Car Parts delayed? Try second Hand

Used Car Parts

Cars often represent the second most expensive purchase we ever make [after a home]. If something goes wrong whilst it is under warranty you have some satisfaction that it is the dealer’s responsibility. What happens if it is out of warranty? Or, as most of us do not have our cars from new, there is no warranty? Going to a dealer can be a solid way or sourcing a replacement part. With cash being tight in these austere times manufacurers and their supply chains are increasingly unlikely to be carrying too much surplus inventory. This can lead to a scarcity in supply, and if there is a constraint on supply then this can lead to an increase in cost and an increase in time to supply. Look at this example from The Guardian newspaper: Citroen ECU! And here is another example, with 1,200 cars being stuck at dealerships for want of spare parts. Thats a lot of loan cars needed!

Cheap Car Spares Solution

The new ECU cost over £1,470 , and there was a wait of over 14 weeks. It makes you wonder why there was not some creative thinking used:

  • Why wasn’t an ECU obtained from a dismantling yard?
  • It would have been cheaper, and available with next day delivery.
  • The part would have come with a 3 month warrantly, in all likelyhood.
  • Would this have not been a better solution than paying out for a loan car for all those weeks?
  • It would have been an original unit anyway fitted to a similar vehicle.
  • A new ECU could have been fitted later, if it was deemed necessary.


What happens to the majority of drivers in this situation, where they are unlikey to get a loan car? Could they really afford to claim against insurance or hire a replacement car for that length of time? Would most drivers be comfortable with having to spend that level of money on a replacement part? A solution would be to:

  • Make an enquiry after a replacement Citroen ECU with a breaker. You can do this for free online with 1st Choice Spares, and the enquiry goes to 270 yards across the UK.
  • Obtain a cheap like for like replacement, noting the warranty given for the part.
  • Once the car is up and running again you can either wait for the expensive new part and swap over the old for new, or just get on with the second hand spare.
  • No cost for a hire car, and the used part would have paid for itself just for this reason alone.
  • A new ECU could have been fitted later, if it was deemed necessary. Lets face it, if the car was anything other than new then every part of that car is essentially second hand.