How to Buy Replacement Parts for Your Older Vehicle

Categories: Cylinder Head Tips

Have you been searching for a specific replacement part for your older vehicle but are having no luck? Don’t worry, let Clearwater Cylinder Head give you all the insights on where to buy your replacement part!

No matter how well you maintain your older vehicle, there will be a time when you need to buy a replacement part. It comes with the natural wear and tear of driving any vehicle on the road. While some may have a professional mechanic look at it, they may not have the right replacement part in the shop for your older vehicle. Additionally, this can create an even larger expense just for diagnosis, replacement parts, and installation.

But thanks to the Internet, it has never been easier to buy replacement parts yourself. While it may seem like an extensive project, finding these parts can be easy if you follow our steps. Follow along to find out!


Identifying the Part

Before searching for the car part or visiting a mechanic, you will want to make sure you are able to properly identify it. The challenge with older vehicles is that it becomes harder to find the necessary replacement part when you can’t identify what you are looking for. Since many manufacturers make different versions of many parts, it is important to know all the information on the part before buying its replacement. By following our three different steps, you can help find out what part your vehicle has installed.

  1. Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). This unique 17-character code is assigned to the vehicle by the manufacturer. Typically this number can be found in a manual which will also reveal what parts are best suited for the vehicle. Finding the VIN is one of the most reliable ways to identify the part. Learn more at the YouTube video here.
  2. Part Code. If you already have the old part that you want to replace, you can search for the part code on the backside for more information about the manufacturer. You can use this code to search online for a replacement.
  3. Visual Identification. There are some car experts that may be able to identify your car part just by inspecting it. You can bring your car part to a mechanic shop or a local breaker yard to find someone that may be able to help. Another great option is to take a photo of the part and post it on an online forum for car parts.


Buying New vs Second Hand Replacement Parts

Are you trying to decide between buying your replacement parts brand new or secondhand? While they both offer great options, one might be better suited for what you are looking for than the other. Let’s take a look at some of the top pros and cons of buying new versus second-hand replacement parts.


  • + Never been used before.
  • + Top-quality.
  • + Reliable product.
  • + It should last longer than a used product.
  • – More expensive.
  • – Can be more difficult to find in stock.
  • – Limited online stores for a newer product of an older vehicle.

Second Hand/ Used / Remanufactured

  • + A better green choice!
  • + Much more affordable.
  • + More available options for products online.
  • + Typically should perform nearly the same as a new product.
  • + Easier to find out-of-production parts.
  • – More susceptible to online scams.
  • – May not have a warranty.

Still can’t decide? Check out these YouTube videos below to get a more in-depth comparison between buying new versus used car parts.



What to Do If You Can’t Find Your Part

Sometimes the decision to buy new or used isn’t even in the question. Instead, you are searching for a rarer part that is much more difficult to find. This scenario may be the case for many older vehicles that have parts that are now out of production. It can be a frustrating and hair-pulling process to find a part that is no longer produced, especially if you need it soon.

So, it begs the question: what do you do if you can’t find your part? Well, there are a few steps you can take to help you find this part. It should be noted that it is not guaranteed that you will find your part, but taking these steps will help you get closer to finding it.

  1. Check Scrap Yards. You know what they say, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Even though it may seem like it would be impossible to sort through the scrap yard for the part you need, they tend to have workers that know cars very well. You can ask a worker if they have either seen any parts like yours or if they could keep an eye out for one for you.
  2. Search Car Part Finder Websites. There are plenty of online car part finder websites out there to help make the process quick and easy for you. This option does tend to be more reliable for cars that are not too old, but it is worth a look. Check out the links below to see if you can find your replacement part.
  3. Shop Secondhand. Some people are eager to get their old, used car parts off their hands, so they will sell them online for a fraction of the original price. Online marketplaces like–eBay, Craigslist, and Facebook marketplace are all great options to start looking at. Do make sure to check the return policy since it can be riskier to buy used parts online.
  4. Ask an Enthusiast. Forums are one of the best ways for like-minded people to chat about different questions they may have about their car. Most vehicles have a specific forum page for the exact brand or model of the car. Once you find the forum you need, you can ask away for advice on where others are buying their older parts.
  5. Find a Swap Meet. If you have a vintage vehicle, you will definitely want to check out a local swap meet. Since it can be difficult to find replacement parts for vintage vehicles specifically, there are organized events for people to meet and swap parts. Check out these websites to find the next swap meet near you:


Finding Cylinder Heads for an Older Vehicle

While we can’t guide you to find every single replacement car part, we can guide you to finding a replacement cylinder head. Whether you drive an automotive vehicle or truck, Clearwater Cylinder Head has over 1,600+ products listed on our online shop.  Our cylinder heads are magnafluxed, pressure and valve tested, resurfaced, and handled by ASE-certified machinists and technicians.

Regardless of where you live in the U.S., Clearwater Cylinder Head can ship our new and rebuilt cylinder heads to you! You can rely on Clearwater Cylinder Head to produce a top-quality replacement cylinder head for your older vehicle. If you have any questions about what brand and models of cylinder head parts we have, you can call our office at 1-800-572-1963


Buy Replacement Heads at Clearwater Cylinder Head

With over 50,000 happy clients and 25+ years of business, Clearwater Cylinder Head prioritizes customer satisfaction through our top-quality cylinder heads. With a massive online catalog of heads, our employees are dedicated to manufacturing, inspecting, restoring, and replacing cylinder heads on cars, trucks, machinery, and boats. If you are looking for a replacement cylinder head, then Clearwater Cylinder Head is the place to call. Our team is happy to assist you with any questions regarding cylinder head selection.

Please call us to inquire about new cylinder heads for your vehicle by calling us toll-free at 1-800-572-1963. We look forward to serving you!