The Most Popular Auto Parts Bought Online: Radiators, Fuel Pumps, and More


In a recent report released by, the top ten most purchased auto parts online were revealed. These findings are based on millions of replacement parts bought by online customers between June 2012 and June 2013. It seems that consumers are increasingly comfortable with ordering even the more substantial items online, such as radiators, which claimed the number one spot. Additionally, smaller high-value items like fuel pumps and oxygen sensors are a hit among e-commerce buyers.

The report further highlights that more than half of the top ten parts have a lifespan of 75,000 miles or longer. In terms of cost, the average price for these top ten parts was around $80, providing customers with a saving of close to 50% compared to retail prices. Installation difficulty also played a role in consumer choices, with five of the items having a moderate to easy installation rating.

According to Shane Evangelist, CEO of, this growing trend can be attributed to several factors. Firstly, consumers are now more inclined to order replacement parts online due to their vehicles reaching an older age. Secondly, more people either attempt repairs on their own or take parts they have purchased to a repair shop. This change is evident from the increasing delivery of parts like radiators, shock absorber/strut assemblies, and catalytic converters, which used to be exclusively obtained from dealerships or repair shops.

The list of the top ten most purchased auto parts online for Q1 2013 is summarized in the table below:

Rank Part Name Life Expectancy Job Difficulty Avg MSRP Avg Online Savings Avg Online Cost
1 Radiator 75k+ Moderate to hard $420 73% $112
2 Fuel Pump 75k+ Easy $350 57% $150
3 Shock Absorber/Strut Assembly 50k+ Moderate to hard $295 53% $138
4 Oxygen Sensor 60k+ Easy $130 57% $55
5 Timing Belt Kit 60k+ Moderate $250 53% $118
6 Brake Pad Set 40k+ Easy $80 57% $34
7 Catalytic Converter 50k+ Moderate to hard $400 54% $184
8 Water Pump 60k+ Moderate to hard $180 58% $75
9 Control Arm Kit 75k+ Moderate to hard $240 53% $112
10 Mass Air Flow Sensor 75k+ Easy $100 53% $47

Top Automotive Parts and Their Costs for Replacement

1. Shock Absorber and Strut Assembly

  • Recommended Mileage: 50k
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate to hard
  • Cost: $107
  • Savings: 38% (now $66)

2. Catalytic Converter

  • Recommended Mileage: 80k*
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate to hard
  • Cost: $577
  • Savings: 55% (now $257)

3. Brake Pad Set

  • Recommended Mileage: 35k
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate
  • Cost: $91
  • Savings: 22% (now $71)

4. Brake Disc

  • Recommended Mileage: 50k
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate
  • Cost: $104
  • Savings: 32% (now $70)

5. Fuel Pump

  • Recommended Mileage: 75k
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate to hard
  • Cost: $303
  • Savings: 57% (now $129)

6. Control Arm

  • Recommended Mileage: 75k
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate to hard
  • Cost: $196
  • Savings: 60% (now $78)

7. Oxygen Sensor

  • Recommended Mileage: 75k
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate
  • $122 50% $ 60 9 Air Filter 15k** Easy $53 35% $ 34 10 Ignition Coil 75k Moderate $87 34% $ 58 Analysis: Top Ten Most Purchased Replacement Parts

    • Size doesn’t matter: The top selling replacement part, the radiator, is also one of the bulkiest.
    • High ticket items popular: Four of the top ten average well over $175 retail, with the number one part having the second highest retail MSRP at $420 — and the number three part, Catalytic Converter, having an average retail MSRP of $577.
    • So are lower cost items: Three of the top ten can be purchased for under $100 MSRP, but purchased online, seven are available for under $100 – with the easy-to-install air filter averaging around $34.
    • Nearly 50% cost savings: The popularity of high-ticket items not only reflects greater selection and make/model specificity available online, but the possibility of dramatic savings versus an auto parts shop, repair shop or dealership. The number one replacement part has an astonishing average savings of 73% versus its retail counterpart. And even the lowest cost item offers a 35% savings. Average cost-savings overall online, versus retail, for the top ten is nearly 50%.
    • Low Life Expectancy = Low Price Point: Some of the lowest priced parts that rank in the Top Ten – air filters, brake disc and brake pad sets – also had the lowest life expectancy/greatest frequency of replacement.
    • Long Life Parts Dominate: Over half of the top ten most purchased parts have a life expectancy of 75k or more, perhaps a reflection of the growing trend of consumers holding onto their vehicles well past the 150K mark[2].
    • Consumers these days are buying more auto parts online compared to three years ago. This increase can be attributed to the accessibility of “How-To” information, the growing comfort with online purchases, and the prevalence of older vehicles. The main advantages that consumers perceive when purchasing auto parts online are the ability to save money and the convenience of comparing prices.

      Here is the list of the top ten most purchased replacement parts (excluding body/accessories) from June 2012 to June 2013, based on data from and other leading auto parts websites.

      For more details, visit’s blog. is an established online retailer of auto parts and accessories. Since its establishment in 1995, the company has been committed to helping consumers save money by providing easy access to auto parts online. Their comprehensive catalog includes over 2 million auto parts and accessories from top aftermarket manufacturers, catering to both domestic and foreign makes. Moreover, offers free shipping on orders over $50, various payment options, and extended warranty plans. With multiple parts warehouses across the United States, they ensure fast delivery of orders.

      For media inquiries, please contact:

      Melanie Webber, Media Relations ([email protected]), mWEBB Communications, 424.603.4340

      Elizabeth Johnson, Media Relations ([email protected]), mWEBB Communications, 213.713.4865

      This information is based on a survey conducted by The survey included responses from 3,214 online auto parts shoppers between November 2012 and January 2013. You can access the full report by clicking here.

      According to a mileage survey conducted by, two-thirds of vehicle owners plan to drive their cars for more than 150,000 miles or until they can no longer run. Additionally, 80% of respondents intend to drive their vehicles for over 100,000 miles.


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