Auto Basics: Troubleshooting and Mechanical Tips

Finding Parts For A Discontinued Make, Model, Or Brand Of Automobile

by Anthony Ortiz

When a manufacturer stops making a certain type of car, parts can become slightly more difficult to come by. When manufacturers go completely out of business, the problem only becomes worse. However, there's still hope if you're the owner of a discontinued make, model, or brand.

Time May or May Not Be On Your Side

The level of difficulty that comes with finding used car parts grows with time. If only a few years have gone by, then there's likely tons of parts for your car out there. The older the car, the harder it becomes to find parts.

If the Manufacturer Still Exists

If the model isn't around anymore, it's possible the manufacturer still produces parts for other models that will fit your vehicle. Even if it doesn't, there's still likely more used parts out there than you would think.

Many manufacturers use a number of the same parts on various vehicles. So, if you can't find a used part for your model, a part from another model from the manufacturer may suffice.

If the Manufacturer or Brand No Longer Exists

When the manufacturer disappears, your prospects become a little more iffy. However, there's the possibility the manufacturer existed under the umbrella of a larger company that still may produce appropriate parts.

Aftermarket Parts

There's a whole industry that consists of companies that produce aftermarket parts for discontinued vehicles. While these parts aren't OEM, they're sometimes built to superior specifications when compared to the original parts. A search for your particular part will likely bring up these aftermarket solutions.

The Wide World of Used Car Parts

There's a tremendous amount of used parts out there for discontinued cars. However, finding the used parts you're looking for can take some legwork on your part.

Start with an online search for the part you're looking for. That alone can reveal to you many resources. You can find online sites that sell parts, like, as well as local salvage yards that will list available parts in their database.

Other places to look for used car parts can include many of the following:

  • Your local mechanic
  • Dealerships
  • Car clubs
  • Local car parts stores
  • Classifieds (online and off)
  • Salvage yards
  • Recycling yards

If your part is out there, you'll likely find it. If you absolutely cannot find the part you need, then you can seek a machinist to make it. There's even advances in 3D printing that may help you out as well.

But you probably won't have to go that far. Find a reputable dealer of used car parts, and see if they have what you're looking for. If they don't, they often have the resources to get it for you.