Aftermarket Automotive Electronics – What you need to know.


What They Are and What is Fact or Fiction About Them

Aftermarket parts are often thought of as goods not for use as original equipment in the production of cars, light-duty vehicles or heavy-duty vehicles, examples products and services used in the repair and maintenance of these vehicles. The aftermarket of car parts in reality could come from dealers dealing in factory manufactured parts or dealers licensed to sell products they have manufactured for vehicles.

Automotive replacement parts that were not made by the original equipment manufacturer. Quite often they are manufactured by the original manufacturer.

New parts that replace damaged parts. May be purchased as an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) part or as a generic part. Not the same quality but cheaper. Considered “copycat” companies. Once again not necessarily true because in many cases they are not cheaper but made for performance enhancement that do not come originally factory installed with the vehicle.

Car parts and auto accessories that are not part of the original factory-installed parts. This is fact but doesn’t mean you cannot factory order these parts on the vehicle to begin with. There is a never say never at the dealerships and if you’re willing to wait for the delivery of the vehicles almost anything is possible.

These are parts that are produced by independent auto shops or suppliers. The dealer or the original manufacturer does not make them. They’re also a great way to save money and still get quality parts. True and false because in many cases if you attend Sema, which is the largest Auto Aftermarket parts show in the world you will see for yourself the manufactures are all over the floor showing you what they can either put on their cars for you or that you can purchase and put on yourself.

Anything you can purchase to upgrade or enhance your vehicle. Actually the simplest definition. Often the simplest explanation is always the best.

As is in all cases of definitions there are many that I probably have left out. These are all my choices though having been gathered and opinionated over a lifetime of working on autos truck and motorhomes. Please feel free to add you own. Knowledge is always best when added to.

Loose Wires Can Ruin Your Connection


So you have a loose wire in your car and you want to see where it goes. Well the first thing you have to find out is whether the wire is hot or cold. In other words does the wire have electricity already going to it? Or is it supposed to be plugged into a source of power? There are a couple of things that you can do to find out that are not too dangerous.

The first thing you should do is get yourself a service manual for your particular automobile. Then look in it to see if there is a picture or diagram of your wiring system. If there is one then check your engine and any other easily accessible place with wires and see if there are any missing connections.

If you are unable to see exactly where the wire is supposed to go by following it or a diagram, then you will need to find out, as safely as possible if the wire is hot. The first thing you need to do is either buy, find, or make your own tester. Usually they consist of two tester wires and a light bulb in the middle.

Now that you have your tester turn your key on and hook one end of the tester to your bumper or some other place you can safely ground it. Make sure you ground it away from your gas line because a dangerous spark could happen. Then take the other end and carefully touch it to the bare part of the wire. The light should light up but if it does not check to see if your bulb has been burned out before you touch the wire. If it does not light up and the tester is in operating order then the wire is not live.

Now that you have discovered that the wire is not dangerous you can search to see where the wire goes. If the wire goes through a hole into another compartment you will probably need a friend to look at the bunch of wires in that compartment. Now pull the wire back and forth and ask your friend to grab the wire that is moving. Now that the wire has been found on the other side search until you find the place it goes to. Remember if your car is working properly you might not want to mess with it just make sure you do not mess with anything that is working.

Tips for Buying Used Car in the Digital Age


Know Your Options

Buying a used car can be a good way to save money on a vehicle. Although, if you’re not wise about purchasing a used car, it could cost you a lot more money in the long run. There are a lot of ways to go about buying a used car. You could buy a used car from a dealership, a used car superstore, an auction, or the previous owner. Each option has it’s pros and cons. Some are riskier than others, but will save you more money, and vise versa.

Auto Auctions: If you’re really trying to save as much money as possible, auctions are the way to do it. You’ve probably seen ads for auctions before. Auto auctions usually sell reposed vehicles, used cars, old government vehicles, and vintage fixer-uppers. The ultimate benefit to buying a car from an auction, is that you’ll save a ton of money. I have a buddy who picked up a refurbished police car for $800.00 from an auction! However, the biggest downside to buying from an auction, is once the car is your’s, it’s yours, period. What you SEE is what you get, and I mean that literally. When you’re at an auction, you get to see the car, and then place a bid. You don’t get to take it for a test drive, or have it inspected; you just look at it, bid on it, and it’s yours. If the car breaks a week later, you’re stuck with it.

Dealerships: Going to a used car dealership is a little bit safer of an option than buying a car from an auction, but you’re going to spend more money. Most used car dealerships, especially used car super centers, like Carmax, have there cars inspected. So, you at least know the car isn’t a total junker. However, you will have to deal with a salesperson, and you can expect to spend more money. If you’re dealing with a salesperson who is working on commission, it can work for or against you. On the bright side, you will be able to haggle over the price; however, on the downside, the salesperson might talk you into buying a lemon just to make the sale.

Previous Owner: Purchasing a used car directly from the previous owner can be the safest way to buy a used car if you’re smart about how you do it, and you’re a good haggler. The only downsides to buying a car from the previous owner, is that it may take you a long time to find a car you want, and you can’t always take their word on the car’s condition. It’s not like you can just show up and browse through a selection. If you find a person who is selling a car that you want, there are some precautions you can take to make sure its good. First, you can go online and run a background check on the vehicle via Second, you could talk the owner into taking the car to your mechanic for an inspection before you buy it. Simply tell them that you are very interested in buying the car, but you would like to have it inspected by your mechanic before you buy it. The owner may not want you to have it looked at by your mechanic, out of fear that you will use this as a bargaining chip. In this case, offer to take it to a neutral, third-party mechanic. If they accept, pay a random auto shop to run a diagnostic on the car. If the car is in decent shape, you’re in the clear. If the car doesn’t check out, you’ve just saved yourself from a huge headache.

Before you buy a used car from anywhere or anyone, you should at least check it on If you have bad luck with cars, don’t know anything about mechanics, don’t know any mechanics, and are bad at negotiating; I would not suggest buying a used car. You’re better off going to a dealership and buying a new car that you can afford. At least this way you will have a warranty on the car for a year or so.