Have you ever tried buying a pair of shoes for a friend whose size you don't know and hope it fits? If you have, you know how stressful, tiring, and time-wasting it can be to guess your friend’s shoe size. This painful experience is what you're in for if you attempt to find the ideal spare part for your vehicle without first knowing the car part number.
A spare part number is the manufacturer’s way of identifying auto parts. It could be written on the spec sheet, the packaging, or on the auto part. Auto part number standards differ across part classes; e.g., electrical auto parts have different number standards when compared to transmission parts.
Knowing the car part number minimises the chance of buying parts that won’t work with your vehicle. It also helps eliminate going back and forth to your local store. By presenting the part number at the counter of the nearest dealership or auto parts shop or filling it in the field required on an online auto parts store, you can expect the exact part shipped to you. But how do you locate that number? Here’s how.
How Do I Find the Spare Part Number for My Car?
Examine the part and check for any alphanumeric code or combination. You may not see it right away, especially if it’s been covered by grease, soot, or oil. In such a case, wash the auto part with fuel, wipe clean, and copy the markings on the part.
The numbering is often is tiny and challenging to read with the naked eye. To make the numerals more legible, consider using a magnifier or highlighting the code with a marker. If the characters are embossed, trace them using a clean sheet of paper and a pencil.
While the engine parts have raised markings, they are subjected to heat and friction that can make the part numbers illegible. Copy or take a picture of whatever remains of the auto part number and show it to a reputable auto parts store. Alternatively, present the old/damaged part with the number you wrote out at any part shop nearby. The shop attendant will get you a spare part based on the info provided.
Can You Look Up Car Parts Using the Vehicle’s VIN?
VIN stands for Vehicle Identification Number. It is a unique code consisting of alphabets and numbers that allows you to identify and monitor any car's parameters—check the Technical Equipment Certificate, PTA, or the certificate of registration of your vehicle. Aside from monitoring vehicles remotely, a VIN can also guide you in your search for car parts.
Where is your car’s VIN located?
Some possible locations to find your car’s VIN are:
- Your car's door frame or the doorpost of the front doors; mainly found on the driver’s side, but sometimes written on the passenger’s side
- The dashboard near the windshield
- On the engine of your vehicle, usually the machine pad
- On your car’s firewall
- In the left-hand inner wheel arch
- On the steering wheel/column
- On the radiator support bracket
- On your car's title, registration, guarantee/maintenance book, or on the declarations page of your auto insurance policy
If finding the correct spare parts for your vehicle becomes a challenge, you can try the request-a-part feature on our site! It is an excellent place to start. You’ll need to fill in details like car brand, model, year of manufacture, engine size, and a few other fields. After which, your request will be sent to over 500 car part sellers all across the country. Those who have the exact part you requested will then contact you (email or phone) and send you their most competitive offers. This way, you get the best possible deal without a sweat!
What If a Car Part Does Not Have a Part Number on It?
Other times the number you'll find on the part is not a part number but the production number, which you don’t need to identify parts. What you can do is bring the old car part and go to a reputable car parts dealer for your car brand or an aftermarket parts dealer. With the actual auto part, it may become easier to track a replacement part. You may be asked to provide details about your car, such as its VIN, model, year of manufacture, and so on.
Replacing a faulty auto part with a less suitable spare will result in sub-optimal performance. If your car engine works this way for a prolonged period, you’ll end up visiting the mechanic more frequently and spending more money. For this reason, it is wise to use the car part number as a guide to get a spare. This will prevent a situation where you’ll have to overspend, either through repeated mechanic visits or buying the same parts multiple times because they do not give the required output.
To know more about your vehicle and how to keep it in the best possible condition, go through our blog articles on Carpart.com.au. We aim to help you become a better-informed driver. We’re sure you’ll find handy features in our website, such as our Car Part Finder, Directories, and Ads, where you can sell and buy car parts. Visit Carpart.com.au today!
By Damilare Olasinde