Finding parts for your broken down vehicle can sometimes be like a fulltime job that pays nothing.
It even becomes worse when the car is an old model and manufactures no more produces its components.
With that, you would need compatible parts to fix the problem.
If you are in such a situation, then this article has found you well. Read on to learn more about finding compatible parts when repairing your vehicle.
1. Identify the Part you need
In case you are repairing the vehicle by yourself, then the first thing to do is to identify the part you need. You will need to have some knowledge about automobile to righty determine the faults and the replacements required. Once, you do this, get your tools ready, and remove that faulty part as you prepare to hit the market for a replacement. If the component is a large one, then you may need the help of a friend to take it out.
2. Choose between OEM or Aftermarket Parts
There are two options when replacing your car parts. It’s either you go in for a brand new OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) part or an aftermarket part. For the OEM parts, you get the same replacement part for your vehicle. You will get an OEM part at the dealership and usually comes at a higher cost.
On the other hand, the aftermarket part is a replica of the original part. They function the same as the original, and you may not need to do any form of adjustment when fixing it. An aftermarket part comes at a lower cost compared to the original part. You can read more about choosing between OEM and aftermarket parts.
3. Buy from other brands
Companies always find ways to cash in at any given opportunity. As such some auto manufacturers produce compatible parts of other vehicles. Some vehicles also have similar components since the same manufacturer produces them. So, a Toyota Corolla may have components similar to a Toyota Camry. It is also possible to get similar parts from different manufacturers.
Is your Option an OEM Part?
If you’ve settled on buying an original part, then you have to either go with the faulty part or write down key identification numbers of your vehicle.
If the latter is your option, then you need to write down your car’s:
- Vehicle identification number (VIN): This number is unique to your vehicle, and you can easily buy a replacement part with it.
The faulty part’s code: some car components have serial numbers on them. These codes can lead you to the right parts.
You can now start your search by going to the:
- Dealership Shop
If you’ve decided to repair your vehicle with an OEM part, then go straight to the dealership. At the dealership, you are assured of having the same replacement part for your car. Even if it is out of stock, you can agree on a date for them to import one for you. At the dealership, getting a genuine part is guaranteed.
- Try a second-hand market
You badly need an original part, but then you don’t have enough money to buy a new one. When this is your situation, your next option is to visit the second-hand market. This is the best option when you badly want an original car part at a cheaper cost. When a car gets an accident, develop a major fault, or the owner decides to discard it, the owners usually remove all the major parts and sell them to second-hand dealers. As such, you can get almost every part including engines, fenders, headlights, and gears among others there.
What if you don’t get an original Replacement
In some cases, it becomes challenging to get original parts for some old model cars. If this is your case, then aftermarket parts become your only option. Finding compatible aftermarket parts can be an easy or tedious experience. It becomes easy if your car is one of these common models on the market. However, if your vehicle is a sophisticated old model, then it can be tough. For such vehicles, you may have to do some adjustments even if you are to get a compatible part.
How to find Compatible parts
When you decide to buy an aftermarket part, there are several things to consider. Be careful very careful with your search. As substandard parts flood the market, you should learn more about buying quality compatible parts.
When searching for a compatible part, you need to do;
Part comparison – you need to compare parts when you resort to buying an aftermarket part. If possible, take the part you are replacing to the market and compare with other available parts. This can be cumbersome, and you need some knowledge to choose the right part. The store owner can help you in your search.
You can also search with your VIN and serial numbers of the parts. Some dealers are very experienced that with the mention of the car’s model, they can help you buy the right part.
Where to buy compatible parts
When purchasing the right parts, you can consider options like;
- Buy from a local store – the easiest way to obtain the right part is by visiting a local spare part store. Some local stores have in stock parts of several car models.
- Second-hand dealers – at a second-hand shop, you may get whatever parts you want.
- Check online: you can buy your parts from online market space like eBay, or Amazon. These sites have procedures you can follow to get compatible parts.
As already mentioned, you need to have some experience in automobile purchase to be able to buy a quality compatible component. If you lack such expertise, then it is better you leave this job to an expert. Though it may come with some charges, you will have value for your money.