I am hoping to expand this section to give a detailed guide to help buyers of car parts. Please remember you can call us or email us anytime and we will be pleased to help (we have a registration lookup facility which can give further information regarding your vehicle).
Our shop has a 'Car Parts Finder' (Top Left) which helps the buyer filter through to his/her vehicle, Unfortunately, even after filtering the models, there's sometimes the problem of engine size/code and models/facelifts etc ...so here are some tips to help you in picking the correct part.
If you are looking for a part which will be 'engine specific' (brakes, filters, ignition parts, engine components) it might be easier to use our search box and type in your model and engine size. e.g. Astra 1.4 Please refer to the following sections:
1) Know Your Year
2) Know Your Model
3) Know Your Engine
4) Know Your Part
b) Fuel Caps
e) Radiator Caps
f) Wiper Blades
g) Washer Pumps
1) Know your year:
Below is a list which helps identify what year your car is from the registration.
Often a car falls within two years e.g. a R-Reg car is termed a 97-98 car.
|UK Registration Plate Year Identifiers|
|Suffix Letters||Prefix Letters||Current System|
2) Know Your Model
One of the biggest problem with ordering car parts is that often the car is on a year change (i.e. it is on a year which could be a newer shape or an older shape). Sometimes it's relatively easy to distinguish the shape but with other vehicles it can be very difficult. It's important to know your model. I could write a lot on this, but to keep it short - USE WIKIPEDIA.
Wikipedia is a sea of knowledge and it can really help.
From this you can sometimes:
a) identify whether your car is on a year change
b) identify which shape/model your car is.
BMW - models can be identified by the E code of your model. refer to Wikipedia for information searching your series name e.g. 3 series has E21,E30,E36,E46
MERCEDES - models can be identified by the W code, which refers to the model. see Wikipedia for more info.
3) Know Your Engine
If it's not written on the car's bodywork, it's often hard to know your engine size.
The easiest way is by referring to your vehicle logbook (the blue entitlement document which the owner of any vehicle should have) - here it will give a figure for engine size with units cc e.g. 1396cc. You the round this up or down to give the engine size as litres and as a decimal. e.g. 1396cc becomes 1.4 Litre. TIP (eBay has an inbuilt vehicle lookup which can be accessed if you go to sell your car. (go through the wizard as if you are going to sell your car - choose the relevant category within 'Cars' e.g. Cars>BMW and then it will ask for your registration - enter your reg and it will give you your engine size as well as date of registration.
4) Know Your Part
Although this is not always necessary, for some car parts it's worth having a look at the existing part on the car, to make sure you know what you need. Below is a brief checklist of what to look for when ordering parts.
There are three types of mirror parts available.
1) Complete mirror
2) Stick-on replacement GLASS
2) Mirror glass with back plate
Which one you need depends on what you have left on your car.
Scenario 1 - Back of mirror is cracked/Mirror adjusting mechanism not working. For some cars the back plastic panel of a mirror is available and you may see some on doctorcarparts.com. If the adjusting is not working, it usually means you need a complete mirror. One thing to consider is whether your mirror is colour coded to the car's main colour. If so, you will need to have the mirror sprayed as usually mirrors come 'primed' or ready to paint. If the mirror on your car is black (plastic) it's not a problem. Some people paint over black plastic mirrors but it's can be harder to spray.
Scenario 2 - Mirror Glass has come out and is lost - A mirror glass is attached to a back plate. This back plate then clips/fixes into the 'receiving plate' which is located within the mirror's main housing. Providing the receiving plate is still ok (it usually is), then you can by a mirror glass with back plate.
Scenario 3 - Mirror glass is cracked but is still intact - If the mirror is cracked you can by a replacement stick-on mirror glass. This comes with an adhesive backing, which you simply peel off and stick straight over the existing cracked mirror. The mirror is already cut to the shape of your mirror, and therefore you will not be able to see any of the broken mirror once it is attached.
Frequently asked question: Can I use a stick-on mirror glass if I have lost my old mirror glass? Answer: Not usually - The stick-on mirror glass will stick solidly to any flat surface. Usually the 'receiving back plate' in the main mirror is not flat and has locating dowels or other such locating pieces sticking out. In this situation you will not be able to stick the mirror glass in unless you make a flat surface (e.g. by using plastic filler), but this is not advised.
4b) Fuel Caps
Fuel caps either screw in, or they fix in by a twist'n'turn mechanism known as bayonet fitting. It's worth knowing which one yours is. If it's screw-in type the filler hole will be threaded. Generally screw in caps are all the same so contact us even if your car is not listed.
There are two main types of oil/fuel filters:
Cartridge filters have a housing that is bolted to the engine and a removable cartridge contains the filtration element.
Spin-on filters attach directly to the side of the engine block by a threaded fitting.
Brakes is one of the more difficult games, and generally I advise that you take a look at the existing part and make a note of the size and, in case of pads , the shape. This prevents that old scenario where you sit down to do the job and are stopped in your tracks by wrong parts. Another thing which can distinguish your part is whether your car has ABS. Easiest ways are to either check your owner's manual, or look for an amber ABS indicator light after you turn on the ignition.
Pads come as Front or Rear. They consist of all the pads for both wheels, i.e. they will contain four pads.
Usually our listings come with a picture of the pad. If not ask for one.
Discs can be solid or vented. Vented discs have cavities running around the edge of the disc.
4e) Radiator Caps
If you have an old cap, it usually has it's psi or bar rating written on it.
4f) Wiper Blades
Measure the length of your blades in inches. Don't be surprised if your driver's side and passenger side blades are different sizes.
Older vehicles (pre 2000) have a conventional 3-part blade consisting of a clip and a metal frame which holds the rubber blade.
Some newer vehicles now use 'Flat Blades'. This can be distinguished as they are usually one piece, chunkier and more 'rubbery' that a normal blade and do not have a metal frame. Rear blades are either fully plastic (direct fit/OE type and have no separate clip to attach the blade, the blade itself fixes in). Conventional blades have a metal frame which holds the rubber blade.
4g) Washer Pumps
Washer pumps are either twin outlet or single outlet. Single outlet pumps will just operate the front washers- there can be another single outlet pump to operate back washers (if present). Twin outlet pumps will operate both front and back washers. It's worth looking at the layout of the terminals within the plug - they can either be aligned or can be at 90 degree angles to one another.