Improving Your Car

How To Search An Auto Parts Store's Inventory: A Guide For Modern Women

Having never repaired your own car before and now choosing to do the job yourself can seem quite daunting. However, women can become more independent and stronger for it. When women know how to do things (like fix their own cars) for themselves, they are no longer seen as "helpless" or "incapable." To start this process toward greater independence, ladies, here is how to search an auto parts store's inventory.

Search by Category

Car parts are frequently sorted by category. For example, is the part you are looking for part of the engine, part of the dashboard inside your vehicle, or part of the wheel and axle system? If you know the general vicinity of the part that needs repair or replacement, you can sort by that category.

Search by Year, Make, and Model of Vehicle

Most of the guys that work in the auto parts store tend to search by year, make, and model of car or truck. Knowing exactly what you drive will help you make a quick search of available parts. Take a 2012 Ford Mustang, for example.

That is exactly how you should look up the parts; the year is first, the make (manufacturer) of the vehicle is second, and model (in this case, a Mustang) is third. If there are any extra special letters or numbers following the year, make, and model on your car, be sure to enter those as well, just in case some parts are slightly different or installed in different areas of the vehicle. The much-narrowed parts list will pop up, and then you can find exactly what you need without guessing.

Search by Part Name

You can search the store's inventory by part name, too. However, just searching by using a term like "brakes" will yield dozens of brake system combinations and parts. Have a backup plan to narrow down the part name list. Additionally, your vehicle may have both drum and disc brakes, in which case you would need to buy two sets of each and replace all of them all at once.

Be Sure to Buy the Tools You Need Too

Fixing your own vehicle is an exceptional skill to learn. Just remember to purchase the tools you will need to do the job, too. You can either research this repair online to see what tools to get, or you can ask a store associate to point out all of the tools you will need to get started.