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Used starters

is it better to go to the junk yard to get a starter for my jeep wrangler 1998 4 cyl, than it is to buy a new one?

Buying used from a salvage yard is always a pig in a poke. How much do you value your own time? I did it once in Germany, and it worked out, but I tend to purchased new/remanufactured in a box from an auto parts store that is close by.

Remanufactured is always the best way to go with these type of things. the difference in price between that and a boneyard starter is minimal, and even if you get one that works from a boneyard you don’t know how much life is left in it.

Starters have to work when you need them, and you don’t want to be out in the middle of nowhere when it stops working. Not worth it to me to get a used one.

I’ve NEVER bought a new starter…and NEVER bought a used starter…ALWAYS bought a re-manufactured starter. OR…I pulled the starter and rebuilt it myself…OR sent it out to be rebuilt.

But the last time I needed a starter was in 87 on my GMC S-15. Haven’t needed one since.

i bought a one from advance auto, and die not even a year later, have to start with a screwdriver sometimes. the one that came with the jeep lasted about 12 years, why wouldn’t the refers one not last?

any store better than others to get parts?

I would recommend Napa.

I’ve never been a fan of ADAP, Advanced Auto or PepBoys parts. Fine for oil and wax, but not parts. One of my sons friends bought his car over for me to look at…It was running real rough after he just replaced the plugs/cap and rotor (which he bought as ADAP). The distributor cap was OUT OF ROUND. Took me an hour to figure out what the problem was. He then spent $50 and went to Robins (local independent store) and got good quality Cap/Rotor and plugs…Everything was fine.

Here in NH we have a couple of local independent auto parts chains. Good quality parts…you pay a little more, but the parts quality are a lot better. Do you have something like that in your area.

Buy a rebuilt. If it’s bad then you can take it back for another one. I’ve only had one bad one in about 20 years.

On reman parts, I generally buy from O’Reilly Auto Parts or Carquest. NAPA went out of business near me, so they are not an option, although I used their parts for many years when they were convenient. I also purchase 3-5 yr or life-warranted starters when possible, in the belief that the reman process for those is superior to the one year warranted remans.

Some independent mechanics I deal with purchase only OEM because of the issues they have had with other parts.

If you have time, can also get you quality parts at good prices. Issue with them would be failure and a return, deadlining your vehicle until the warranted replacement shows up.

I looked at Advance Auto Parts on line, and they have remanufactured starters from several different vendors. The quality of the parts, the rebuild process, and the guarantee will determine the price. Wherever you buy the next one, talk to them about the differences in the starters they have for sale. If the first person that waits on you doesn’t know, ask to talk to someone who does.

A used one may be worth a shot dependent upon a few things. Doing the labor yourself, price of the used one weighed against a reman, the difficulty of changing it, etc.

If you have a junk yard where you can pull the parts yourself you could take a look around and see what you could find. I’ve found nearly new starters and alternators on junkers before and at self service junk yards they are often under $25. in my area. I’ve replaced the starter on my '88 Ford Escort 1 time since new. (23 years and 517K miles) When I replaced the one on my Escort I bought a rebuilt unit at Auto Zone and it’s been on the car for over 250K miles and still working fine. I’ve got an extra starter now for it or my other '88 Escort that I found about a year ago in junk yard. I was pulling some other parts and noticed it had nearly new starter on it, think I paid about $16 or $17 for it. I figure having two cars it will work on I’ll eventually use it.

There are a couple of salvage yards in MA where they don’t have any cars (or very very few) in the lot. When a vehicle comes in…it’s dismantled and the parts put in a HUGE warehouse.

I’ve always had good luck with local automotive electrical rebuilding shops. Just bring your old one in and exchange it for one they rebuilt (or they will rebuild yours if you choose). Prices are usually reasonable. Quality is even better.

The place I’ve used often is Chelmsford Auto Electric, in Chelmsford, Ma.

Honestly, a used starter from a salvage yard is not a bad idea… most will offer a warranty of atleast 30 days, and if you cannot afford a new starter at $100 or more, a salvage yard starter will get you by until you can. I personally use mainly salvage yard starters and a $15 - $20 rebuild kit. That costs me usually around $40 or less. A new starter for my 1982 GMC Suburban costs almost $400 dollars due to the 6.2 diesel it has. So yes, in some cases it’s more than cost effective. My starter that I have in it now has lasted over 6 months without even a rebuild kit. I paid $12 dollars for it.

Personally I’d go with a salvage yard starter for now…

If you want to go with a new or remanufactured, go with O’Rielly or Napa… Never go with Advance, Pepboys or Autozone. Period… They all get thier parts from the same places and they typically get low grade parts and charge premium grade prices. It’s not worth it.

With a jeep, typically the price won’t be too bad for a new starter, and there won’t be much difference between new and reman since it’s a mopar 4 cylinder… But always get the lifetime warranty… and keep the reciept.