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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I stopped at a Toyota dealer today to pick up a couple of hoses for my Tundra. I was with someone else so I did not drive my truck. When I went to the parts counter I told the guy what I needed and what type of truck. He then asked me for my VIN. I said I don't have it with me. He then said he could not look up the parts. I could not believe this. I can go into Autozone with out my VIN whay can't I at Toyota?
 

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I dont work for Toyota, however, I often have to give my VIN to get some parts. It is so they can give you the correct part. Autozone has aftermaket parts which might fit multiple vehicles and multiple applications. The dealer has Toyota parts, there might be a revision to a part that was put on your truck. When my parts guy first asked for my VIN I did not want to go out in the rain and get it...then I remembered that my insurance card, in my wallet, has my VIN on it. So whenever I go to the dealer my insurance card has the VIN on it.
 

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I noticed that some of the Toyota dealers require a VIN to order parts online too.
Any body know?
 

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I noticed that some of the Toyota dealers require a VIN to order parts online too.
Anybody know why?
 

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Don't work for Toyota, but I can tell you that's a bunch of bull and he didn't want to work with you. They can look up all the parts easy enough. Only reason he might need your VIN is if something is specific to particular VINs. But it sounds like you didn't even get that far. :rolleyes:
 

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They probably want to have their asses covered in case a customer gets the wrong part and damages the vehicle (in that case the customer cannot blame the dealer) and avoid customers who return parts for "dealer gave me wrong part" reason.
 

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Thats BULL $H _T that you would a vin number to order parts from a dealer. No I dont work for toyota but I took my truck to a local dealer for a Question I had and Im grateful that they replaced my lower ball joints. I dont like it when a toyota dealer or any body sends me what I call Junk mail. The only reason I bought my 2006 tundra was a friend of mine knew the car salesman that I dealt with. I will not put up with a car dealers BS when buying a new or used truck. Back to the thread. BB KId:cool: :cool: :D :D
 

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I work at an independant shop and there is not one dealer that will look up parts for us without a VIN. Chevy, Ford, Dodge, Hyundai, or whatever it doesn't matter. So it was not that the guy was being lazy it probably has alot to do with the fact of how much trouble it is to go through all the hassle of returning a part that is incorrect. Because if you got the wrong part and then you had to return it it is going to cause way too much work as far as re-entering the part back into stock and if they do not have another part too sell you then accounting has to get involved so I guess it is one way too cut down on extra work for everyone. A 1/4 of the people that come into my work don't even know what year their car even is and sometimes they are wrong if they think they know.

The only dealer in my area that has never asked for a VIN is Acura but Honda will not look anything up without one.
 

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The parts dept will ask for a VIN number so the correct part can be located for your particular vehicle. Most manufacturers constantly upgrade or change parts designs during the vehicle production run. In most cases the year of the vehicle won't tell the parts man which part is correct for your particular vehicle. This rule applies to both import and domestic cars and trucks, mechanical and body parts. It has nothing to do with lack of concern for customer service. The system is not perfect and you still may recieve the wrong part by refering to the VIN but the chances of that happening is greatly reduced. BTW, I am a former automotive and marine parts manager, service manager and body shop manager. I do have a little experience in this field.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well, I'm not goiing to say I like it, but there are some valid points for asking for it. I guess I will write it down on a piece of paper so I have it in the future just in case I didn't drive the truck.

Just seems lately that you can't buy anything without someone wanting information from you. I go into Lowes to buy a box of nails and they want my phone number. They tell me it is so they can track what I am buying and keep things in stock that I will need. What a bunch of fooey. Just keep the nails in stock and I will be happy and get your own phone number because I'm not giving you mine!
 

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I've only bought stuff like brake pads, serpentine belt, air and oil filters and they didn't ask for any VIN. Going a bit afield here, but Wal-Mart here insists on seeing a drivers license when you buy beer no matter how old you look. I refuse to show it, but I've heard of 82 year old guys getting carded. I know that's for info gathering purposes (at least I hope it is).
 

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Many parts application have multiple choices. In order to get the exact part needed for your year and model the best tool to use is the vin number as most all the information needed is within the id. The parts man could have tried to make his best guess and warned you that without the vin I can't guarentee that the part will be correct unless there is only one application for the said vehicle. Many times this is a lose-lose. He has probably experienced this many times in his career. When it comes to minor parts like general maintenance ( plugs, filters, pcv valves, etc) usually the application can be determined by year, engine and model. Even with the vin not every application is correct due to catalog errors, bulletins and part number changes. Tundraman55 was on his game in his post. But I will say there some parts guys that may want to be difficult (cop an attitude)with customers. A little insight from an old parts guy...........
 

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It is normal for a dealership to ask for a VIN when ordering any parts. Most are model specific. I understand that it could be the same hoses, etc. but the dealership does want to cover their ***.

On another note, the dealership has the capability to look up all part numbers using diagrams of each Toyota vehicle. They can actually blow up the image and you can show them exactly which part it is you need right on the screen. Again though, there could be many part numbers associated with each part depending on model trims and/or packages.
 

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i am a parts guy for a CAT dealer and i am sure its the same deal with car parts but there are some many options that most of the time if you want to get the right parts everytime you have to know what the machine/car was shipped with from the factory. in order to know that information, you have to have the VIN or serial #.

to parts guys, we all know that its our fault if we dont know or give the right parts the first time with the least amount of information give from the customer. its a crappy deal but that is the life of a parts guy.
 

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I have a good business relationship with the parts manager at my dealer and don't recall the last time I was asked to produce my VIN. He knows I am a DIYer and that I know my own vehicles. Most of my purchases have not been of a really complex nature so that might be the reason. Bought a bulb for my cargo lamp yesterday, told him the year and model without any further information. I recently bought upper and lower radiator hoses and transmission line hoses for my wife's '94 Lexus without being quizzed for a VIN and they fit perfectly. Of course I got to look at the schematics to verify what I was requesting.

It just depends on how well they know you. They don't like to sell a part then have to take it back, re-stock it providing it is not damaged, then file paperwork and make a refund. Each dealer has their own business protocol so it will vary from dealer to dealer.
 

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On both of my Toyotas, they sent me wallet size cards that list year, model and VIN, a convience item, for parts and service.
 

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I am a consultant for parts & service depts and have gone to many many stores.

VIN is a requirement so they can order the right parts for your vehicle. They do not like ordering wrong parts not only to upset the customer, but they have to return it at some point which counts in thier obsolesence.
 

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I am a consultant for parts & service depts and have gone to many many stores.

VIN is a requirement so they can order the right parts for your vehicle. They do not like ordering wrong parts not only to upset the customer, but they have to return it at some point which counts in thier obsolesence.
I ordered a replacement mud flap once online. I gave them the VIN, they looked it up and ordered the part and had it shipped to me.

It was the wrong part.

The guy swore up and down that it was the correct part and it wasn't until I emailed him a picture of the corresponding mud flap on the oposite side, along with the part number that was stamped into it, that he finally sent me the right one.
 
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