Why do auto repair shops not want to use my own parts?

In Shop Talkby Steves Auto Repair and Tire

Why do auto repair shops not want to use my own parts?

Brake pads and rotors from Car Quest are to original equipment specifications

Keeping your car well maintained is important. And for some people, letting a technician isn’t enough – they want to take the extra step and order their own parts and really be a part of the process. And while that effort is appreciated, there are several reasons why many auto repair shops will not install parts that you bring to them when you’re getting your vehicle serviced.

The easiest way to explain why is to give you some example scenarios.

Why do auto repair shops not want to use my own parts?

Alternator and Air Filter from a quality aftermarket parts supplier

Let’s say you order your water pump and timing belt off of the internet or purchase them at a local parts supply house.  When you bring in your parts, you are feeling all happy because you feel like you just saved yourself some money. In this scenario, let’s pretend we agree to install them.

One of our technicians gets your car into the bay, and sets it up on the lift. We go to install your part – but oh, wait –the water pump does not fit. Then you’re in a position where we’ve begun labor, and now you’re stuck with a part that doesn’t fit, waiting for days or weeks until you can get the appropriate part from an internet parts retailer or taking time to run back and forth to the store to complete the job, all the while the car is stuck in the repair shops bay.

Why do auto repair shops not want to use my own parts?

Genuine GM parts from the dealer

Or say, maybe we installed that part, and six months down the road, you return to our shop and say the water pump and timing belt we installed are making noise and are not working properly. If we had installed your parts – and not our own – then you aren’t covered with the 2 year, 24,000 mile warranty that we offer our customers with our parts. And while yes we do need to sell auto parts in order to keep our shop open, another important reason why we do that is so we can offer the great warranty.

In this scenario, you would now be paying our shop two times for the same job to be performed, and overall you haven’t saved any money.

Now let’s look at another scenario so you can better understand the hazard of using your own parts, instead of those from an auto repair shop.

Why do auto repair shops not want to use my own parts?

Radiator for a Nissan from an aftermarket parts supplier

Say you call the shop to get a price on replacing an oxygen sensor.  You say you have been to a local auto parts house and have the code and they say it’s your oxygen sensor. You are asking us to put in the part that you have, and go off of another person’s word that this will fix your problem with the check engine light.

Then comes in the fact that as an auto repair shop, we absorb the liability when you walk out the door with your car keys in hand. If you were to have someone install a customer supplied part and it’s wrong, it could cost cause further car problems, an accident, or even put your safety at risk.

Why do auto repair shops not want to use my own parts?

Radiator cap from an overseas parts supplier

When you allow us to diagnose and replace the products that we purchase we are guaranteeing your money is well spent.  If the part fails, you will not be paying labor again, nor will you be paying for the part. We as a company have to absorb the expense when a part fails within its warranty time and that is why we use quality parts from our trusted suppliers.