Maddening Car Parts Supplier Websites...

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Zelandeth
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Maddening Car Parts Supplier Websites...

Post by Zelandeth »

Yesterday I very nearly wound up throwing my laptop through the window when looking at Motorserv's website, looking to see whether they had some bulbs(Ba7s) in stock.

However I abruptly discovered that there appears to be absolutely no possible way to just search for a given part without first having input a registration number or selected a make and model from the (very limited) drop down list. Fine...but in addition to this, there is no "other" or "unlisted vehicle" option to allowed someone who actually knows what they're looking for to search...

GSF appear to have the same issue.

I realise that the whole "input your reg number and we'll automatically filter the results for you" thing is useful for your average driver...but not having any way to override it just seems utterly daft. Means anyone with a car with a non-standard engine, or a Heinz-57 Parts Bin Special like my AC are stuffed. I know it needs a Mann W712 oil filter...but I can't just search for that!

Means that I can't search there for anything for the AC (registration won't resurface as "in service" until it's MOTed and taxed) and unsurprisingly AC Model 70 isn't an available option in the drop-down list, and it doesn't seem to work for the Lada anyway as it is showing "no parts match" for stuff I know they have on the shelf.

Notable that Austin, Leyland, Morris, Bedford and AC were all brands that don't appear in the lists at all...and MG only shows the recent Chinese models... that's a fair chunk of users who are going to find the website useless...

Edit: Found MGB etc...ALL BMC products appear to be labelled as made by Rover. Yeah...your average customer is really going to figure that out. No... they'll see it's not on the list, and go buy the stuff from some Chinese warehouse who have a better coded parts locator instead.

As it was, they did have the bulbs I was after, but it would have been nice to be able to check before I left the house...

Guess this is my grumpy old man moment for the day! Just really annoys me when in an effort to "dumb things down" so the lowest common denominator can use things, that designers wind up rendering a product actually unusable in the real world!
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EDC5
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Re: Maddening Car Parts Supplier Websites...

Post by EDC5 »

I can see your point. At the moment I'm trying to search for suitable oil filters for a project, searching by anything other than make/model is a pain.

I found that the Mann oil filters has a great search engine for this though: https://catalog.mann-filter.com/EU/eng/dimensions

It allows you to search their entire catalogue by inputting the dimensions of the filter, then once you have a part number you can use http://www.oilfilter-crossreference.com/ to find other part numbers before purchasing.

Might help a bit :)
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Fake Concern
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Re: Maddening Car Parts Supplier Websites...

Post by Fake Concern »

Some fairly mainstream cars give those websites a problem too, as an example the Euro Parts site insists I need a fuel filter for my C4 VTS petrol. Not quite the same I know but still!
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CitroJim
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Re: Maddening Car Parts Supplier Websites...

Post by CitroJim »

Have you tried Auto Bulbs Direct for the bulbs Zel?

https://www.autobulbsdirect.co.uk/

I find eBay best for a lot of parts if you know what you're after, especially filters and the like... Not used GSF or ECP for ages now and partly because compared to eBay they can be bloody expensive for bangeronomics/light use purposes and secondly, for the reasons you highlight...
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Stickyfinger
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Re: Maddening Car Parts Supplier Websites...

Post by Stickyfinger »

As my Activa is an import, the "Enter your Reg" websites always says Fail !....maddening
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Michel
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Re: Maddening Car Parts Supplier Websites...

Post by Michel »

Oddly I never have a problem with GSF, and I don't put my reg number in. I just use the drop downs, because I know it gives me the wrong bits sometimes if I don't check.

Today I went to our local factor and simply bought all the bits to service the Multipla, though it has one of those ancient canister type diesel filters I can't remember how to change.
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van ordinaire
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Re: Maddening Car Parts Supplier Websites...

Post by van ordinaire »

I often wonder how kitcar owners manage to buy parts at all.

ABD use the same search by registration No: as so many others AND seem to think that you need reminding to buy something at least every week. Once bitten, twice shy - I'll never use them again!
Homer
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Re: Maddening Car Parts Supplier Websites...

Post by Homer »

GSF picks the wrong model year when I put my daughter's 206 reg in, which is worrying especially since Euro Car Prats get it right.
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Zelandeth
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Re: Maddening Car Parts Supplier Websites...

Post by Zelandeth »

Homer wrote:
02 Mar 2018, 06:04
GSF picks the wrong model year when I put my daughter's 206 reg in, which is worrying especially since Euro Car Prats get it right.


What really bothers me is that in the case of these websites, there's no way to override it when you know something's wrong. You *cannot* just search for *a specific part* - only what it deems to be correct for your car.

If A: You have a kit car, or B: the system gets it wrong (it used to show my first Xantia as a Saxo 1.1 for ages!), you're stuck.

Bugs me in particular that Motorserv has gone this way as the folks in store are usually really quite knowledgeable and will go the extra mile to cross-reference this obscure obsolete part number and turn it into something useful.