Here at GermanAutoParts.com we strive to offer knowledgeable service before and after you purchase your parts. Below we've tried to cover some common questions we receive. We hope you find what you need here but if not please do not hesitate to contact us at 1-877-443-7626 or using the form at the bottom of every page. We're open Monday - Friday, 8am - 6pm Eastern Time.
- Q:When you refer to your parts being left or right side which side is that on my vehicle?
Left and right are always relative to position as you are seated in the car, facing forward. Here in the USA and in other left hand drive countries left is the driver's side and right is the passenger's side.
- Q:What does the term OEM part stand for? What's the difference between OEM. and aftermarket?
OEM. stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer, meaning a company who supplies parts to the vehicle manufacturer (ex. BMW, Volkswagen, etc). Most vehicle manufacturers do not produce or manufacture their own parts, rather the parts are produced by outside companies for the vehicle manufacturer to meet the needs of the vehicle's specifications. For example, Volkswagen does not make their own thermostats, they buy them from manufacturers like Behr and Wahler. We buy ours from these same original equipment manufacturers, usually the only difference is the logo on the part and the box it comes in. By going directly to the original equipment manufacturers we are able to save you money on top quality parts.
Aftermarket parts are made by an outside supplier that did not originally supply parts to the vehicle manufacturer. Aftermarket parts tend to be a less expensive alternative than OEM parts. In some cases aftermarket companies offer an improved version to correct a design flaw in the original part, we will note this in those cases.
Many of our current listings offer an OEM part and a less expensive aftermarket option, we only offer less expensive aftermarket alternatives where there is a substantial cost savings and the quality is still acceptable. Almost all products we offer (ask for specific items) come with a 1 year warranty from date of purchase regardless of whether the part is OEM or aftermarket, so your warranty coverage will likely be the same either way.
- Q:What does it mean when it asks what my chassis/VIN is to select a part?
Vehicle manufacturers sometimes change a part in the middle of a model year, so in these cases to get the correct part you will need to know your vehicle's chassis number which is the last 8 characters of the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) The VIN will be located in the lower left corner of the windshield or on a sticker in the driver's door jamb. Your VIN should also be on any insurance, registration, or title documents you have for the vehicle.
Once you locate your VIN you'll need to refer to the last eight characters. The eighth character from the end will be a letter or digit that refers to the vehicle's model year. The next character does not matter, and the last six digits represent your vehicles production number. Each year the manufacturer starts at zero and works upwards as the vehicles are produced, up to into the hundred of thousands they make each year.
Our site will reference these numbers in listings similar to the example below.
Jetta 4, 1.9L TDI, '99-04 ***ALH engine code***
What you would do next is compare your chassis number to our listings. In this example the T denotes the 1996 model year, if your car had a different letter or number in the eighth position from the end of the VIN then your car is not a is not a 1996 model and this mid-year split would not apply. For this example let's assume your chassis number is T_090000:
The first selection is for vehicle up to and including last six digits 070449 in 1996. Since the last 6 digits of 090000 on our example vehicle is over this we would select the second listing for 1996 vehicles from last six digits 070450 upward through 1999.
If your chassis number were S_090000 then your vehicle is a 1995 model, the spilt would not apply, and the first listing would be correct as it covers all 1995 models.
Many of our listings where there is a split will have a little at the end of the listings, clicking on that will open a new window with more detailed explanation of this.
Some part changes will be shown by the production date split rather than the chassis number (VIN) split. BMW commonly uses production date splits. The production date is generally on a sticker in the driver's door jamb.
For example, for a valve cover gasket set for a E46 BMW 3 Series two possible options apply.
Add a trimmed screenshot of an example
Vehicles produced on or before August, 2002 use the option "thru 08/02", part # 11 12 9 070 990.
Vehicles produced from September 2002 forward use the option "from 09/02", part # 11 12 0 030 496.
- Q:How long after I order will I receive my parts?
We strive to ship most orders out the same or next business day. Some orders may take an additional day or to ship if any items need to be transferred in from another warehouse. Delivery times vary and depend on several factors like where the order is shipping to and how it is being shipped.
If you require upgraded shipping or need to receive your order by a certain date we encourage you to put a note for us in the "special instructions" box when you check out. If you prefer you can also contact us by phone for further assistance at 1-877-4GERMAN (1-877-443-7626).
- Q:If I order a part that is out of stock will you let me know?
Yes, we will. Most items we offer are either in stock, or available to ship within a business day. In some cases items that must be transferred in from remote warehouses and can take a few extra days to arrive here. We do our best to make you aware of any delays on a order beyond the normal processing time of 1-2 days.
When a part does appear to be unavailable we contact you as soon as possible. We do not bill your credit card until your order is ready to ship, so if something is not available you will not be billed for it.
- Q:What is the warranty on the parts you offer?
Warranties differ depending on the product and manufacturer.
It's necessary to contact us for the exact details of each item we offer, in general most items come with a 12 month/12,000 mile warranty from date of purchase, the same as most dealerships offer on their replacement parts.
So manufacturers go further and offer warranties beyond this time but, you will need to contact us for clarification on exact item in question.
- Q:I need to return something, what is your policy for returns?
Our return policy can be found on our Terms page here:
- Q:There was no receipt in my box, how do I get one?
We do not include paper receipts in an effort to conserve natural resources. When your order ships we will email you a receipt in .PDF for that evening. If you did not receive a receipt please check your email spam folder in case your email accidentally flagged it as spam. If so please adjust your spam filter settings to allow emails from email@example.com to be sure you receive them in the future. If you cannot find your receipt in your email please contact us and we'll be happy to send you a duplicate copy.
- Q:How do I track my order?
You will receive an email with tracking information for any order that ships from our main warehouse. Those emails go out automatically at the end of the day when the order ships, and they are separate from the invoice notification email that included your receipt. If you did not receive the tracking information via email please contact us and we'll be happy to provide tracking information.
- Q:I live close to you. Can I come and pick up my order?
Sure, you're welcome to pick up your parts at our warehouse at 10 Corporate Drive in Halfmoon, NY 12065
If you're placing your order online just put a note in the 'special instructions' box when you check out letting us know the order is for pick-up. Please be sure to include a phone number as well. When you pick up the order we'll remove the shipping charge before we bill it out.
We encourage you to place your order online or by phone before stopping by. This will ensure we have time to get your order ready and confirm we have stock to make sure you don't waste a trip.
- Q:How did you guys get to be so awesome?
Gee, you're making us blush.... While we like to think we have raw talent it's probably just that we try really hard and we care about you. Plus we have been doing this for a really long time.