Autobody Parts Online?

Anyone with experience in DIY autobody repair know of a good place to secure parts online?

The car is a 2005 Mazda 6. I was the victim in a hit and run. I want to replace the left front and right rear fenders, and the left front fender liner/splash guard. (Hit from right and pushed into a truck on the left - both of the other drivers fled the scene). I’m trying to do the repairs myself as a pet project. On a 16 y/o car with 150k miles, I’m not concerned about OEM parts or a perfect color match. Just looking to make the vehicle reasonably presentable again and trying to squeeze a few more years life out of it.

Most of the chain auto parts stores don’t carry body parts. I did find a fender online, but the shipping cost was, literally, 10 times the cost of the fender.

Maybe I’m better off just picking the stuff up at my local dealer? Even with their markup, the prices might come in lower than online with shipping costs.

I appreciate any advice or recommendations. Thanks.

Where do you live? I must have twenty salvage yards wishing 40 miles of me. That is where I would go.

Junkyard = auto parts recycler may be your best bet, if local and you can transport the parts yourself. They might let you remove them - good practice for your reassembly job.

You can research available recycler parts at car-parts.com

There’s no such thing as a rear fender on a 2005 Mazda 6.

It’s called a rear quarter panel.

And to repair a damaged rear quarter panel requires cutting the damaged panel out, and welding in a replacement rear quarter panel.

Tester

2 Likes

You do know the parts are not painter, right? Shipping body panels is problematic, the are very likely to get dented in shippin… like the hood I ordered from RockAuto.

Painted parts cost more so the risk is higher.

Same with replacing parts with primed parts that will need to be painted after install exactly like junkyard parts. And the rear fender is a cut and weld job.

2 Likes

I’m not sure why you wouldn’t just call your insurance agent and have it fixed by professionals or much more likely get a check for a total loss settlement (which is what this seems like to me). Perhaps you gambled and went without collision coverage and lost.

Since you want advice and recommendations I’ll give you some.

I advise you cut your losses and get rid of this total wreck. I recommend you save the additional money you’d waste on this trashed car and buy a decent vehicle and buy decent insurance, particularly collision and comprehensive coverage. You’ll thank me later.

CSA
:palm_tree: :sunglasses: :palm_tree:

1 Like

I don’t of many people that have full coverage insurance on 16 year-old vehicle.

Tester

3 Likes

I do !
I have full coverage, $100 deductible broadened collision, $0 deductible comprehensive, on all my six vehicles as old as 25 years. It has paid to have the coverage on all vehicles since I began driving over 55 years ago.
CSA
:palm_tree: :sunglasses: :palm_tree:

3 Likes

I do also have full coverage on my 15 and 16 years old cars too, as on both (combined) it’s under $100 on half a year policy and I do not want any headache to deal with in case of the accident.

3 Likes

I learned the hard way after getting rear ended, liability only on my 03, Sorry yo will have to deal with the other drivers insurance for damages, we cannot help you. Even a $1000 deductible would have been worth it. OK, they said want to use used parts, can’t blame them I suppose.

This was a Hit and Run so not much chance of insurance coverage.

Original poster here, thank you guys for the info. Let me address a few of the comments and questions that came up.

I like the idea of junkyard parts, though I don’t have a huge number of options near me. I am in central/southern NJ. Might be worth a Saturday road trip toward PA to get out of the house and see what’s within an hour’s range or so.

I did not realize the rear fender/quarter panel was a cut and weld job. Yeah, that might be beyond my skills. The front fender is a bolt-on, that is within my capabilities. I’ve attached pictures of the damage I want to repair. On the right rear, think I can get away with a mild application of Bondo and repainting? I know the left front is a goner!

I’m aware the parts don’t arrive painted – I actually found a shade of Rustoleum that comes quite close to the color of the car. You can barely tell the difference, unless it’s under bright white lighting. I tested it out when I replaced a side mirror that was knocked off in the accident.

And, no, I don’t carry collision coverage on the car. Even my deductible is higher than the value of this 16 y/o vehicle. I am fortunate that I am at a point in life where this old car is not my daily driver.

I don’t plan on getting rid of the car for a few years, if I can get away with that. It’s mechanically sound. and I enjoy working on it, So, I see no reason not try to get it back on the road again.

If the other driver would have stuck around.

Tester

1 Like

the rear quarter panel can definitely be fixed in place with a little bit of banging it out and bondo

the front fender is to be replaced for sure, but it seems that damage is not very extensive, so likely some work to fix the bent connection points would be needed, but does not seem to be that bad

RustOleum is probably a cheap way out. I was using PaintScratch.com and some other online exact-match sources for automotive paint, but it was definitely on expensive side to compare to RustOleum or such

2 Likes

You need a place that sells aftermarket parts to collision shops. I bout a fender and some brush or spray on rustproofing coating from one in my area. I am sure there must be some in your area.

Although I always have insurance coverage, I have a few times taken a settlement on a total loss and also retained my vehicle and repaired it myself, I have managed a collision repair shop, so I am a bit qualified to offer my two cents.

Get a used fender that is factory painted in your color. Don’t screw around painting a fender yourself, especially with “…a shade of Rustoleum that comes quite close to the color of the car.” Perhaps it looked okay on a mirror, but it won’t on a whole fender, trust me.

Salvage yards can help locate a used fender. They come “graded” as to condition and are priced accordingly. Often any scratches or dents are indicated with the grade. They can arrange shipment if necessary, too.

Also, there are websites that will help you do that yourself.

It could take a while and be a little tedious finding the red fender (red appropriate for your model-year), but will be worth the effort.

The less you do to that 1/4 panel, the better it will be. It looks better, “as is,” than many amateur repair attempts I have seen. I would leave the dent (That is very stout, doubled metal at that wheel arch. I would not try hammering it.) If you must, try some filler, but don’t expect it to look good, as in “professional.”

Put the fender on, polish the scuffed paint on the 1/4 panel, get exact-match touch-up paint and touch it up.

CSA
:palm_tree: :sunglasses: :palm_tree:

6 Likes

Looks like paint transfer on the rear quarter panel.Use a bit of lacquer thinner on a clean rag to eliminate most of it.Ask a PDR (paintless dent repair shop) to remove the dent.

I wouldn’t replace the rear quarter panel. You can drive the car as-is with that damage. You choice whether the cosmetics drive you to fix it or not. One more thing: the damage is on both sides of the car. How did you manage to do that?

To Common-sense-answer: when you say “it has paid to keep…the most expensive insurance… on all six cars for 55 years”, I am positive that you have not done the math for that. In the long haul, insurance companies make a profit. The rule of thumb is that you never buy insurance if you can afford the loss. What if you had just taken those extra premiums and invested them for 55 years? If you have six antique Corvette’s, keep the insurance. If you have six 15 year old Chevy Sparks, ditch the insurance.

6 Likes