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Used parts: How to check the quality of used car parts

If the car is broken, it can be repaired cheaply thanks to inexpensive used parts. However, all spare parts from car recycling should be comprehensively checked. What has already been done by the car recycling company when you buy online, you have to do yourself when you dismantle it at the scrap yard. We give recommendations on how you can check various car parts.

Read more: Advantages and disadvantages of new and used car parts

Lighting, mirrors and glazing

Car parts such as headlights, rear lights, mirrors and vehicle glazing are often damaged in accidents. Before installation, you should inspect the parts for defects.

  • Headlights, indicators and tail lights: For vehicle headlights and tail lights, carefully inspect the headlight glass and lenses for damage. Reflectors inside should not be dull, and the headlight glass should not be cloudy or fogged.
  • Mirrors: Parts such as side mirrors and interior mirrors must have an intact mirror surface and a sound housing. In addition, you should check the tight fit of the mirror fastening. You should also test whether the mirror can be adjusted as intended.
  • Vehicle glass: Windscreens, rear windows and side windows of cars are damaged particularly quickly. You should check spare parts from car recycling for cracks and fissures on the edge of the windscreen. In addition, there should be no stone chips in the windscreen.

Electronic components and vehicle electrics

Modern vehicles have numerous on-board systems and electronic helpers. Sometimes, however, electrical components and electronic parts break down, so that inexpensive replacements are in demand.

  • Switches and relays: You can check mechanical switches and relays before installation if you have a suitable measuring device or continuity tester at hand. The switches should switch smoothly and the symbols should not be worn.
  • Control unit: In modern cars, several control units are sometimes installed, which you can obtain as inexpensive used parts in the event of a defect. However, checking them before installation is difficult and requires special measuring equipment. Trust is required here.
  • Power window motor: Power windows have their own electric motors that sometimes stop working. Used screenengines should have a clean appearance with no loose parts. Sometimes you can test the function with a battery on site.

Body parts and trim elements

Parts of the bodywork are particularly easily damaged in accidents or fall victim to rust. Used car parts from car recycling help your vehicle to shine again.

  • Doors and bonnets: Vehicle doors, bonnets and boot lids should be visually inspected before purchase. You should be sure that the paint colour is correct and also check the seams and lower edges of the doors for rust. For glazing, you should check the glass.
  • Bumpers and mudguards: Bumpers and mudguards should also be checked before purchase. Plastic bumpers should be checked for cracks and damaged areas. Mudguards should have intact attachment points and not already be affected by rust.
  • Spoilers and trim elements: You must check edge protectors and trim strips made of rubber for intact material without porous spots. Chrome trim parts and chrome trim should have a flawless surface. Spoilers must be checked for cracks and break-offs.

Chassis, wheels and brakes

All components under the vehicle floor are subject to increased wear. Chassis parts, brake components and wheels are particularly affected, but can be replaced cheaply in the form of used parts.

  • Chassis parts: Parts of the chassis should be neither rusted nor worn. Components such as stabilisers, wishbones and steering parts should be visually inspected. If shock absorbers are bought used, you should check them for oil leakage.
  • Wheels and rims: Complete wheel sets or aluminium rims can also be bought cheaply from car recycling. The wheel studs should be in good condition and the rim should not be visually damaged. Aluminium rims should be checked for break-offs at the rim edge.
  • Brake system: All components of the brake system are safety-relevant parts. A thorough inspection is particularly important here. Brake components should not be worn or rusted. For used brake discs, you should check material thickness and wear.

Engines and gearboxes

Complete engines, engine parts and gearboxes are among the used car parts that are frequently requested from car recycling companies. If the car recycling company in your area cannot offer anything suitable, it is advisable to buy them cheaply online.

  • Engines: You can only partially check the function of complete vehicle engines on site. Sometimes it is possible to turn the engine over and take a close look at the components. Look for cracks in the block, leaks and the general condition.
  • Gearboxes: Manual and automatic gearboxes are difficult to test when removed. With manual transmissions, the shifting process can sometimes be tested. If it is possible, you can take a test look at the gearbox oil.
  • Engine components: It is sometimes possible to test the function of engine parts and attachments. For example, starters can be tested by applying voltage. Intake manifolds and exhaust manifolds should be checked for cracks, pumps for leaks.

Used Parts FAQ – 3 Questions about Car Recycling

  1. Can I return purchased car parts? – What many people don’t know: In Germany, local dealers are not obliged to take back goods once they have been sold. This also applies to car recycling companies, where parts are often only taken back as a gesture of goodwill. Online car parts portals such as Autoparts24, on the other hand, offer the possibility of return.
  2. Which parts should I rather buy new? – Some car parts should not be purchased as used parts, but rather as new parts. These include wear parts such as brake pads, as well as seals, belts, filters and fluids. The same applies to bushings, sleeves and other parts made of rubber or elastomers, which cost little when new and wear out over time.
  3. What do I do if used parts are defective? – If used car parts do not correspond to the stated condition, the dealer must take back the defective spare part or exchange it for an intact part. It is irrelevant whether the goods were purchased from a car recycling company near you or via an online platform for car spare parts.

Buy used car parts at Autoparts24

If you need used parts for your car, you are sure to find what you are looking for at The range includes many used car parts that have been removed in the course of car recycling. The practical search function makes it easy to find OEM car parts for your vehicle. Simply select the manufacturer and model name, or enter the vehicle registration number. All available spare parts are sorted by category and clearly listed. You can easily check whether the used part you have found fits using the original number and thanks to numerous photos.

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