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How you can save money by picking an auto part yourself

8:27 PM, Feb 20, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- We all know how tough it can be if unexpected car problems pop up. There is a way that you might be able to save some money by finding car parts yourself.

Here is how this unique idea works: Using the Ace Pick A Part used auto lot as an example, you pay a flat rate of $74 then you have as much time as you want to come in and grab everything you can put in your arms at one time for that price. The key is to know what you're picking and that takes the right tools.

For Bells Automotive Mechanic Brian Apps, cars have been a professional labor of love for 8 years.

"I enjoy it," he said.

As an automotive expert, we asked him to meet us at the Ace Pick A Part on Main Street to show how you can get the most with your cash.

"You don't have to look for just your year. Most of them will span 5-10 years," Apps said as he walked through the auto yard. "It'll be identical."

First For You: What are some parts that are safe to pick yourself?

"If you're working on your car and you crack your valve cover, then yeah. It'd be fine if you come out here," Apps said. "You'd save a lot of money. They might charge you $10, but at a dealership it might be $100."

You could save cash with interior seats and things on the door panels. Even alloy rims could save you money.

So, what parts should you steer clear of?

"Electrical and computers," Apps explained. "I would avoid them at the junkyards."

Apps said that is because if something's wrong with those parts, that problem could carry over into your car.

Also, Apps said to avoid hoses and belts.

Once you've got a part, Apps said try to make sure it works, for example, by checking a bottle for leaks.

The bottom line, according to Apps:

"If you're unsure of the problem, I'd get it checked out first before you're coming here and buying a part," he said.

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