturer or OEM auto spares are specifically made by the manufacturer of the vehicle you are working on – for example, the Opel factory where Opel vehicles are produced would make the specific part that you would require for the Opel that you are working on. They are produced by the manufacturer of the vehicle and therefore are accurate and in line with all of the original production specifications of that specific make and model.

Pros: You get new, factory-spec, original parts produced by the manufacturer.

Cons: These parts are usually only available through your local brand dealer and are sometimes very costly. There are also sometimes delays or waiting lists for the part you require.

Aftermarket or “generic” auto spares are produced by a third-party motor accessories company. They will look the same as the OEM part, they might even work the same as the OEM part, but materials used in the makeup of the component and exact manufacturer specifications are not always 100% the same as the factory-produced product. They are also not endorsed by the vehicle manufacturer.

Pros: They are usually freely available should you be operating on strict timelines and are mostly a fraction of the investment in comparison to their OEM counterparts.

Cons: They are not always 100% compatible with the vehicle specifications and the use of them could cancel or nullify vehicle warranties, leases, and/or insurance policies.

2) Are the Spares and Parts Compatible with my Vehicle?

The single most important thing that you need to assess when you are buying auto spares, regardless of whether they are new or used, is that they are going to fit into or onto your car and work as required.

Even if the part is of good quality, it will not work at optimum performance levels if it does not marry up as a perfect fit. Make sure of the original part number and the specifications of the part needed. Better yet, if at all possible, take the part with you when purchasing the replacement so that you can compare the new with the old.

3) Is There a Warranty on These Spares?

You will want to ensure that the auto spares that you purchase are going to work as they should. Often, new parts will come with some sort of warranty attached. Even used or rebuilt components could come with one, albeit a short-term warranty.

Usually, the T’s and C’s of warranties, returns, and guarantees are clearly displayed in-store or on the company’s website. Either way, it is always advisable to check these warranties and/or guarantees before the purchase and get written proof thereof from the supplier to avoid any misunderstandings later.

Always remember that any part cannot be guaranteed against incorrect installation.

4) Are these Parts well Reviewed?

If you are buying auto spares from an aftermarket or a fairly unknown brand, it would be a good idea to search for online reviews. You would then see what other users think of the product and how it has performed for them in the past. Good reviews of a certain product can make you rest a little easier before investing budget into the new part or component.

5) Can I Buy Used Car Parts for my Vehicle?

This is a topic for some debate. Some would say that it is not a smart investment. Even though they are competitive in price, they have already gone through wear and tear on a previous vehicle and might not last as long as a new part. Others would say: “Do some research and select your auto spares store carefully.”

This is where A.S.A.P. Spares takes over the reins. With more than 20 years of experience in the new and used auto spares industry with a team of equally experienced agents, we have not only become one of the largest new and used vehicle spares companies in South Africa, but we are also respected as one of the leading suppliers of quality new and used parts.

We carefully select our stock by purchasing only quality products from auctions, accident-damaged insurers, private sellers, and other specifically selected salvage partners. Our years of experience have opened avenues of premier, selected stock, so, if we don’t have it, we will find it for you.

Even though the parts have been pre-owned, they have the advantage of being original manufacturer specified parts which will fit your make and model. Parts would be selected from later models, which guarantees the longevity of the product.

With rock-solid relationships with both our prestige parts partners as well as a strong, recurring client base, we invite you to join our family. With expert advice and guidance, we can make sure that you have just the auto spares you need for your vehicle. Contact us or explore our website to see what we have on offer. Let’s begin your journey with us today.