Would you use recycled or second-hand parts for your car? Online auction platform eBay thinks so. This will save our planet. And used parts will be cheaper and save us money too. But what are the risks? We explore it in this article.
What exactly does eBay mean by used car parts
When most people think of recycled parts, they imagine parts from scrap yards, from cars that have been in collisions, for example. But this is not what eBay is talking about; they mean parts that have been reconditioned.
A reconditioned part has failed or has come to the end of its natural service life. But instead of throwing them away, garages send them to experts who strip them. Worn parts are then replaced with new ones. This overhaul creates less waste and is therefore better for the environment than a new part.
This is common practice in countries like France and Germany. Parts are thoroughly checked when they are rebuilt and are sold with a guarantee.
Parts that can undergo this process are engines, gearboxes, links, calipers and radiators.
Why should you use remanufactured parts?
The answer is simple: it is much kinder to the environment!
Ebay believes that if car owners in the Netherlands used just 10 per cent more recycled car parts, this would prevent 390,000 vehicle parts from going into landfill each year. This would save 190,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions that come from making entirely new parts.
By buying used components, car owners would save owners around 60 per cent / per part. Ebay's calls follow EU legislation passed earlier this year requiring a more 'circular economy'. This is a step away from our current economic model.
Manufacturers must make parts accessible to professional repairers who can repair car parts instead of throwing them away. Currently, regulations require the automotive industry to recycle, salvage or repair 95 per cent of every car at the end of its life.
But are these parts safe?
There are strict regulations for the recycling of used parts. This allows us to buy something that is safe, better for the environment and saves a lot of money. And while there are many components that can be remanufactured and recycled, unsafe components are actually destroyed.
We warn that not all parts are suitable for reuse.
"While responsible reuse and recycling of vehicle components is important, safety is the top priority and not all components, such as seatbelts and airbags, are suitable for reuse. "
There are also official brands operating in the recycling industry
If you have a car of the Peugeot brand, Lemon or DS, or you have a Fiat, Chrysler or Jeep, chances are you can already buy remanufactured parts (especially active in the UK). Both companies have official recycling programmes for parts such as clutches, particulate filters, radiators, turbos and brake calipers. They sell these components for around 40 per cent less than new parts and they come with an official 12-month warranty!