Can You Keep the Replaced Parts From an Auto Repair?

When you take a vehicle to the shop for a repair, sometimes parts in your car are so damaged that they require replacement. There are car owners who no longer care about the parts that were replaced and are happy to discard it, but it is also understandable that many vehicle owners want to keep the parts. 

The frequent question is whether you can keep the replaced parts from an auto repair? You would be glad to know that Davies Auto Care respects your rights under California’s Automotive Repair Act. Under this act, a car owner is entitled to an estimate, an invoice and the return of the replaced parts.

The question gets a bit muddied because some owners want to keep the replaced parts because they intend to reuse them. Is this a smart idea? 

It Depends! Reusing parts saves money because it avoids having to purchase new ones. However, there are times when it is not a good idea to reuse parts. Let’s say you have a leaking water pump that needs to be replaced. If you reuse the old one, you’ll get coolant leaks all over the place. This causes wear and tear on the bearings in your crankshaft and camshaft. In time, this can lead to excessive wear and damage to these critical components.  

Another example would be if you drive your car for a long period of time with the old water pump. This can cause rust to form in the bottom of the pump which will then need to be replaced. Again, this is money and time you are spending that could be used elsewhere.

So, what should you do? It’s simple: You should only keep the replaced parts if you are going to discard them or if you are going to reuse them in a way that is not detrimental to your vehicle’s longevity. What about the “gray area” where you might use the part once or twice and then decide whether or not to keep it? Well, in this case, it is best to err on the side of caution. If you have any doubt at all, it is better to avoid reusing the old parts. This will avoid any problems down the road. One last thing: 

If you do decide to reuse some of the old parts, make sure you clean them thoroughly first. This will remove any residual oil or other contaminants that can lead to premature wear and failure. 

At the end of it all, the smartest path to take is to avoid reusing the replaced parts. It’s usually not worth the hassle. There is a reason these parts were replaced. You are entitled to keep the parts, but don’t reuse them. And always consult your mechanic. He or she will be happy to tell you whether or not it is a good idea to reuse the parts.