If you are working on an older car that is no longer being produced, you may decide to try to find the necessary parts at a salvage yard. If so, use the following tips to help you find the right part for your car's make and model.
1. Find the Serial Number on the Part
One thing you can do to make finding the correct part for your car easier is by having the serial number ready to give to the salvage yard's representative. Many times, the number is engraved directly into the side of the part. However, if the part is old and rusted, you most likely will not be able to see the serial number right away.
Because the serial number is likely buried beneath rust, you will have to remove the oxidation first. To remove the rust on the car part, you do not have to buy an expensive rust remover. Instead, you can use white distilled vinegar and a wire brush.
If the part is small enough to submerge, place it in a bucket full of undiluted vinegar. However, if you are trying to find the serial number on the side of an engine, douse the rusted area with vinegar. Leave the vinegar on the part for several hours. The liquid will dissolve the bond between the oxidation and the metal. This dissolution will make the rust easier to remove.
Scrub the metal with the wire brush until you see bare metal. If you find the serial number, write it down and take it to the parts representative at the salvage yard so they can help you find the exact part. However, your part may not have a serial number because of its brand or age. If this is the case, continue to the next section for an alternative.
2. Bring the Part with You, If Possible
If you are unable to find a serial number for the part or if the number is too worn to read, you could also bring the old part with you. The parts salesperson at the salvage yard can examine the part and match it to one that's already in stock or available in the yard.
This course of action can work well if you have a smaller part, such as the valve covers or old-style carburetor cap. However, if you are trying to find a motor or transmission, it is not feasible to remove the entire engine to take to the salvage yard.
3. Take a Snapshot of Your Car's VIN Tag
If you do not have the serial number to the part and cannot take it with you to the salvage yard, then take a snapshot of your car's vehicle identification number (VIN) tag to show to the representative. If you are trying to find engine or transmission parts, the number on the VIN tag can give the representative detailed information about your car.
For example, if you are trying to find an engine for your car that matches the one it was originally built with, the representative can look at the fourth through eighth digits to find this information. These numbers represent codes that represent the power of the motor and the transmission and body style.
Bringing in as much information about the part you need for your old car can help the salvage yard help you find the correct part. If you need more help with finding the parts for your car, contact the experts at Advantage Salvage & Auto Parts LLC for more information on our salvage services. We can answer your part-related questions and provide you with further assistance.