Auto Service World
News   August 23, 2022   by Auto Service World Staff

Finding The Proper Car Parts Can Be Tricky – Here’s How To Do It


Prices for both new and used cars are going through the roof everywhere in the world. No matter the size or type of vehicle, you can be sure that it will be exponentially higher than what you would have paid before COVID-19. Moreover, both fuel and car part prices are rising and falling exchange rates mean that importing cars is also getting more expensive. Amidst all these changes, it is not surprising that people are trying to maintain their vehicles so that they can keep them a little longer and squeeze a bit more out of them.

 

Car wear and tear is inevitable and there is only so much you can do to prevent this from happening. Sooner or later, you will need to replace parts because of a fender bender or simply because they have reached the end of their life. Finding the right parts, and finding them at the right price, is important if you want to keep your vehicle in good shape. Here is how you can get your hands on the right components.

What You’ll Need To Know

If you haven’t bought car parts before, it can be confusing to figure out exactly which one to get. These tips will be helpful even for experienced car owners in quickly finding the best matching part for their vehicle. A lot of people rely on the seller to give them the right part for their needs. With this information, you will be able to track exactly what you need even if the seller can’t provide you with any information or support.

Make, Model And Year

The most basic bit of information you will need includes the make, model, and the manufacturing year of the vehicle. Vehicles also come in different trim levels. For instance, the Honda Accord is available in a few different variants.

Also knowing the specific variant of your vehicle will help you locate the exact parts used in that vehicle. Most online platforms that give you the ability to search for specific things will allow you to use these parameters to see what kinds of parts they have.

VIN Number

Another strategy is to locate the VIN number of your vehicle and then use it to search for the parts you need. This is a unique number that is assigned to each vehicle and it helps you understand all the key information related to it.

When you provide the VIN number to a dealer or an online marketplace, they will be able to decipher exactly what kind of vehicle you have and even which plant it was made in. This will be very useful for finding suitable parts for your car.

Part Codes

Another option is to look at the specific codes of the parts you need and then order them using those. The only challenge is that part codes can be common across different manufacturers.

If you can specify the make, model, and year of the vehicle and then provide a part code for your vehicle it will be much easier to find the right one.

Part Comparison

If you are buying parts at a store or through a dealer, you can also show them the exact part you need and buy it directly. This can also be done online. You just need to share a picture of the part with the seller or the marketplace and they can help you find the right one.

A lot of parts have the part number mentioned on them but because people don’t know what to look for, they can show someone in the industry the entire part and they can decipher what that number is.

Where To Find Parts

Now that you know how to find a part, let’s look at where you can go to find it.

Local Scrapyards

One of the easiest and most economical ways for finding a car part is to visit a local scrapyard. There, you will find entire cars that have been totaled or have just reached the end of their life, but they still have a lot of parts that can be salvaged. You will get high-quality OEM parts and they will be much cheaper than buying brand new.

As long as the part is in good condition, a bit of work can bring it back to near-new condition and you can use it in your car. If you happen to need a 2008 Honda Accord alternator you can find a Honda Accord of the same model destined for the recycling machine and salvage parts from that. Things such as the alternator, AC system, and gearbox are some of the components that are located very deep in the car. These are usually in excellent condition even in cars that have crashed so salvaging these parts will be worth your time.

Dealers

If you don’t have the time to call or visit scrapyards and manually hunt for your particular vehicle and then remove the necessary parts from that vehicle, it can be much quicker to visit a dealer. If you bought the car brand new, you can visit the dealership you bought it from or you can visit any other dealership of the same brand. You will need to visit a 3S dealership as that will provide sales, service, and spare parts.

If you need body panels and body work done then you can look for a dealership that also provides bodywork and painting services. It is highly recommended that you get body work done through an authorized dealer as that is the only way to ensure you are getting genuine paint and you are getting the vehicle painted the same way that it was when it first rolled off the production line.

Physical Stores

There are lots of specialized auto spare part stores you can visit. Some of these stores will specialize in a certain brand and stock parts for different vehicles of the same manufacturer. Others are more generalized and will provide parts for a broader range of vehicles.

If you are looking for a relatively common part then you can most likely find it at a general auto parts store. For very specific things such as internal components or sensors and electrical systems, visiting a specialized store will be a better choice. Most physical auto part stores will also provide mechanical services. You can buy the part and get it installed right then and there.

Online Stores

After COVID-19, a lot of physical businesses have been moving to the online space and auto part stores are no different. When you look online you also get to explore stores that are in other cities or even in different countries. If you can locally find what you are looking for then this is a great way to expand your search.

You can’t physically touch and check the product before buying but if you have the right part number and you have enough pictures of it, you’ll find what you’re looking for. If you are still in doubt, you can talk to a sales representative and discuss your needs. Make sure you are buying from a store with a good reputation and solid rating. Also, make sure that the store offers a return policy in case the part isn’t what you need or isn’t as what they advertised.

Online Marketplaces

Similar to online stores there are also a lot of online marketplaces that you can explore. In these marketplaces, you are buying directly from individual sellers rather than businesses. The main advantage to these marketplaces is that you get to see a lot more variety in spare parts and it’s easier to find what you need. Moreover, you get access to new and used parts.

In some cases, this can be the only way to find parts that are especially difficult to find. You can also get a great deal at these marketplaces but it does take some time to hunt down the right item. Online marketplaces usually have a lot of security measures in place to make sure each transaction is legal and that both buyers and sellers are protected.

Forums

Forums are where individuals come together to exchange or trade car parts. If you are looking for hard-to-get aftermarket accessories or you just haven’t had success with physical stores and online stores, then these forums will be a great place to look. Here there are mostly individuals who are selling used items but there are some that also have new stock.

Again, since you are dealing with an individual there is a lot more room to negotiate and get a much better deal than in the regular market. These spaces are also great if you want to sell something from your car. You can expect to sell the item in a few days or even just a few hours after posting about it.

 

Some cars can be quite challenging to maintain because of how hard it is to find parts and how ridiculously expensive the parts are when you finally find them. However, if you want to maintain your car properly and keep it running like new, regular maintenance is crucial. Look around different platforms to see where you can get the best quality component for the lowest price. The condition is very important when you are buying used products. Even when buying new parts, you want to make sure you are getting them as new as possible because certain ones deteriorate if they just spend too much time on the shelf.