Buying used parts
Buying used parts doesn’t need to be a dirty or taboo process. There are many reasons to buy used and we will outline those below, along with the places you can purchase such parts from.
There are some advantages in purchasing used parts; you will almost certainly save money when buying used parts, generally, they can be sold at around half the price of a new part. It’s also possible to save time as you won’t be waiting for a part to be ordered from overseas. This could be the difference in getting your car back on the road sooner rather than later.
Another benefit is environmental; it is almost too easy to simply buy a new part, but when a used part will fulfill any requirements, it seems silly to not at the very least consider it. It means material and energy resources are not used in the manufacture of new parts.
Lastly, availability may determine whether or not new parts can even be sourced, let alone considered for viability. As a car gets older, spare part availability starts to dwindle. And as the availability of new parts dwindles, prices creep up thanks to classic supply and demand economics. In many cases used parts may be the only viable option, especially for older models.
Buying used parts comes with a few caveats. While they may be genuine OE parts, they are not new, so a buyer has no idea as to how the part was treated before it was removed from the vehicle. Many wreckers offer a 30-day guarantee for parts sold over the counter which gives some peace of mind.
When some materials get older they can become more fragile or susceptible to damage. Plastics are a prime example, with clips and brackets becoming brittle with age and exposure to the elements (like UV light and temperature fluctuations).
Where to purchase used parts
These days you have several options for finding used Mitsubishi parts and, thanks to the internet, even if a part is not close by, it can at the very least be sourced and shipped.
Bricks and mortar options
Wreckers, or automotive dismantlers, are what most people imagine are the go-to places for used parts, and this is true to some extent. This might be intimidating for some (though as exciting as anything for others) with chaotic images of endless rows of cars in various states of disassembly. These places still exist, and so they should, but it doesn’t appeal to everyone. Many wreckers realize this and so will remove the most popular and valuable parts from vehicles, ready to be sold in minutes.
Parts frequently damaged in accidents, like headlights, taillights, wing mirrors, glass, grills, and bumpers, are often cataloged and ready to be found quickly by any wrecker. Engines and gearboxes, either separately or as a package, are readily available too, along with interior trims and electronic components like head units and switches.
If you’re located in The Gold Coast, there are a handful of wreckers you can check out if you prefer the brick and mortar option, however, given the large number and variations of Mitsubishi models, finding the exact part you’re after can be a challenge at the best of times. Unfortunately, due to The Gold Coast only having a small number of local wreckers, finding Mitsubishi parts locally is an even greater challenge.
Many wreckers and dismantlers now use online marketplaces like eBay and Fox-Listed to catalog and sell the parts they have available. This removes a lot of hassle as the parts are often already removed and ready for immediate delivery or collection. It also opens up the option of easily finding parts interstate.
The added benefit of using online marketplaces is the large volume of supply (eBay currently has over 20 million listings for car parts). As so many sellers are all competing for our business at one location, this forces them to give competitive prices on their parts. To give peace of mind when purchasing online, a lot of online marketplaces now also offer various forms of buyer protection policies and buy-now-pay-later payment solutions.
Long before the internet became the everyday accepted norm, people searching for spares used services like the Trading Post. Unfortunately, that is no longer in print, but the internet has since given life to similar online resources like Facebook Marketplace and Gumtree, utilized by both private sellers and businesses alike.
A quick search on Facebook’s Marketplace finds mostly cars for sale, but joining the various model-specific owners’ groups can also be a source for finding used parts. There are Australian-based groups for owners of most Mitsubishi models like Triton, Pajero, Challenger, and Lancer Evo, and groups specifically for selling, and searching for, used parts.
Buying privately can sometimes be a minefield, and is very much dependent on the type of person the seller is. It essentially rules out any recourse should the part be faulty; buyer beware. There is no guarantee it will work or its condition, as you have just the word of the seller and the appearance of the part in question.
Dealing with private sales is a bit like buying a used car privately, whereby you should take into account the seller as well as the item for sale. Can the seller prove he or she obtained the part legitimately? Can they show if it is working? Not everyone is out to make a quick buck, and for every dishonest seller, there are probably a dozen fair and honest sellers who don’t want to rip any buyer off. Buying privately means you have scope for negotiating on price as well (though this can be done with any seller, with varying levels of success).
While some caution should be taken, buying used parts for your Mitsubishi is worth considering if you are on a budget or simply trying to keep an older model on the road. There are many options out there to source parts (some even with buyer protection), so if you can justify the risk versus reward, give it a go.