Buying cheap used car parts may save you some money, but where can you get them?
If you are looking for something like an alternator, your best bet is to find one that is refurbished. Refurbished parts are used parts that may have had things like inner gears replaced with new parts. They are well worth the money for the most part. Typically, you can go to any auto parts store and find exactly what you need. They usually look like new but the price is considerably lower than its newer counterpart. Another thing that may steer you in this direction might be the fact that a lot of these refurbished parts come with a warranty. You might even get some money back if it has what is called a core charge. A core charge is a fee charged at the initial time of the purchase. This fee is returned if you bring in the old part to replace the one you are buying.
Things like tail lights, body parts, and even radiators are sometimes best to simply buy used. The best place to find these parts is at an auto salvage yard. If you are handy enough, some places will let you head out with your own tools to pull your own parts. If not, the yard usually has workers that can do it for you. One thing to keep in mind, always call ahead to see if they have the part you need. They may have what seems to be every kind of junk vehicle, but they may not have the right make and model of the one you need. Don't be afraid to ask for assistance. Sometimes a part on one car is the same exact part used on another.
Whatever type of part you need used auto parts will be the cheapest way to go. If you are having problems finding salvage yards in your area, call any tow company. Since salvage yards depend on tow trucks to keep them in inventory, any tow company is happy to give you a name and a number of the nearest yard.