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How to Choose the Right Replacement Vehicle Parts for Your Car Model

Choosing the right replacement vehicle parts can be a tricky thing. There are many factors to consider, including availability, price, and quality.

Generally, OEM or genuine parts are the best choice for big fixes. But for smaller ones, refurbished or used parts can be just as good.

Make & Model

The make and model of your vehicle is something that you, an auto body shop or another repair shop, and even insurance companies need to know when requesting service, parts, or repairs. This information is in the VIN, which is a 17-digit code that contains various groups of letters and numbers representing different features of your car.

The make of your vehicle is the company that made it (for example, Toyota), while the model is the specific type of vehicle, like a Corolla or Hyundai iLoad. The same manufacturer makes genuine or OEM parts as your car and is a safe option that often comes with a warranty. However, they may be more expensive and less readily available than aftermarket or used parts.

Year & Model

As the name suggests, determining your car model year is vital to finding the right replacement vehicle parts Jacksonville FL parts. Fortunately, you can quickly locate this information using an inventory module on a website or an easy-to-use smartphone app.

However, remember that the production calendar year may not match the model year. This is because the 10th digit of your VIN will reveal any manufacturer-specified evolutions in mid-cycle — such as engine or transmission introductions, revised trim options, etc.

The age of your car is also a major deciding factor. Using OEM or refurbished parts for major fixes makes sense if it’s still under warranty. However, you could save money on smaller items with aftermarket or used parts. Just be sure to check their quality before you buy.

Engine & Transmission

When replacing your car engine or transmission, you will want to choose the best parts possible. The type of replacement you decide is necessary because these components are responsible for your car’s performance and driving efficiency.

For a safe and reliable option, look for genuine parts that the same manufacturer manufactures as your vehicle. These are also called OEM (original equipment manufacturer) parts.

Another option is aftermarket parts that other manufacturers make. While these are cheaper, they may not be as high-quality as OEM parts or have a warranty. Hundreds of companies produce aftermarket parts, which can be overwhelming when shopping for a specific item. However, some simple ways to narrow your options include filtering by make and model and using a VIN lookup tool.

Body & Frame

If you drive a Toyota truck or off-road-ready SUV, your vehicle likely has a body-on-frame design. Body-on-frame construction allows these vehicles to tow a lot more weight and to flex in specific ways that unibody frames cannot without risking damage to the powertrain.

OEM collision parts are designed by your car manufacturer and manufactured to specific specifications that ensure a perfect fit, structural integrity, and corrosion protection. In contrast, aftermarket parts are produced by hundreds of manufacturers and can vary in quality and price. The broader selection can also be overwhelming for drivers who may need more time to research the quality of each part. A professional technician can help make the best choice for your repair job. Depending on your needs and budget, they can weigh the benefits of OEM or aftermarket parts.

Drivetrain

The drivetrain is a team of parts that help your vehicle move. It includes the engine, transmission, differential, CV joints, and axles. Any of these parts breaks could cause your car to malfunction.

You should consider choosing OEM (original equipment manufacturer) parts if you have the money to invest in them. These are the same parts installed in your vehicle when it was new. OEM parts are more reliable than aftermarket and refurbished parts and often have a warranty.

However, OEM parts are more expensive than aftermarket and refurbished parts. They can also have limited availability. If you have a tight budget, choose aftermarket parts instead. These are cheaper, but they may be less high-quality.