How to Find “Hard to Find” Car Parts

FATHER-SON-CAR-RESTOREAvid car collectors and those who are into DIY auto repair may experience the frustration of having difficulty locating a specific car part. Having all the necessary parts is key whether attempting to successfully restore a classic or simply keeping a daily driver running smoothly. Fortunately, there are several resources that can assist in the search for car parts that are hard to find.


The most obvious way to attempt to locate a part that is difficult to find is to simply call the dealership. In the overwhelming majority of cases, a dealership will be able to order the OEM part if they do not have the part in stock. A major downside to using a dealership is the higher price tag dealerships parts and services often carry. Online parts warehouses and shops or local automotive stores may serve as a cheaper alternative or a resource for information on other potential sources that may have the part.

Car Clubs

Clubs that attract members who are interested in a specific type of vehicle can be invaluable when it comes to locating parts. Oftentimes, mechanics, sellers, collectors and average car owners join these organizations to share information about their make and model of choice. Chances are probable that at least a few members will have also faced the obstacle of locating replacement parts and will likely be happy to offer suggestions to others in similar situations. Some members may also be able to sell the required part. Automotive clubs can be found online, and there are also clubs that have a physical location and attend special events together. When looking for a specific part, simply calling, emailing or posting a question on a club’s online forum can often yield solid leads.

Local Mechanics Can Help You Find Car Parts

One of the easiest ways to find car parts that are not easy to locate is to call a local mechanic who specializes in the vehicle in question. Mechanics are seasoned in the art of locating parts; however, shopping around is advisable. In the case of rare parts, certain mechanics may charge a premium. Nevertheless, some may be able to source and sell the part at a lower price.

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  • I had no idea that there was such a thing as a car club, where members are interested in a specific type of car. One of my cousins absolutely adores cars and modifying them, so he might be interested to learn more about car clubs. Thanks for all the great tips on how to find uncommon or rare car parts.

  • We are restoring an 1989 Toyota Van LE RWD ( VIN: JT3YR26W9K5052625) but we have

    not been able to correct the problem in the Locking devise. The POWER WINDOW MASTER SWITCH

    Part number was: 84820-87009.has a rocker switch (the first one in the component), it LOCKS/UNLOCKS the doors.

    Presently this switch will LOCK the doors, but will not UNLOCK the doors. Is this item repairable, or

    must we locate a new / used POWER WINDOW MASTER SWITCH?

    1989 Toyota Van LE RWD

    VIN: JT3YR26W9K5052625


    (Refer: “Chiltons”) Part number was: 84820-87009

    Tim Kirkman

    12245 Orrs Corner Rd.

    Dallas OR 97338

  • We’re searching for The MASTER POWER WINDOW SWITCH for
    [Photos available] our 1989 Toyota Van LE ( VIN: JT3YR26W9K5052625) located in the Drivers door.
    This unit unlocks / locks both front doors, raises / lowers both front windows. The original Part number: 84820-87009.

    Been searching for a very long time!

    Mr. Kirkman

    12245 Orrs Corner Rd.

    Dallas OR 97338

  • Thank you for stating that there are several resources that can assist in the search for car parts that are hard to find. My dad loves building cars and is always looking for car parts, and I want to help him. I will definitely utilize all of your great tips and information when trying to find car parts for my dad.

  • I am restoring a 1979 Buick lasabre unlimited I need a top of dash color blue