If you are wondering, “Will mechanics let me bring my own parts,” we have the answer for you.
At our auto repair shop, we very rarely allow a customer to supply their own parts. However, there are some very select situations that we will. We always want to do what is best and fair for everyone involved. Here are the main reasons why most mechanic shops (including ours) do not allow you to bring your own parts.
Warranty and Reliability of the Auto Part
When a mechanic shop is repairing your vehicle, they utilize years of experience to determine what part needs to be replaced and what the difference in quality is between different brands/ suppliers. Not all auto parts are created equal. Although you can often get a part that fits your vehicle properly from all the main suppliers like Napa, O’Reilly, AutoZone and Carquest; it is not always what is best for your vehicle or you. Using our years of experience, we have a list of parts that we trust the quality of from the top 4 suppliers in our area.
We have also itemized many parts that we will only trust an OE supplier to get us. It is typically less expensive, more convenient, and quicker to round up the parts needed from our local Napa supplier, so that is always our first choice. When we do decide to wait for the dealer, or one of our other OE quality suppliers, to bring us the part, it typically costs a bit more and takes a lot longer. We only do this when it is necessary to get the quality of the part we are willing to put our name behind.
When it comes to the quality of parts we will put on your vehicle, we will only install parts that we would feel comfortable having in our own car. Our theory is that if your original part made it 100k miles, the part we are installing should last just as long, if not longer. We give a minimum warranty of 3 years and 100k mile warranty on any new or remanufactured part we ever install on your vehicle.
Believe it or not, we often get a faulty part right out of the box. Thankfully, it doesn’t happen too often, but our mechanics encounter it once or twice a month. When it does happen, it costs our mechanics a lot of time because it causes them to go back through the whole diagnostic process and verify their original diagnosis is correct.
Consider this; if you were to supply your own part in the case that the new part was faulty right out of the box, who is responsible for taking care of the mechanic’s time? It puts the mechanic, mechanic shop owner, and yourself in a difficult situation. If we supply the part and it is deemed to be defective, we make sure our mechanic’s time is taken care of.
High-quality mechanics have invested many years learning the craft and have spent thousands of dollars on tools. They deserve to be compensated fairly for the time spent working on your vehicle. Due to the volume of purchases we have with our parts suppliers, we have a good working relationship allowing us to lean on our suppliers to take care of any additional costs we may incur in that situation.
There are a lot of expenses involved in operating a mechanic shop. Rent, utilities, tools, uniforms, support staff, supplies, etc. Due to these expenses, it is not possible to be profitable by selling labor only. All mechanic shops must order parts at our cost and apply a predetermined markup on that part. Yes, this means that buying a part from your local auto repair shop will cost you more than buying it directly from the parts supplier.
Honestly, we don’t buy parts from our suppliers at a much better price than our customers can. In order to take care of our team and keep our business open to take good care of you, we must make a fair profit on parts. If you supply your part, you must understand that is taking needed profits away from the mechanic shop and team that is helping you.
Now, in the rare situations that it makes sense for the customer to bring a part they have ordered; a part every once in a great while should not hurt the mechanic shop. However, if customers are allowed to supply their own parts often, the shop will be in trouble.
Mechanic shops utilize a parts matrix to determine how much to charge a customer for parts. The matrix is designed to get us an average profit that will cover the expenses of the business. Parts will cost a little bit of a different amount at any shop you go to because not all shops have the exact same operating costs. Our parts matrix has a higher profit margin on lower cost parts and a lower profit margin on expensive parts like engines, transmissions, and modules.
I hope this answers the question, “Will mechanics let me bring my own parts?” If not, please feel free to call one of our trusted advisers for a more in depth explanation. We believe in transparency and want to be your trusted auto repair shop in Layton, Utah. We strongly believe that in doing business with you, everyone must win. You, the customer, me, the business owner, and most importantly, our hardworking team.