Aside from using a car parts diagram, customers search for car parts on automotive supply retail websites by using part numbers, the name of the part or the type of part. Many sites also allow users to enter in a make, model and year of car and see available parts.
CarParts.com and BuyAutoParts.com each offer a vehicle make and model filter at the top of their main pages that allow users to conduct an auto part search, as of April 2015. Once a user enters in this information about the vehicle in question, she is taken to a page where she chooses the type of part based on the site's available inventory. This system ensures that the user is able to select the right part for the car to avoid any compatibility issues.
Many sites also include a general search field that supports both keywords and part numbers. All manufacturers include a model number on each part that is unique to that item. Searching for this number on an auto parts website allows the user to immediately view the exact part in question. If the user doesn't know the part number or the exact part type, she has the ability to search its name or general description to view available products.