We love our vehicles. Something about it. Sure they probably built a million that look like yours. But this one… this one that you bought is yours! In most instances it’s your 2nd biggest investment only topped by your home in most cases. But yours is no spring chicken. Warranty ran out a few years ago and the new car smell is long gone. With anything that has some age to it and it being mechanical, it’s inevitable that something will break or the check engine light will come on. That doesn’t bother you though because you’ve been repairing your own vehicles since you bought your first car or truck at 16 for a smooth thousand bucks that took you 2 summers of mowing yards to save up for! Parts were easy to find and relatively easy to look up then. Just walk in, tell them the year, make, and model maybe the engine size and if it’s an automatic or manual and “here’s your part, thanks, come back to see us”. Those days are over. With today’s technology and the “options” being endless, walking in to your local dealer’s parts department with a year, make, and model wouldn’t get you an air filter. Most cases you have to have a VIN # with you. Looking up parts without it is a part counter person’s nightmare. A seasoned counter-person with 20 years + parts experience will not be able to 100% guarantee you have the correct part the first time without it. Some parts are VIN specific, even going as far as having to submit a VIN to the manufacturer to even order the part required. Every day we see it, customers walking in without a VIN #, some customers think its inexperience of the counter person to ask for it or even to go so far as to refuse to sell you a part without it for fear of ordering the wrong part. But it is for the customers benefit to ask you for that VIN #. Without the VIN it’s like closing your eyes and putting your hand in a box and pulling out a random part and hoping that’s the right one and more times than not, it’s wrong. What’s worse is when you get home ready to install your part and its wrong. If you’re anything like me, you immediately blame the parts person that sold you the wrong part. Now you have to get cleaned up drive back to the parts store or dealer to get the right part, worse if you bought the wrong part online. Instead of a few minutes’ drive to get the correct part, now its days! The frustration of getting the wrong part can almost be eliminated by just giving your parts counter person the VIN. Without the VIN submitted in the catalog every part for every trim level, engine, and transmission type is shown and is almost impossible to narrow down which one is specific to your vehicle. With the VIN submitted, only your options show. Think about that for a second and remember the word “options”. For example the 2017 Chevrolet 1500 has a list of options and styles that seem endless. Is it diesel or gas? 4 wheel drive? 2 wheel drive? Great, Extra cab, Crew cab, or W/T? Perfect, what engine? 4.3, 5.3, or 6.2? Then you have 8 different trim options. With 6 different interior colors to choose from. The combinations of these options seem to go on forever. Often time’s customers are not even sure of their options and with that many options and combinations to choose from, who can blame them? Try to remember the Next time you need to purchase a part and your counter-person ask for a VIN, take comfort in the fact that because that parts professional knows you want the right part the first time and that VIN is the only way to guarantee that happens!