At Integrity Auto Care, we’ve learned that there are only two reasons someone will ever ask us to install their “Customer-Supplied” parts. First, and most obviously, people think that because it’s common knowledge that professional mechanics markup the cost of their parts to their customers that it means that they” surely be “paying too much”. Second, they think that they’ve done their homework, and know exactly what brand part will make them the happiest in the long run, and must supply them or risk getting an inferior part. Both of these reasons is rooted in the sad truth that most people just haven’t yet worked with a mechanic they know they can trust.
A trustworthy mechanic will never lie about the reality that there’s profit in the parts they provide their customers during service. Also – a trustworthy mechanic will always listen to to their customers’ desires about how they want their cars serviced, and always operate in a manner as to satisfy those requirements. “You want ABC brand part? Sure thing, we can order that in for you.”
But before you stop reading this and continue your search for a mechanic who will install whatever you plop down on the counter, let’s take a quick look at the repercussions you may be opening yourself up to…
So, can I bring my own parts to a mechanic for installation?
Yes. If you call enough repair shops, you’ll certainly find one who may be having a slower week, is extra-ordinarily hungry for work, or simply doesn’t care about the problems that might arise for you. Yes, it sure is possible that you’ll find that guy. But the real question you should be asking is SHOULD I bring my own parts?
What do the parts really cost?
After surfing the web relentlessly, or calling each of the parts stores in your area, you may find the part you’re looking for at a price that’s much less than other suppliers. The price may be right…but what is the actual COST in the long run? First, you might choose a part that’s not compatible with your car. This causes a delay in the very least, and likely more service dollars in the long run. Second, you might think that buying the cheapest part you could find doesn’t come with risk, but in reality, not all auto parts are made equally. When you shop by price when it comes to your car, you get what you paid for! The third, some mechanics will refuse to pass along the discounted labor rate offered to their other customers when they’re not permitted to supply the needed parts. That means that you’ll be sourcing a lesser quality part, and whatever money you thought you saved may be spent by way of having to pay a labor amount that is 10-20% higher. Finally, and most importantly, you can bet that you’ll be offered NO WARRANTY on the service whatsoever. No protection in the event the part doesn’t hold up….even if there’s an issue trying to get out of the parking lot! The mechanics who play this game with you will ask you to sign a waiver so that if the part breaks or stops working, you cannot blame the auto shop. You must assume responsibility for your choice in parts. Sigh. What a sad place to be.
Who knows more about your car?
You drive your car everyday, but unless you work as an auto mechanic too, many people are uncomfortable with the truth that their humble mechanic certainly knows more about their car than they do! They know what parts brands are best, they know how long parts ought to last, and they certainly know when it’s worth it to invest in a apart that will hold up, and when the brand name of the part just doesn’t make as big a difference. If you don’t trust your mechanic to make decisions about the parts on your car…why do you keep going back to him?
He’s a professional mechanic, but he’s also a human being just like the rest of us!
Your mechanic will likely not be very thrilled about the idea of you bringing in a box of parts. You see, even if he makes it clear to you that there’s no warranty, that they may have concerns about the appearance or reputation of the manufacturer of your parts, he knows this one simple truth all too well: In the likelihood that the part he installs for you doesn’t hold up, is incorrect for the vehicle, or for any number of reasons just leaves you with a poor experience, it’s HIS name on the big sign out front, and it’s HIS reputation that will be affected if you come back, still trying to make him responsible for a part failure. (Yes, it happens a lot. “It MUST have been how you installed my part that caused it to fail, not the part itself.”)
If your end game is to bounce back & forth between mechanics who you try to get to bid against one another…If you’re looking for someone who will agree to install whatever you could find cheapest at some online parts store from China, then you’ll learn quickly that reputable mechanics won’t play that game for long. They’ll start insisting that you find someone who cares a little less about you and your family who will work for the money…at all costs.
So what’s the answer….should I bring my own parts to a mechanic?
Nope. You shouldn’t bring your own food to a restaurant for them to cook for you, and you shouldn’t walk into an auto repair shop and expect them to install your parts, either. Find an honest mechanic, pay a fair price, and rest completely assured in the warm embrace of a nice, strong, comforting warranty for the future of your car, and the safety of your family.
Schedule Service with a mechanic you can trust.
INTEGRITY AUTO CARE in Stow (330) 689-2100 OUR warranty protects you for no less than 2 years or 24,000 miles whichever comes first. It’s nationwide coverage, and even includes a free roadside assistance coverage program with towing.