For example, a quick search for auto parts on Kijiji.ca, a free online classifieds website, will bring up thousands of parts and accessories listed by private individuals, auto parts flea markets and small businesses offering great low prices.
With a wide range of items from engines to tail lights, it's no wonder that over 3.1 million people visited Kijiji's "cars & vehicles" category in March alone, more than any other auto site in Canada. Nor do you need to be an auto mechanic to find the right part for your car. Keep the following tips in mind when you're looking to replace a car part or accessory:
• If you're replacing a broken or well-worn part, consult your owner's manual or a mechanic to identify the correct replacement. If you're just personalizing your vehicle, make sure the accessory is appropriate for the make/model.
• Start your search locally. Visit Kijiji.ca and select from one of 67 city-specific sites. Finding a seller in your neighborhood will make it easier to take a look at the part before you buy it.
• Check it out. Make sure you take a look at the item in person before you complete the transaction.
If mufflers, radiators and rims aren't on your to-do list, it never hurts to plan ahead for other auto needs. Remember last year's shortage of winter tires across Canada? Keeping an eye on Kijiji may just get you a great deal and put your mind at ease about the icy season – which always comes sooner than we expect.
Kelly Williams is a respected educator and leader in the automotive industry and a former racecar driver. When Kelly isn't track-side, she is busy acting as a spokesperson for Be Car Care Aware, teaching Canadians how to take care of their cars. Kelly has also appeared on several well-known TV shows. She is Kijiji Canada's resident car care expert.