Car parts, just like cars keep going up and up in price. Just look at any recent bill for service for your car. $69 is not uncommon for an oil change if you have a Mercedes or BMW at your local dealer. $600 for headlights (not including installation), $700 water pump, $200 per tire - or more for certain cars.
It just gets ridiculous. It has been estimated that if one were to try and buy all the parts for a car through their local dealer it would cost 300-500,000 for all the parts on the average car. someone is getting rich here and it isn't us. There is a better way.
Start by looking online. There are junk yards that have the parts you need. And just because they are referred to as junkyards, doesn't mean they only sell junk. Lots of their inventory is from cars that are less than 1 year old. What do you think happens to the perfectly good tires on a new BMW that was junked do to rear accident. Some wiley person buys them at a great discount for their own car. Junk or salvage yards turnover millions of dollars in car parts every year.
The best site to use is car-parts. They will research thousands of salvage dealers and display the prices in order from cheapest and newest and colors, etc... You enter your part needs and then they will find your parts for you. It is not uncommon to get basically brand new or similar items for less than 20% of the price a dealer charges or less.
Another great place is Ebay and Ebay Motors. There are lots of car parts on there for just about every make year and model of car. Everything from a hood to a door, interior carpet, radios, speakers, wheels - even spinners so you can pimp your ride like on tv and in the movies. I've even seen celebrity cars for sale on their and parts autographed by Nascar drivers like Jeff Gordon, Rusty Wallace, Dale Earnhardt, Dale Jr., etc.
Even if you don't end up buying on Ebay, it is generally a wholesale marketplace and will give you a feel for the value and true pricing of certain parts. It will also show you the huge difference between the actual value and what a dealer charges. Just remember this - "Dealer bad, Ebay good." You can even buy your car on Ebay and save a mint - no bogus processing fees, lies by salesmen and their managers whose only job is to squeeze every penny they can out of you - especially the finance manager (they get you just hen you think you are done - and many times they get you for thousands of dollars in profit).
Bogus dealer processing fees totalled more than $50 billion in 2005 - no wonder dealers are getting richer, playing more golf, etc... But due to lawyers and tax strategies the average dealer pays less in taxes than most americans (average dealer tax rate is less than 1%) - go figure.
So there you have it get online and use salvage yards and Ebay to get a great deal on all your car part needs. For instructions on installing any part just look it up on Google. There are thousands of great forums and blogs that for free will give great pictures and step by step explanations on everything from changing a tire to a camshaft, bleeding brakes, fan belt replacement, etc... Do not use your dealer unless you like getting fleeced on a daily basis - as that is what they will do.
David Maillie specializes in automotive safety products and information. He holds numerous patents and awards for his patented headlight cleaner and restorer. For more tips, safety information and money saving products please visit MDWholesale.com