If you’re like most Americans, you’re holding on to your old car or truck a little longer in the face of a shaky and often uncertain economy.
But that means spending more on repairs and maintenance.
You might be tempted to try to save some money by going with used or pre-owned replacement parts.
If you’re paying for used parts, experts say you may be buying into a dangerous ride.
According to AAA, motorists need to know that not all used parts are created equal and some might not be safe.
John Walter, general manager of automotive products for AAA Arizona believes safety must come first.
"While purchasing used parts may be cost effective, it may not be the safest,” he said.
He points out pre-owned parts may have been involved in a crash, a recall, or previously exposed to improper service.
To help motorists steer clear of problems with used parts, AAA experts have compiled the following list.
TOP FIVE AUTO PARTS YOU SHOULD NEVER BUY USED:
The rate of failure for used tires is among the top reasons for roadside assistance calls.
Visual inspections of tires often fail to identify serious problems like tread separation because it takes place within the tire.
Motorists should be aware that most tires have an expiration date typically six years after manufacture---not six years after the tire is first installed.
BRAKES AND BRAKE COMPONENTS
Brake repairs are among the most common repairs for AAA facilities and that’s because over time the seals of hydraulic brake parts including master cylinders, calipers and wheel cylinders can leak and become defective.
That can cause pressure loss and brake failure. Anti-lock brake systems have components susceptible to corrosion and electrical failure.
Parts such as the power train control module, body control module and engine control module command many of the safety features you have on board.
These high-tech parts are vehicle specific and only precise replacement parts are advised.
Because Valley drivers have to deal with Arizona’s harsh heat and desert climate, the lifespan of a car battery in Arizona is typically 24 to 30 months.
When your battery quits—so does your air conditioning and that can be dangerous for kids or old folks in your car or truck.
The warranties that come with new batteries make them well worth the investment.
AAA points out that air bags, seat belts and all safety related parts should always be purchased new.
It is nearly impossible for mechanics to tell if these types of parts were involved in a crash or exposed to a flood and left damaged and defective.
The cost of new safety gear is a small price to pay for the well being of you and your passengers.
Copyright 2011 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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