Car Part Terminology

Common Terms You Should Know

List of car terms you that help with shopping for auto parts.

Aftermarket – Aftermarket auto parts are made to the same specifications as OEM parts.

OE / OEM – Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) an exact replica of the original part that came on the vehicle.

Remanufactured – An restored or rebuilt OE part.

Core Charge – A fee applied to the purchase of an auto part, that is reimbursed when the old part is returned to the store. Common on brake calipers, car batteries, alternators, and starters, because the old parts can be recycled and rebuilt into remanufactured parts.

New Part – Unused, never installed, with zero miles. Warranties vary depending on seller and type of part.

Used Part – Parts that have been used or installed on a vehicle.

Interchange Part Numbers – Numbers that identify similar products under different brands. For example, an OEM Wheel Bearing part #5555 has interchange part #12345. The TRQ wheel bearing part #7777 also has interchange part #12345. The OEM part #5555 is likely the same part as TRQ part #7777. Use interchange numbers while searching to cast a wider net for parts.

VIN Number – A set of 17 characters, located on the lower left corner of driver's side windshield or on a sticker on the driver's side doorframe. It has a combination of numbers and letters. The letters I, O, and Q are always absent from VINs.

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