Store or Dealership? Five Auto Parts You Should Buy Generic

| July 16, 2012

checking windshield wipers Cars and trucks are complex machines and sometimes parts need replacing. You know the dealership carries what you need, but their products can be pricey. You might ask, are there some auto parts that can be bought elsewhere?

The simple answer is yes, and the reason is that auto companies don’t make all the parts that go into their vehicles. They buy from large, trustworthy manufacturers who make replacement parts as well as parts for new vehicles.

That means there are quite a few parts you can safely buy at any reputable auto parts store, probably saving a few bucks along the way. You’ll want to be sure about the quality, so make sure to ask what’s recommended for your vehicle. DexKnows auto parts stores listings is a good place to find a store close to home.

So here are five parts you should consider buying generic:

Wiper blades

While it’s important to replace your wipers annually — or more often if they see a lot of heat or cold — they don’t have to be purchased at the dealership. Ask for brands such as Bosch or Anco.


You check that all your lights are working every week, don’t you? Well, perhaps not that often, but if a light is out, you need to replace the bulb quickly so you don’t get a ticket. You could drive across town to the car dealer you purchased your ride from, but why? Stop off at any store selling auto parts and pick one up there. Bulbs are usually easy to replace: just twist and pull to remove the old one; twist and push in to replace.

Spark plugs

There’s a lot of mystique about these, but the truth is most drivers can’t tell the difference, so ask at the parts store what they’d recommend. (Tip: spark plugs are specific to an engine rather than a vehicle, so make a note of what engine is in your car before you call in. It wouldn’t hurt to write down your VIN number too.)

Air filter

Over time, pores in the air filter become clogged with dust and dirt. This makes it harder for the engine to “breathe” and reduces power. The general advice is to replace the filter every year, or more often if you drive in dusty conditions.

Brake pads

These might be the most important safety item on your car, so is it really OK to buy generic pads at the parts store? Well, it is — providing that you buy a quality brand made by a reputable manufacturer. A good example would be the ThermoQuiet brake pads from Wagner. Backed by a major global corporation, these will perform at least as well as the pads you can buy at the dealership — and maybe even better. Again, if in doubt, ask an employee at the parts store counter. You can find a good auto parts store on DexKnows.

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Category: Auto Parts, Autos, Services

About the Author ()

After twenty years in the automobile industry the craft of wordsmith called. Putting down the wrench, Nigel picked up a keyboard on which to express his passion for all things automotive.