To order a part for your Ford motor car, you need to have a parts number, especially for older cars. Each Ford auto part is assigned two numbers in its lifetime: an engineering number and a service number. An engineering number is used while the automobile is being designed. On an older Ford auto, you can determine when and where a car part was made by deciphering the parts number and determine whether or not you can substitute another year's make for the same auto part. By far the easiest way to determine a Ford auto part is by consulting an online database which Ford provides for free.
Obtain your Ford Vehicle Identification Number for use at Ford's official parts database, Ford Parts. Find the VIN in the lower corner of your front window on the driver's side. Using your VIN will ensure the most accurate search for your part.
Enter your car's year and model number if you cannot find your Ford auto part with your VIN. The listings will not be as thorough with just the year and model, but usually your part will be listed.
Call your local auto parts dealer if you cannot find your auto part number online. Ford auto parts are coded for both years and part category such as chassis, transmission or air conditioner. Usually, experienced auto parts clerk will know the category numbers and year coding for your Ford auto part before they look it up and find it quickly.
Consult an online Ford enthusiast forum if you still cannot locate the parts number or if the part you located is out of your budget. Usually, you can find a substitution part off another year's model. Ford designed later models to match older car parts and car enthusiasts will know which part to recommend for your particular need.
Keep in mind that your local used auto parts store may have your part available. Look for pull-it-yourself auto dealers nearby.