Order auto parts online to save on repair costs

LOS ANGELES

As a realtor, Chad Pape is constantly on the go, putting a lot of miles on his car. That means it needs a little extra maintenance.

But instead of taking it to a mechanic he saves real money by doing some of the work himself and by buying his auto parts online.

"I replace the brake pads myself. They're about $35 online, shipped to your door. That takes me about 15 minutes. And I save about $300," said Pape.

One website Pape likes to use is Auto Parts Warehouse, based in Carson. There's also Car Parts Stuff, and there's RockAuto Parts Catalog, based in Wisconsin.

Auto Parts Warehouse CEO Shane Evangelist says buying online has several advantages, including free shipping.

"It's easier to go online in many cases to find a part than it is to schlep down to the store. Second, you save a lot of money online. Typically you'll save 20-30 percent if you buy a product online, versus going to a local store. And fourth, you get to compare prices. You get to make sure you're not overpaying," said Evangelist.

If you're not a mechanic and you're asking yourself why you should buy auto parts online, you may want to think again. You can always buy the auto part, and then have your mechanic or a handy friend install it. That allows you to pocket the savings.

"Iif you buy it online, it's much cheaper, easy to ship to you, and a lot of times you can put these on yourself, or you can take it right to your local shop and they can install it," said Evangelist.

Other auto parts the average consumer can buy online that make sense are mirrors, which are often damaged in minor collisions and parking lot mishaps; lights, for many of the same reasons, and they're easy to install; and cabin aire filters, which are very simple to install.

"I want to save myself some money. That's why I buy it online," said Pape.

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