A Parts Buying Guide For Japanese Cars

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Getting the right partsBuying parts for your vehicle be it a passenger car or light commercial vehicle is not always straight forward.  

It’s simply not the same sort of buying as clothes shopping or buying a tablet.   

The aim of this guide is not to confuse you or put you off buying parts but to help you make the right informed decision and get the right part first time.  

It is critical that you get the correct part for your particular vehicle and just because you type your registration number in does not guarantee the list of parts that are narrowed down to will all fit your vehicle!  
Why is this?  
Cars are complicated pieces of machinery with lots of trim level variations and optional extras available when a new car is bought.  Very often, the exact part that you require is determined by this trim level or by the selection of that optional extra when the car was bought from new  
Selecting your vehicle before searching  
Where you use the car registration look up function please note that while this is an invaluable tool in assisting you select your parts - it cannot be guaranteed that the correct vehicle has been identified and that your parts will be correct, so it is worth double checking to see if it looks right. 
If you are selecting your vehicle from the drop down menus, please make sure you select the correct vehicle using the technical specs or model code.  Selecting the wrong model code will affect the parts listed and may mean that the parts displayed will be incorrect.  
Narrowing down the parts to the correct ones.  
Most vehicles will have more than one part of the same type listed. This means that identifying the correct size or option is vital to ensure you get the correct part for YOUR car - the first part in the list or the cheapest will not necessarily be the right part!  
Examples of this would be:-  
Brake components: could have several options fitted to the model you have, eg 300mm or 330mm diameter discs - your vehicle would have one or the other fitted and they would not be interchangeable!  Sometimes the brake component will be dependent on what size wheels are fitted, or whether your car has or doesn’t have ABS/ESP / traction control or sports package.  
Suspension components: it could be down to whether your vehicle is fitted with a sports package or not. Vehicles with sports suspension tend to have stiffer springs, suspension arms and can sometimes be lowered when compared to the same vehicle with standard suspension.  Some manufacturers call suspension upgrades by different names, ie Sports package.  
Cooling Components: does the vehicle have air-conditioning, climate control or not? Does the vehicle have manual or automatic transmission?  These options will affect the type of radiator, heater controls and most other parts associated with the heating and cooling system along with what auxiliary drive belt (fan belt in old money) you require.  
Lighting: this gets a bit more complicated as headlamps can have automatic or manual leveling, have LED, HID or have standard bulbs. Headlamps and tail lamps can vary by body style too,  an estate tail lamp will not be the same as a hatchback or saloon of the same model!  
Electrical Components: This is probably the most diverse group of all so here we will just list a number of examples.  
Alternators – with or without air-con or climate control. For vehicles with air-con, the output of the alternator is likely to be higher than the same vehicle without.  
Starter motors – manual or automatic transmission, increasingly does the vehicle have stop/start or not. This will affect how easy the engine is to start and thus the output of the starter motor.  
Batteries – vehicles with a lot of extra electrical options such as power windows, mirrors, climate control would normally have a higher output battery so it is worth taking this into consideration when replacing your car battery.  Often the old battery will have a UK reference number 3 digits long which will help, eg 063 or 027.   
Here it is very important to note that if your vehicle does have Stop/Start, then the battery MUST be replaced with the correct battery, usually called an EFB or AGM battery. If a vehicle with Stop/Start technology is fitted with a normal battery, the battery life will be very short and failure will not be covered by the batteries warranty.  
Most of the parts found in our ebay store (gsfcarparts) provide dimensions or other fitment criteria to assist you with making the correct selection. Because finding the right part for your car isn’t always straightforward, we are always happy to assist in finding the right part with you.  We are only an email or a phone call away.   
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