With winter looming and costs going up, the use of used parts may make the difference whether a car or truck is repaired immediately.
In fact, the cost of replacement parts may make a difference in whether a vehicle is repaired at all.
Recently, Gene Leeper, Leeper Auto Repair, commented that if new parts had been all that were available, it may not have been cost effective to repair one four-wheel-drive pickup at all.
The particular vehicle, a farm truck, had a broken universal joint in a front drive axle. The truck also needed a ball joint and brakes.
While used ball joints and brakes are not feasible, a used axle shaft with universal joint was a strong possibility.
What made it a certainty was the difference between a new axle shaft at about $420 and a used one at $120.
The job itself, estimated at about three hours work, is not that difficult for an experienced mechanic. But a final bill $300 less because of used parts could easily make a difference in whether an older vehicle is repaired and put back in service.
In another pickup, a drive train problem resulted in a destroyed transmission. Although the transmission being installed is technically used, and therefore much less costly than a brand new one, the replacement transmission is out of a 2010 pickup which had about 1,000 miles on it before it was wrecked and parted out.
That kind of deal doesn't come along everyday, but when it does, the life of the vehicle can be greatly lengthened.