Finding Parts For A Honda Car

Honda may have an excellent reputation for reliability, but maintenance is another story. Knowing where to find parts for Hondas is a necessity for do-it-yourselfers.

Honda is known for two things: cars that last upwards of 300,000 miles with few problems, and cars that are difficult to fix when problems do happen. The latter comes from the scarcity of "Honda mechanics" and difficult-to-find replacement parts. Mechanics specializing in Hondas can be expensive, forcing many Honda owners to attempt the work themselves. If you are among these adventurers, knowing where to best find parts for your Honda can be a valuable time-saver.

NEW PARTS

Genuine Honda

Of course, the best way to be sure you have the right part for your car is to go straight to the Honda dealer. Factory parts are generally better quality, but can often cost two or three times what aftermarket parts cost. Also, the older the car, the harder it can be to find the parts for it, even from the dealer. Often, parts for older cars will need to be special ordered; on rare occasions, they may not be available at all.

Aftermarket

If you want to cut costs by opting for aftermarket, there are a variety of automotive parts stores to turn to. Major chains, such as Checker, Schucks, and Kragen, Pep Boys, Auto Zone, Napa, Carquest, and Champion, will offer the best availability of parts for your Honda. However, the manufacturers of aftermarket parts sold in stores such as these tend to make parts to fit a variety of cars. As a result, the aftermarket part you purchase may not fit your car as well as the original - and sometimes not at all. These stores often offer a superior warranty with their parts - such as Checker's well-known lifetime warranty - but this is usually a ploy to counteract inferior quality. The assumption is most likely that the majority of people do not own a car for long enough to lose money on a lifetime warranty. However, if you need to save money, and you do the work yourself, poor quality with a lifetime warranty means nothing more than an afternoon spent installing a free replacement a couple of years down the line.



Performance and Special Interest

There are many companies specializing in performance parts for Hondas. To find these specialty providers, run an Internet search or comb through the ads in the backs of performance and racing magazines. For those who make Hondas their hobbies, performance upgrades can turn an everyday car into something much more interesting and fun. Before installing any upgrades, however, be sure to educate yourself about the part and what changes might be necessary to other components to ensure the best performance from your car.

USED PARTS

Junkyards/Salvage Yards

If you are on a very tight budget, or trying to find a discontinued part for an older car, local junkyards or salvage yards can be a veritable gold mine - without the cost. Especially at junkyards where customers are responsible for removing the parts, prices are a fraction of what aftermarket stores charge. This can be the most time-consuming way of finding parts, as well as the biggest gamble, as parts are used and come with little or no warranty. However, when it comes to expensive parts that do not commonly wear out, or parts that are largely unavailable, junkyards and salvage yards can be a Honda owner's best friend.

Other Resources

When looking for hard-to-find parts, it pays to be creative in where you look. For example, the classified section in local papers may contain ads for parts cars or used parts. Also, be on the lookout for Honda clubs in your area, and get involved; club membership can offer benefits such as discounts with sponsoring stores, and the "grapevine" can be a valuable way to locate parts and do-it-yourself information.

THINGS TO REMEMBER

There are many avenues available in the Honda owner's search for parts. The choice you make should depend largely on what is most important to you. If you are most interested in the easiest possible install, an exact fit, and the comfort of knowing the replacement should last at least as long as the original, then factory parts are the best choice. If you want new parts but can't afford to pay for the Honda name and quality, if you are preparing to sell the car, or if you want increased performance, then your needs may require aftermarket parts. If you are running on a tight budget or if you can't find the part new, used parts may be your best option. However you go about finding parts for your Honda, make sure the source suits your needs.

© High Speed Ventures 2011