Purchasing replacement doors and door parts for an automobile can be a big decision, especially considering the wide range of different automobile models, door shapes, and sizes based on production date and auto model. Buyers can also choose between purchasing new and used car doors, although the latter might require a new paint job for the car or the door in order to keep the car in matching condition.
Buyers should consider the make and model of their automobile, any coverage, any warranty that might be in place on the car, as well as budget and other factors. For example, some warranties can be voided by taking the car to a non-dealership mechanic, while others do not cover doors damaged in a crash or by natural disaster. These six things to know when buying replacement doors and door parts should help most buyers get started on their way to purchasing what they need.
1. The Car Warranty or Insurance Coverage
Chances are the automobile might be covered by an initial car warranty and might have some damage coverage from the insurance. Car owners should check with the insurance provider for the car and bring detailed photos and a list of the damages to see what the insurance company is prepared to cover. Some issues such as rusting might not be covered, but chances are that accident caused damage is covered under the liability insurance policy. If the insurance does not cover anything or covers very little of the damage, buyers can search for a lower cost used door that is more affordable to purchase than a new one.
It is important to consider that should the car be under a purchase warranty, that warranty is likely to be voided by the process of purchasing and installing a car door autonomously of the dealership. If the car is still under warranty, it might be for the best to bring the car to the dealership and allow them to fix it. While this might be more expensive, even considering any warranty coverage, it does keep the warranty valid for future mishaps.
2. Auto Model Number
Purchasing a new door or automobile part requires that the buyer have the make and model of the auto. In most cases this number can be found on the paperwork, on the inside of the door, or under the dashboard. Many models might be available as the specific make and model of the car such as '2011 Ford Cayenne' but most are sold with a logistics number. This number often consists of a few numerals and potentially letters as well. In most cases, it is possible to purchase a new door or door parts, especially used ones, using nothing more than the specific make and model of the car including the date of production.
It is essential to purchase the correct door or door part because a different model might not fit into the opening, and if it does, the electronic parts and plugs for items such as electric windows might not work. Checking with a mechanic or a vehicle accident repairs and body shop to see which parts are acceptable for installing in the auto might also be a good idea, especially if the insurance company is paying for the part. Some older models of cars are out of production and no longer have parts being produced for their doors. In this case, buyers need to purchase second hand replacement doors or door parts.
3. Any Electronic Parts in the Door
The electronic parts on a car door are vitally important to the purchase because if they are wrong, they can fail to work properly or worse, cause a short circuit in the car's system. Anyone who plans to install the new door or car parts without the help of a mechanic should be very careful with the purchase and even more careful with the installation. Ensuring that the car is off, and potentially unplugging the battery can help to prevent a dangerous shock or short circuit should the cables touch metal or each other. Car owners should remember that electrical safety is always important so following local safety codes, using appropriate materials, and connecting electric wires securely should be on the top of a priority list.
Anyone who is purchasing an old or used door or electric parts for the door should consider running a test to ensure that there are no shorts or breaks in the wire before installing the door. Running a standard electrical conduction test with a relatively inexpensive multimeter should do the trick. This test is not necessary for new doors or door parts or for those with non-electric windows.
4. Colour and Condition of the Door
The colour and condition of the door depends on the buyer and his budget, as well as where and how the door is purchased. For some, purchasing a used door might be the best option for replacing an auto door on a budget, but if the door is not the same colour as the car, it might be necessary to paint it. Unfortunately, this might require painting the entire car as even the exact shade of paint might look different on the door depending on the age of the car and the condition of its paint.
Purchasing a new door could present the same problems if the paint on the car is faded or very old so buyers should consider the present condition of their car before purchase. On the other hand, the entire door replacement might be a good opportunity to hire a professional to re-touch the automobile until it looks like new. Depending on budget, it could be cheaper to simply purchase a new or used door that matches the current shade of paint or to purchase a new one and have the car repainted to match.
5. Be Open to Full Door Purchases When Looking for Parts
Many people search for parts online but sometimes they are difficult to find individually. It might be a good idea to consider purchasing a full door and taking it apart for parts rather than searching for an individual part that might be more time consuming to find, and almost certainly expensive. In fact, some higher end car parts retail for as much as or for more than the whole used door, so it might be a good idea to simply purchase the whole thing and take it apart.
Buyers who do not know anything about car doors should purchase an exact model and then have a professional take it apart for them. Many car doors are sealed, have special screws and attachments, and can be damaged and broken when taken apart incorrectly. A professional is trained to know how to take the door apart correctly in order to salvage the necessary parts.
6. Getting a Professional Installation
While it is highly possible to find car door parts without help, it is not generally recommended to install them without the help of a professional. From the risk of electrical shock and short circuit in newer cars to the risk of causing personal injury, installing anything around a car is never a good idea unless the person doing so is trained in that area. Replacing a car door requires special tools to properly lift and align the door so that it closes and locks properly and electrical equipment and wires must be installed properly so that they do not cause short circuits or, worse, a fire.
Even simple installations such as door locks and door handles might be better left to a professional car mechanic. A lock installation might sound simple but it can take an amateur several hours to take the door apart. Despite the time and hassle, a lock installed at home is not guaranteed to work properly, or even to not stick. Professional installers do cost more but they also offer labour and installation warranties to prove the quality of their work. This means that they fix the item if it or the installation is faulty within a certain period of time. They also provide professional results that look as close to factory as possible, which is something that is very hard to do at home. Last but not least, safety is a concern, and a professional already owns all of the necessary tools and parts to install a new door as safely as possible.
Buying Doors and Door Parts on eBay
eBay is a great place to purchase doors and door parts because it is possible to find anything from brand new replacement parts to full replacement doors off junk cars. Buyers who are looking for a great deal can rest easy knowing that most prices on eBay are significantly lower than those on standard auto parts stores. Other benefits of shopping on eBay include that eBay is an international website, meaning that it is easier to find and purchase rare door parts to older car or rare car models.
If you are looking for car doors or replacement parts on eBay you can consider searching for the door based on specific model such as 'Hyundai black 2009' or by the serial number on the manufacturer's listing. Shipping is very important to consider with full doors, large parts, and full cars as they might be very expensive to ship or impossible to ship. Try checking for local eBay sellers who allow you to pickup the item or who can deliver it for an extra fee.
There are multiple items to take into consideration when purchasing replacement doors or door parts. These include the condition and colour of the door, any electric parts inside of the door, the make and model of the car and therefore the part needed, as well as the automobile's warranty or insurance coverage. Buyers should also consider purchasing scrap cars or doors to take apart for parts, and last but not least, having a professional do any installation, even if the door is purchased autonomously of the mechanic.
Doors and door parts are available at junk yards, car mechanics, car dealerships, vehicle accident repairs and body shops, and stores including eBay that specialise in a range of items. Doors can also be purchased in new or used condition depending on the buyer's budget. Last but not least, buyers should consider the final cost of purchasing a new or used car door including any paint that might be necessary.