If you are one of many drivers that has a foreign auto, then you know that specialized car care is sometimes needed. This is especially true if you drive an older vehicle that requires a skilled mechanic that is familiar with make and the year of the car. One challenge you may have to face is finding the right replacement parts for the older foreign auto. The following guide can help you track down what you need.
#1: Check for similar cars
Before beginning your search for parts, first do research on similar cars. You will need the year, make, and exact model number for your vehicle. This information is usually available on the tag affixed to the frame on the inside of the driver side door. It is also sometimes printed on a tag underneath the hood on some foreign vehicles.
Once you have the information, do a quick online search to see if the part you need is unique to your make, model, and year. In some cases foreign manufacturers use parts across several model years or they may share parts with other models or even with other manufacturers. Knowing all the possible sources for the necessary part can help in your search.
#2: Contact a local salvage yard
Local salvage yards often have a large stockpile of foreign parts. The more common or popular your car, the more likely that you will be able to find the part. You may be able to call the salvage yard ahead of time to see if they have any vehicles that match yours in the yard. In some cases you can even request the specific part.
Other salvage yards require that you walk the yard to see if they have the vehicle you need, then you will have to pull the part yourself. In this case, make sure you have the appropriate tools – you will need metric wrenches and sockets for most foreign vehicles. Some mechanics may also pull parts for their customers for an additional fee.
#3: Look online
If you can't find the part locally, an online search may be necessary. You can begin by checking with some online salvage yards to see if they have the part you need. For an online search, you may need to get the exact part number from your mechanic.
An alternative is to visit enthusiasts forums or social media groups for your car make and model. Foreign car clubs are another option. There is usually a forum specifically for advertising for specific car parts.
For more help, talk with a foreign car repair shop like Wolfe's Foreign Auto.