Any Old Iron? How To Find Car Parts That Are No Longer In Production

After taking my car to a garage to get a service and MOT carried out only to be told that they could not get a part directly from the manufacturer, I have recently had the excruciatingly painful experience of trying to source the parts from alternative suppliers.

This was a situation which I had never envisaged. While I understood that my Toyota MR2 was no longer in production, I was still completely stunned to find out that certain parts for it are no longer available. If my vehicle was a rare custom car, then perhaps I could understand it, but it is currently one of the more popular tuner cars to be coming into the UK as part of the grey import market from Japan. It seems that although you can easily buy the cars themselves, getting the parts to keep them running is a lot more difficult.

I tried the usual phoning round of local suppliers, but to no avail. I checked through the yellow pages and tried the local scrap yards to see if they had anything, but again with no luck. I looked through hundreds of pages from different car tuning and performance parts sites, and couldn’t find anything to match up with what I needed.

In the end I started trawling through different motoring forum [http://www.motoraddicts.com] sites to see if the part was perhaps known under a different name from what the garage had told me it was called. That was when I started to gain some feeling that I might actually be able to keep the car running. Following a couple of posts asking for help to the relevant sites, with the addition of a photo of the offending part, and I suddenly had access to a large group of keen car owners and mechanics looking to discuss motoring online and my car problem in particular.

They provided suggestions of possible alternative names, as well as suggestions of where I might be able to find a replacement and how much it was liable to cost. I even ended up with several detailed sets of instructions on how to fit the part myself, which if I had the time would have saved me a sizable amount of money!

The next step was to check out some of the recommended garages and scrap yards online to see if anywhere had the part in stock, how much it would cost and how long it would take to arrive. The internet again came to my rescue, as a quick Google search for the terms “car part Toyota MR2″, yielded a list of specialist part suppliers and scrap yard networks.

These networks proved to be of particular use for my circumstances. Simply by entering in the car and part details, one website provided a free check of multiple car part sources across the country in one go. After only a few minutes I was on the phone to a scrap dealer several hundred miles away, and being told that they had the part in stock and could do next day delivery! I confirmed, by emailing a photo, that the part they had was actually the one required and after that it was just a matter of ordering and waiting 24 hours for the part to arrive.

How quickly it can all change; from the despair I felt at the idea that I might have to get a part custom made or even dispose of my car, to the elation at being able to quickly and cheaply get the car back on the road. For anyone with a car that is no longer in production, or who is simply looking to save on the costs of repair and servicing, the internet is definitely the answer.

Put The Fire In The Hole – Make That Old Car Run Again

I thought since I’d never done an article about getting that old car started it’s about time I did, so here we go, let’s say that you just bought an old muscle car, it it was sitting in a field for 10 years, you know at the on-set that the car won’t just start, your not just going to get in and turn the key, and expect the car to fire up, you know it won’t, so let’s talk a little about the reasons why this would be so. There are three things that a car needs to start, air, fuel, and spark, if your missing one of these things it will not fire up.

The first thing that you’d want to do after you get the car back to your place is, slap a breaker bar on the front of the crank shaft bolt, don’t yank it hard, just gently pull on the bar until the motor breaks loose, if you can’t get it to break loose, don’t worry, take the spark plugs out of the heads, and squirt some penetrating oil in to each cylinder and let it wait for a couple of days, then try the breaker bar again, this will more then likely free up the motor, if not spray more penetrating oil on the cylinders and wait another couple of days, most engines will fire eventually.

OK now that you have the motor broken loose, you need to figure out what size of motor it is, the year of it, and the manufacture that built it, you’ll need to go to the auto parts store and get a few things before this little venture can begin, if this is an older car, running a points style ignition then you’ll need plugs, cap, rotor points, and a condenser, if it happens to be mid 1970′s or later, and it has electronic ignition, you can minus the points and condenser, oh and no matter what one it is you’ll need new plug wires, and fuel filter, I also suggest a carburetor kit, if the car has a carburetor on it.

Once you have all of these things you’ll need to drain the old gas out of the gas tank, if it has any in it, and I’d suggest replacing the fuel lines on the car also, some times you get lucky, and the tank has a drain plug on the bottom that you can just pull out to drain the old gas from the tank, but usually you end up pulling the tank out of the car, and draining it that way, it’s better this way because you can take the tank to a shop and have them check for hole or leaks.

Now you need to put the tank back in, put the new fuel lines on, put on all the tune up items that you bought for the car, such as plugs, rotor, cap, wires, and the like, now it’s a good idea to replace the battery also, wile your at it, make sure to repair any wiring that looks bad, or Jerry rigged, especially if it go’s to the charging system, the battery will get the car started, and the charging system will run the car after it has started, the battery is just there to start the car.

Let’s now say that you have replaced all the essential items to get the car started, you’ve replaced the cap, rotor, wires, plugs, and if necessary points, and condenser, you’ve also replaced the old fuel, and fuel filter, and battery, you’ve fixed the bad wiring on the old beauty, now it’s time to put the fire in the hole, take a little fresh gas, and put it in a squirt bottle, put a few squirts it the carburetor, if it’s has injection this won’t be necessary, now that you have that taken care of, you can get in the car and crank the ignition, turn the key, and listen to that beautiful music, it has fired up, and now sings the only music that a gear head cares about, the eight cylinder symphony, it’s a beautiful thing.