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I sold salvage auto parts for 8 years. You must know that you re buying used parts that 99% of the time came from a car that was totaled by the insurer after an accident/flood/ theft, etc. Even if the part is listed online as "tested", chances are it was not. If a car hits a tree, how can a salvage yard test it? Very few engines are ever started before dismantling let alone "yard driven". If a car was running when it rolled over and killed the occupants, it's still considered A1 condition. The risk is all on you, especially at the smaller yards.
Bigger outfits, such as LKQ, will be more lenient with their return policies.
Check car-part.com. It's the most comprehensive website for used parts.
 

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I sold salvage auto parts for 8 years. You must know that you re buying used parts that 99% of the time came from a car that was totaled by the insurer after an accident/flood/ theft, etc. Even if the part is listed online as "tested", chances are it was not. If a car hits a tree, how can a salvage yard test it? Very few engines are ever started before dismantling let alone "yard driven". If a car was running when it rolled over and killed the occupants, it's still considered A1 condition. The risk is all on you, especially at the smaller yards.
Bigger outfits, such as LKQ, will be more lenient with their return policies.
Check car-part.com. It's the most comprehensive website for used parts.
I'm sure he understands that, but used it is the ONLY way to get some parts at a reasonable price.

Transmissions
Engines
Differentials
Drive Shafts
Axles (sometimes)
Headlights (for Xenon)
Hood
Trunk lid
OE Wheels
Seats
Carpet
Steering Wheels

I guess that about covers it.
 

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Potomac German Auto, an LKQ company. The Bavarian Auto Recyclers people in CA are troublesome to deal with, heard many bad things about them.

davidmaria - If I needed a back seat, it wouldn't really matter if the car had been involved in a head-on collision now would it? If I needed a replacement engine it wouldn't matter much if the donor car had been totaled in a rear end collision. I'm sure you see the logic here and also you understand that if I needed something like that and the only option was to buy a new replacement from BMW the car would get sold off or sent to the scrapyard as the cost of said new replacement part would likely exceed the value of the entire car. Used parts are often the only option. It's actually good for the planet to try and reuse these parts and furthermore these parts work just fine when reused. Of course we know they're not tested even when the seller explicitly states they are. It's easier to lie than it is to test a part. The trick is to know enough about it to be able to assess the risk yourself. Most of the time the used part does the trick.
 

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I've had great luck with Weber Brothers out of Pennsylvania (http://www.weberbrothersauto.com/). Their inventory is on car-part.com; however, on their website, clicking stock numbers brings up photos of the actual car you're getting parts off of (often with photos of the odometer as well as sustained damage). I feel like this can help address some of Davidmaria's concerns.

Also, I would completely agree with WDE46 on this, there are certain parts that one would be foolish to source new.

Luke
 

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I'm sure side glass is WAY expensive from the dealer. I'd go used here in a heartbeat, if I had access to a good BMW boneyard.

Is it possible to get side glass from the windshield installer folks?
 

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When I need used parts, I always check ebay. Some examples: I've got an E46 sedan gas tank flap of the desired color for $20, a central vent for $35, a used parrot CK3000 for $30, more recently got an mtech driver side foglight for $25. All these prices include shipping, all items were in great condition. What's not to like?
 
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