By Jamie Barrie T he world of automotive parts can be a complex and confusing place to shop. The do-it- yourself shady tree mechanic is less likely to get what they need by calling the local parts store or salvage yard. Whether it is the family truckster, an off-road workhorse or that special project that is older than your first born, things have changed. Junkyard treasure hunting is a lost art. Auto recyclers rarely have a retired unit loaded with parts waiting for buyers. They are far more likely to use a keyboard to search local and global databases to locate parts than their own backyard. Change was inevitable. Many cars are lasting longer which decreases the salvage inventory. Also owners are keeping older cars on the road longer and gobbling up parts to make it happen. According to the IHS the average age of cars on the road in the US has increased to 11.2 years which is a new all-time record. In fact, 42% more new cars were added last year than were retired. Manufacturers have maintained a premium pricing model for supplying original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts. This has given rise to a thriving secondary suppliers market generally referred to as aftermarket. These parts are often as good or better than the originals and more reasonably priced. Acquiring aftermarket parts at a fair price can be difficult. Most well-known parts stores sell aftermarket and OEM side by side. Their pricing strategy is to keep the aftermarket items slightly below the OEM ones making them appear to be a better deal. A quick search on the Internet and most do-it-yourself enthusiasts are amazed at how much diversity there is in pricing.

Domestic model parts normally sell online for half the price of traditional supply channels. Items for imported models



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