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It's clear to me that car parts are cheaper when purchased online rather than through the mechanic. I've been buying tires and break pads online for years with few problems.

Now, the wheel bearings on my 2009 Toyota Prius need replaced. I want to buy the replacements online and have the local Toyota dealership install them. I already checked with them to see if they would, and they will.

I want to make sure I'm getting the right parts. Buying tires and brakepads are easy, but how can I ensure that I'm getting the right parts to fit my car? I'm not looking for a subjective answer like the best brand or the best wheel bearing alloys, all I want to know is how I can be sure the parts are compatible.

Should I read the owners manual? Should I check what's already on my car? Is there some database I should use?

Please answer my specific question as well as provide general guidance for buying compatible parts for cars.

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2 (specific to Toyota) will help you out, enter the VIN number and you'll get everything you need. But calling the dealer will also works. – Gabriel Mongeon Sep 10 '13 at 18:14

1 Answer 1

up vote 5 down vote accepted

The simplest thing to do is to phone the dealership, ask them to give you the part number for the wheel bearing, and then do a google search for that part number, or go to your favourite online shop and enter the part number into the search box. Part numbers are unique to a particular car or range of cars.

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In the case of Toyotas, the big online supply houses are actually run by dealers that have the parts catalogs online. Super easy to look up your vehicle and get part numbers and order. – Brian Knoblauch Sep 10 '13 at 20:26
I've found that most sites require you to know the part number before you start searching, which is kind of annoying. – Juann Strauss Sep 11 '13 at 8:40

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