How to Buy the Van and Pickup Truck Parts You Need on eBay

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How to Buy Exactly the Van and Pickup Truck Parts You Need on eBay

Sooner or later, most people who own vans or pickup trucks have to buy new parts. Something breaks or wears out, the owner decides to upgrade to improve functionality or to customise the look of the vehicle, or for some other reason something must be replaced. Figuring out individual parts is easy enough; a simple eBay search can return the desired results, which buyers can browse.

In order to shop for the right van and pickup parts on eBay, buyers should know which part they need, which parts are compatible with the make and model of their vehicle, and whether they want to install the part themselves or ask the help of a mechanic. Buying automotive parts has certain common features that apply no matter what part the buyer needs. Reading an overview on how to buy van and pickup truck parts generally can help the buyer become experienced more quickly. Knowing a little bit about how to buy each of the most commonly replaced parts is a good precaution for a driver.

Choosing the Right Van and Pickup Part on eBay

The first stage of buying new van and pickup parts on eBay is deciding what part to buy. This is usually not as simple as it sounds. Most parts come in a wide variety of options to fit the wide variety of vehicles. Even after the buyers find out exactly what needs to be replaced, they still must identify the right size and model to buy, and decide whether to install the part independently or ask a mechanic to install it, usually for a fee.

What Parts Are Likely to Need Replacing?

Certain van and pickup truck parts are more likely to need replacing than others. Some parts, such as brake pads, tyres, and windshield wiper blades, are designed to wear out and be replaced fairly frequently. Other parts, such as batteries, can last many years if cared for properly, but generally do not last as long as the truck or van they are installed in. Still others, such as the alternator and the starter motor, simply go bad slightly more often than other parts, for whatever reason.

Automotive parts do not usually fail because of their age but rather because of how hard they have been worked. How the driver uses the car and how well the car is maintained, as well as the construction of the particular make and model, ultimately dictate what parts wear out when. Drivers who keep up on maintenance may never need to replace much besides brake pads at all.

Installing the Part Yourself vs. Asking For the Help of a Mechanic

Buying a part online through eBay is a great idea for a driver who can install the part personally, but mechanics often object to installing parts they have not sold. Before going shopping for a part, decide who is going to install it. For example, very few people have the means to change the engine of a truck or van at home, because automotive engines are very heavy. Still, some people seriously pursue auto mechanics as a hobby and can switch out an engine. For them, shopping on eBay is a great way to get good deals. Remember that some models are easier to work on than others, so which jobs require a mechanic depends to some extent on the make and model of the vehicle.

Before buying a part on eBay, car owners should decide whether the part really needs to be replaced. Sometimes, as in the case of windshield wipers, for example, a good cleaning is often all that is necessary. In other cases, the part can simply be repaired, and whether to do so or buy a replacement is up to the owner. Alternatively, when a vehicle needs a lot of work, such as having many parts that need replacement, or needing a new transmission, it may be time to sell the truck rather than buy a part. At some point, the cost of repeated repair rises higher than the cost of a new vehicle.

Finding Out Which Van and Pickup Truck Part to Buy on eBay

Buying van and truck parts is not as simple as diagnosing, say, a bad alternator, and then buying an alternator. Alternators, as well as virtually every other automotive part, come in multiple types. The wrong one usually cannot be installed, let alone work. Which part is the right part depends on the make, model, and year of the vehicle. Some van and truck models actually have several alternative subtypes and parts may vary from type to type as well, even within the same model year. To find out which version of an automotive part a given vehicle needs, one can either buy a copy of the shop manual or look up the information online.

Common Van and Pickup Truck Parts on eBay

Vans and pickup trucks are made up of a huge number of parts. A full discussion of all of them would be excessively long. A few notes on buying some of the more frequently replaced parts should help the buyer get started.

This table shows several of the most commonly replaced automotive parts, together with brief notes on buying replacements. It is a good idea to learn how to tell if these parts need to be replaced and what kind the car needs before a problem actually develops.

Vehicle Part

Notes on Buying the Part


Shake gently before installing; if it rattles, return it

Starter motor

Replacement starters may be much smaller than the original

Air filter

Go with a major brand for reliable quality

Fuel filter

Some models lack replaceable fuel filters, so fuel filter problems are a job for a mechanic

Oxygen sensor

There are multiple oxygen sensors; do not replace the one that is not broken


Look for a battery that is right for the climate and is less than six months old


Harder tyres last longer and give better fuel efficiency; softer tyres grip the road better

Spark plugs

Choice depends on number of cylinders, engine type and size, and transmission type, as well as make, model, and year

Attention to mechanical problems is important. Not changing brake pads promptly, for example, can damage the rotors to the point where they need to be replaced also. Regular cleaning and maintenance go a long way towards keeping most parts from ever needing to be replaced.

Buying Van and Pickup Truck Parts for Upgrades

Of course, many owners do not wait until their vehicles need repair to begin installing new parts. Pickup trucks particularly are often customised, both for aesthetic reasons and so the trucks can do particular kinds of work. Often, there is no definite line between cosmetic and practical upgrades, since a powerful truck is usually a good-looking truck. Vans are often good choices for conversion for use with wheelchairs. In either case, the basic procedure for finding parts is the same as for replacement parts; the make, model, and model year of the vehicle together tell the buyer which version of the necessary part to shop for.

The difference is that replacing a part is a simple matter of looking for the same sort of device the van or truck came with. For example, if the alternator goes bad, the buyer must buy a new alternator that is the same as the old one was before it broke. The choice is unambiguous, and there is no doubt that the new part can work properly in the vehicle. When upgrading, the whole point is to change the way the van or truck works and some changes require other changes down the line. For example, converting a van for wheelchair use adds a lot of weight to the vehicle, often to the point of overloading the suspension. The solution is to also upgrade the suspension. Before going shopping to make an upgrade, beginners should speak to a mechanic or a more experienced hobbyist to make sure that the scope of the project is well understood. It may be necessary to shop for additional parts.

Buying Van and Pickup Truck Parts on eBay

Figuring out what van or truck part to buy is only part of the process. The buyer must also find the part among the eBay listings and actually buy it. Fortunately, these steps are simple. There are two basic ways to find van and pickup truck parts on eBay: browsing, and using the Advanced Search feature. To browse for parts, enter the type of part in the search box, such as shock absorber or gas tank. Then use the menu options to narrow the results and filter by the make and model of the vehicle, as well as by other features. Frequently, filtering in this way narrows down the results to the correct part for the buyer's vehicle, though it is still a good idea to look up this information independently.

Buying through eBay is convenient and straightforward, but it does make inspecting parts before purchase difficult, which is particularly important with used or rebuilt parts. There are two ways around this difficulty. First, talk with the seller. There is a contact link on the seller's profile page for these sort of questions. Ask about the condition, appearance, and history of the item being sold. Sellers do not mind this sort of questioning as long as it is done politely and with good will, since they know buyers must do their research. Second, look for a good return policy so that if the part arrives in poor condition it can be returned.


Buying new pickup truck and van parts is rarely as easy as it sounds. Buyers not only have to identify which of the many different versions of a particular part are right for the vehicle they own, but also have to decide whether they can install the part themselves or they need to ask a car mechanic to install it, usually for a fee. In most cases, the basic process of buying van and pickup parts on eBay is fairly simple. Buyers can use the make, model, and model year of the vehicle to look up its specifications on eBay. Alternatively, buyers should check a shop's parts catalogue and, once they identify the part that they want to buy, ask the eBay seller any questions about the part, if not enough details are provided in the item's description. It is also a good idea to do some basic research on commonly replaced parts before anything goes wrong, to save time later. Learning how to shop for replace parts is part of being a well-prepared van or pickup truck owner.

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