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Easy Essential Tips for Identifying Car Parts Using the VIN Number While Shopping at a Junkyard

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Updated January 03, 2023

Need to make repairs or replace damaged parts on your old car? Then you’ll need your vehicle's VIN number to find the correct part.

To find the right car parts for your vehicle, you need the model code and the chassis number or VIN number usually found on the ID plate of your car. Each VIN number belongs to an individual car, making it a unique code that you must know. 

So how do you use your VIN number to find parts suitable for your car? 

Find Car Parts Using Your VIN Number

The easiest way to shop for car parts is by utilizing your VIN number because it provides specific information needed to find the right car part.

What is a VIN Number? 

A car’s VIN, also known as Vehicle Identification Number, is a 17-digit code made up of a combination of numbers and letters that can identify a specific car. Each section of the number provides specific information about the car, such as the year they manufactured it, engine size, model, factory, and the country they made it.

Every car made since 1981 carries this unique standardized 17-digit code. Although older cars made before 1981 have a VIN too, they do not come in the same standardized formula and may be shorter than 17 characters.

how to use vin number to find car parts

How to Identify the Car Part Number

Just like your vehicle, car parts have a numbering system that is engraved into the part. Although parts may look the same, they differ from one another. Each one is only compatible with a specific year and model. 

Parts are often grouped into different categories. For example, the engine, transmissions, body, and electrical parts all have their unique part numbering standards. Here's how to identify car part numbers for your vehicle:

  • Find the Vehicle Identification Number: There are a couple of places you can find your vehicle's VIN. You can find it on the dashboard, on the driver's side of the car, the driver's side door or door jamb, on the engine compartment, and in the trunk. You can also find the VIN in your vehicle title and registration or insurance card.
  • Examine the Car Part for a Part Number: you can't tell if a car part is suitable for your car without examining it for its number. These numbers may not be visible on at a first look because they are usually hidden under grease/oil or may have become degraded. The numbers on car parts are most times difficult to read, but taking your time to decipher the number is always worth it. You can use a marker to highlight parts with raised numbers to make them more visible.
  • Have a Professional Examine the Part: if you're having a hard time reading the number on a car part, you can hand it over to a professional parts store. A reputable car parts company or an authorized parts dealer has extensive networks with distribution warehouses, so getting you the information you need will be easy.

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Old Car VIN Database

Need to get the history of your old car? You can conduct a VIN check. You can get useful information about your old car by checking its VIN number. Apart from the car manufacturing details and specifications, a VIN check will give you the entire history of your car, including:

  • Vehicle inspection history
  • Previous owner history
  • Past recalls
  • Accident history
  • Any history of theft
  • Warranty claims made
  • Past insurance coverage and so much more.

find car parts using vin number

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Repairing Your Old Car VS. Selling

Buying car parts and fixing an old car repeatedly may cost you more than buying a new car in the long run. A more cost-effective option is to sell your old car and invest in a new affordable one. Knowing your car’s history can help you make this crucial decision. So, don’t be afraid to run a VIN check today.

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