How to Read a Nissan Part Number

Written by kenneth w. michael wills
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How to Read a Nissan Part Number
Understanding the Nissan numbering system can help you identify the right parts. (Nissan 300zx interior image by MichMac from

If you read a Nissan part number accurately, you can identify a part without opening the box for inspection. Due to similarities of some parts, understanding the Nissan part number system often serves as a better identifier of the correct part than inspection. Chris Corley, a service adviser with John Howard Motors in Morgantown, West Virginia, says that the Nissan system consists of 10 digits divided into two five-digit parts separated by a hyphen or a space. To interpret the numbers, you can simply divide the series of digits into four parts.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Nissan parts catalogue

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  1. 1

    Read the first two digits of the part number. The first two digits refer to the "Section Number" assigned to the part. This number will tell you the main function of the part; for instance, 26 refers to the electrical system. You will need a Nissan parts manual to look up the codes to help identify what each code stands for, not only for the section number, but for the remaining digits as well.

  2. 2

    Look at the next three digits in the number. This will refer to what is called the "Character Number" assigned to the part. This number works with the "Section Number" to identify the specific classification of the part in relation to the main function of the part; for example, 121 refers to the headlights.

  3. 3

    Read the first three digits after the hyphen or space. These refer to the "Part Type Number" and identify the model of vehicle on which the part will fit.

  4. 4

    Look at the last two digits of the part number, called the "Distinction Code." These digits will help you identify assigned variations between parts, such as a part manufactured with a different material than a previous version.

Tips and warnings

  • Understanding what each part of the numbering system means will help you understand how to read the number; however, you will have to obtain a Nissan parts catalogue to identify specifics related to those numbers. You can pick up a Nissan parts catalogue from almost any automotive retail store, a Nissan dealership or online from Nissan.
  • Always rely on the complete Nissan part number to identify a part accurately. Inspect the part to identify whether it's compatible with your model. In some cases, the part may fit and work for a while but may cause damage to the vehicle or compromise safety.

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