It can be an expensive super car or an old, second hand compact, the fact is that vehicle components can and do fail on you. This often happens at the most inconvenient times (but that’s another story).
Out Of Warranty Failure
There are many moving components in any motor car and it is a law of physics that movement causes friction. Friction generates heat and no matter how well you lubricate that part, the heat will (over time) cause the part to malfunction or fail.
Electrical systems will also suffer from “fair wear and tear” and will, one day, let you down. By and large, all these mechanical and electrical components are well engineered and well produced. But, they do have a limited lifespan. Most will survive their warranted free replacement period. This means that you will be the one picking up the tab as and when failure occurs.
Then, there is the damage that you (or others) cause. This can be by way of accidental collision, incorrect maintenance, or, by downright misuse. Neither of these causes will be covered by any warranty.
Repair And Replacement Options
Even for auto parts like body panels, windshields, etc, whenever an out of warranty event occurs, your first consideration will be whether to totally replace the part or to try and have it repaired back to functioning condition. Although many auto parts can be quite expensive, the mechanics labor time will often be a major factor in the cost of any repair work. Usually, the damaged component has to be removed from the vehicle and this can be quite costly. Obviously, it will cost almost as much to reinstall the component.
Rather than put complete trust in the mechanic’s abilities to fix the problem, it may well be better economics to simply replace the faulty part with a guaranteed new or reconditioned one. That way, you shouldn’t need to remove it from the vehicle again for quite a long time.
The Price Of The Part
OEM components usually top the list when it comes to prices. Equivalent components that come through what is known as the “aftermarket” route usually cost less (even if they are actually made at the same place that the OEM buys theirs from). Both sources obviously come with some sort of warranty.
Then there is the thriving market for second hand components. This is usually where you can save money. If you simply hunt around a scrap car yard until you find what you want and then remove it from the scrapped car to take home and fit onto yours, there is no warranty. However, many dealers work closely with the yards and extract components in advance, recondition them before sale and some even offer warranties.