How do I check that the parts in my car have been changed or not?

How do I check that the parts in my car have been changed or not?
I have recently brought my car to an auto shop for repair. I am afraid they have changed something in my car, like swithed some parts with some old stuffs. My car is 2004 camry, was bought brand new. So how do I check if the parts currently on my car are actually the original parts that came with the car when it first was bought? I see there are serial # on every part, but how do i check that the number is the same number as before, as now i don't have any record of what it was before. So how can i find out what serial numbers are actually belong to my car? so many questions, so hope you guys be patient and help me out :) thanks Andy


duster360:  check to see if the numbers in the front and the back of the car are the same. Also look to see if any bolts that hold a part on look like a wrench has been on it...... From the factory if the bolt or screw was moved it is real obvious. That's body bolts and screw. If its a engine part it wont look the same either, it will be cleaner, Always ask for your old parts back or you want to see them anyway. Mechanics can do anything, I am one, but I have built my reputation on Honesty and my reputation is everything! Try and get to know the people that are going to work on your car, get referrals. good luck Dave
2006-10-20 14:02:14
musicfreak_music:  well alot of parts have #s on them for ID for this reason next time you go to the auto place write down the ID # and mark the item with a sharpy marker so you know its been changed or not good luck and nice car
2006-10-20 14:03:18
Jim:  Many of the numbers to which you are referring are part numbers. I'm not sure if you are looking for internal parts or external parts, but tool marks, fresh paint, discontinuity in dirt buildup/cleanliness and non-Toyota logos can be clues. If you have had recent work done prior to the work in question, keep those repairs in mind. You can avoid these issues by doing the work yourself, using a reputable repair shop, marking the parts with a grease pen or Marks-a-Lot prior to having them replaced or requesting that your old parts be returned.
2006-10-20 14:08:53
Christopher B:  If you go to a reputable auto repair shop, you won't have to worry about these things. In many cases they offer you your parts back and sometimes, put them in a plastic bag and leave them in your car. It is very simple finding these shops because they have been in business for years and everyone around town will direct you to them. It is my opinion that you went looking for these parts because for some reason you did not trust this person (people)? That is not a good way to begin a relationship with mechanics you might be needing well into the future!
2006-10-20 14:23:27
playtoy_18:  There really is no way to tell if it is the original part or not.Most of the serial number's you see on different parts are just casting number's or part numbers.Sometime's you can tell if nothing was done by looking at the bolt's holding the part,they should usually show some sort of scratching or rounded corner making it easy to tell if they took it off or not. Sorry,but there is really no way of telling if it has been tampered with.The dealership would know if it is a replacement OEM part,meaning that is original manufacture part.If they didn't replace it with factory original and used an auto parts store brand than it will be easy to tell.
2006-10-20 14:42:05
xsandybreezerx:  everytime i get something changed i ask for the old part. afterall it is yours! one time i did that when i had a pretty major part changed (can't remember now what it was) and told them when i dropped it off i wanted the part back. well when i picked it up, not only did they take a week longer then they quoted me and i had to call them everyday to see if my car was done (when it was the response was o it was done yesterday....) they didn't give me my old part they "replaced". well i asked for my part and they argued with me then finally just handed me a part. not knowing what it should be, i called a friend who was on navy leave and a mechanic if he minded taking a peek. needless to say, they handed me a part from a truck (i had a small car), and they didn't even change the part. my buddy fixed it and i tried to get my money back from management that was fruitless, and ended up suing. i got my money back in the end. so my advice is get you old part. it could save you a ton of money!
2006-10-20 16:02:57
toastette:  simple, ask to see the old parts.
2006-10-20 18:19:00
JistheRealDeal:  Mark the old part with an indicator mark if you can such as spray paint or a permanent marker. Then check it again once the part was, or supposedly was replaced.
2006-10-20 19:59:50
gidawg17:  VIN NUMBER!!!!
2006-10-20 20:31:30
Veda:  If the parts aren't too big , ask for the old ones . Try to mark them with something before you take the car in -or they could give you someone else's old this or that -if they are out to cheat you . Or you could just hang around all day while they work on your car .
2006-10-20 21:23:56
jgmafb:  all #'s should match on each part that is installed from the factory.if any of them are different then they proably changed them.your car and it's parts are tops on high thief items.the dealer should be able to assist you in this,or better yet go on line to the factory web site.
2006-10-20 21:53:02
s t:  very hard question and impossible answer. i had a personal experience. most other answers --with respect, are talking about "practical things" one could and should do. Not all are practical. i had to change part of the muffler -- impossible to get under the car and mark or spray as stated..the original part-- besides..instead of installing an original replacement -- the mechanic installed a used part -- cleaned a bit...before. the moral of the story it is very hard to re. verify. I do not know the solution unless you become mechanic yourself or bring it to another dealer for re-assessment -- and additional expense. and you have to have it in writing both before and after. this answer is to air my frustration and tell the industry that after so many years in practice making a living on the back of the consumer --the industry has still not find a respectable and honest way to respond and to clear its name vs. the consumer. i rest my case. but the industry of repair should definitely try harder. PS. besides most of the repairs gets paid "cash" -- let's be honest about it.
2006-10-20 22:30:40
Blondie:  you ask for the old parts back
2006-10-20 23:43:50
raymondm71:  serial numbers will be different for one reason: warranty. one of the easiest ways to tell if they put in an older part, or a new part, the over-all look, and feel, if it feels smooth, then its new, if it feels like sandpaper or something rougher...then its an old part, look for any type of rust-looking stains as well, and smell for motor oil or any type of fluids that you would put into a car..(mainly motor oil/ transmission fluid, or power steering fluid)
2006-10-20 23:51:13
dave_r4112:  Before the work is done, request that all replaced parts be saved. Then you may take them to an independent mechanic (possibly a friend or... if there is one near, a High School Auto Mechanics Teacher) for verification. And be certain to let the person doing the repairs know what you intend to do with the replaced part(s). Good luck.
2006-10-21 01:02:28
Random Friend:  Next time when you get something changed ask for the old parts back
2006-10-21 01:51:30
cristanine:  If a part has been moved or twisted off from its original position you can tell. What I did was wash my engine before taking it for an oil change at the dealer. R U READY OR THIS....I just happened to look at my distributor and etched a mark so that if it is shifted I know where to put it back to if I want to advance my timing. I went to the dealer a month after picking up my Truck and told them I was losing gas mileage. They said it needed a tune up and I said you already gave it one. Their reply was no they haven;t it is not listed on the computer. Then I showed him where I had marked the distributor and the pics taken and witnessed the day I did it so that there is no dispute. I demanded a Free Tune UP since they so desperately want to give me one and I also wanted reimbursement for $300.00 worth of Gas used as a result of their mechanic tampering with my distributor for no reason. READY} FOR THIS......They paid me the money and I got a free tune up and oil change for the next five visits. The mechanic was fired. true story..Peace
2006-10-21 04:04:05
Sam X9:  Have it check with a mechanic from the dealer or their authorized repair shops.
2006-10-21 06:05:05
Ms Pepsi:  Ask for the original parts, whenever i have work done (like new brakes) I always tell them to give me the ones they took off my car. Sometimes they dont want to, and will make noise about how they cant, but they can, and it is just up to you to dispose of them. I have gone so far as to tell them to put my brakes back on, and I take my car somewhere else for service. They usually give them to you then.!
2006-10-21 07:11:21
Chosen Answer
The young Merlin:  It is you who knows more about your car. It is difficult to find out. I owned previously Ford car and it happened, I changed the ball joint. I leave this car to the mechanic and after a couple of days I got my car. It is my attitude to go for wheel alignment whenever I changed this part, so I brought it to the alignment shop. When my car was raised, I noticed one part was missing and I know specifically what was it and its purpose. I informed the mechanic who did change my ball joint, just to tell him that I know it. Really its very difficult to know, specially the hidden part say the bearing in the knuckle parts. It is not the cost of the parts only but the availability and the procurement way. Imagine you need to change only the gasket and yet you have to buy the whole assembly? They wont even sell you the bearing, but the whole assembly, mostly these are for American cars. It is a lesson for me to know what will be the job and if this can wait, patiently I will also, what stakes here is the life of the driver and passenger. Now, I get rid of my american car and buy the Japanese car, less cost of spare parts.
2006-10-21 09:57:07
Amanda D:  I was always told to ask for the old part back!
2006-10-21 10:04:50
sweet ivy lyn:  Take it to the dealer that you bought it from and explain your concerns; have their mechanic do a complete check (may cost about $100 or so). This should set your mind at ease; If parts have been changed out, get the dealer to write a list of all the parts that were changed/replaced and have them attach all backup paperwork; I would then take it back to the shop that did the work and confront them(you may want to bring a police officer along); then sue their butts off!
2006-10-21 12:06:11
cork:  you can't tell. take it to a mechanic. if you bought it you should know rpair history... if you bought it used>>>>>>>>>> hey--its running.
2006-10-21 12:37:08
norag:  make sure they give u all of the old parts
2006-10-21 13:22:26
crazymom572001:  go to an auto mechanic that you know and ask him to check it for you. I did.
2006-10-21 13:42:49
trainer53:  I'm sure you already know what I'm going to tell you; that you always want a receipt detailing what they replaced, and always tell them you want the bad parts that they replaced.
2006-10-21 14:47:22
CarmenMarie V:  Hi Andy, First and foremost you'd want to request all your old parts. Before you take your car in to the shop make some kind of marking on the part that is going to be worked on or replaced so, you would be looking for that when your parts are returned. Make sure you tell the mechanic that you want your old parts(before you leave your car & put it on the work order too) or better yet tell him that either you or someone you know has been burned by another mechanic and you just want to be sure that you're getting what your paying for. That's only far. Check his license as well because you can take him to court if the work was not completed like the work order states. Small claims court. As far as you serial numbers you can get them for the dealer or they should be your VIN.
2006-10-21 16:21:31
Shonda:  This gave me an idea! why don't you put clear tape on the parts you want changed and if the part is gone with the clear tape then theres your answer. They fixed it, and if the tape is still there on the thing then they are fooling witcha head.
2006-10-21 16:23:38
DBG:  Let me get this right... You took your car into the garage to have something done, and now have the feeling they switched parts from your car, used parts, with other used parts? Sorry, but it seems pretty fanciful to me for a couple of reasons: 1) when crooked people in garages want parts from cars these days, they usually have some degenerate drug addict steal the whole kit and caboodle for them, or 2) they charge you for things they didn't touch (a lot more cost-effective way to steal from you than going to the bother and expense of taking one part off and replacing it with another slightly less new one!) especially if the intent was to make your car less roadworthy so you would be forced into getting repairs earlier than you should. That being the (highly unlikely) case, they should have their heads examined because there is no guarantee you'd actually go back to THEM! This one seems to be a non-starter (pardon the pun). Lay off the coffee, soldier.
2006-10-21 16:52:35
mike2mac2mike:  well Andy before you take your car in for the trouble its having take it to some one you trust and knows about cars and have them check it out first and have that friend mark the part giving you trouble, if they replace a part or tell you what they replaced have that friend check the car again just to make sure.
2006-10-21 18:17:06
joanne s:  mabye if you live with someone they changed your avatar!!!
2006-10-21 19:12:44
Golden:  this is called paranoia. if yuou're really dealing with a mechanic you can't trust.........ummm, maybe you should find one you can. and you need to look in your heart and ask yourself why you suspect this. is it something you would do?
2006-10-21 19:18:39
Orlando57:  simple the law requires the mechnics to return the broken and unservicable parts to you so ask for the old parts every time you get service done and see click and clacks web site they are mechanics and can answer questions like this better
2006-10-21 19:52:36
Denton P:  once again these cats are giving you good advice on how to check behind a BOOTLEGset of mechanics. ok Andy, i work on cars all the time and i know how to do things right. as said before everybody had good ideas but they didn't mention this. no mechanic or any tradesmen is perfect. on any job a mistake is made. a painter will spill paint or over spray. a plumber will leave oil and dirt on some pipes. look behind an auto mechanic and see if the bolts and screws in \or on the part have been chipped or scratched and you'll know if your care has been worked on at all. there is no true way to search for parts that may have come from other cars. actually, most prts that go on old and new cars are remanufactured so really it'll be hard. writing down the part nos. will lead to alot of if your car is running write let it be. your warranty for their work should take care of the rest. NO DISPUTE with that.
2006-10-21 20:15:12
Asha:  What I do is mark the part that needs to be changed (if I can get to it) and ask for the old parts to be saved for me. Whether I can mark them or not, I get them to save all of the old parts to give me. Before I learned about car parts, I had a friend that knows about cars check it before and after the service. Good luck!
2006-10-21 20:19:37
jmsimoneaux:  one easy way is to make a pencil mark somewhere on the part before you turn the car in and look for it when you get the car back . If it is not there the part was changed. Jeff M Simoneaux
2006-10-21 20:29:35
John J:  Always ask to have your used parts returned to you in the box that the new replacement parts came in. Ask this up front when you drop off your car for service. Any reputable service manager will gladly oblige. If they refuse, don't leave your car there.
2006-10-21 20:38:19
ladydixie32:  My dad taught me to mark your parts before you go in such as using a marker and putting an x or something similar on the part so you will know and to always ask for the old parts back. They have to give them to you. Since you marked them you will know if they have actually been changed
2006-10-21 20:52:20
BROWNIE:  mark it with permanent marker somewhere- i use this idea for rotating my tires,but with a lighter everytime.
2006-10-21 21:17:56
xyz:  Sorry I can't help you with this one, but I have learned that I need to mark my parts before I go in, the local ford dealership, which I don't go to anymore, I found they didn't change my oil filter, so now I mark what ever I need replace no matter where I go, the world is completly crooked now,, watch it....
2006-10-21 22:17:33
Con_Fuoco:  What I always do is ask the mechanic to give me back my old parts IN the packaging of the new parts. They usually have no probs doing it.
2006-10-22 02:17:15
hobbabob:  at this point your done. the next time you have service work done do your homework first. purchase a shop manual for your car and teach yourself the parts for the contemplated repair , then with any color of touch up paint mark the affected parts or pieces that have to be removed for access then ask for your old parts back are your marks there? lift the hood, have the marked ancillary parts been removed and replaced? [paint seals cracked] I want to believe that there are more honest shops out there than dishonest, but ultimately it is up to the consumer to protect him/herself before going into any place of service weather it is for a car repair or for a vacuum cleaner ask around town if said shop is reliable, know your property and how it works. knowledge is the key to protection, it always has been and always will be. good luck in future endevors
2006-10-22 06:44:58
alfonso r:  If it's true you'r allegations? Every shop, by law, have to have the phone number to call the state. And, call them tell them exactly what you said. Good luck! By law, they supposed to give you the old parts!
2006-10-22 06:47:58
coolblue:  Hey Andy, I have gone through this. Honestly I dont trust independent car mechanics much (very few are honest), and its really very difficult to verify if the car parts has been replaced or worse yet stolen! So the best solution if you have a new car, such as yours, I would take it its own COMPANY. So if you have a new Toyota that you care about, next time I would take it to the Toyota Company maintenance unit...I would pay a little more, but atleast I get 'peace of mind' from a formal world class corporation. Professional units with professional management, employee and their supervisors who follow formal policies, standards, and procedures in operating on cars with high quality management. Probably you can also have the option of buying a warranty cotract from them for a period of 3 years for example, where u can take it and fix it 'free' anytime throughout this period.
2006-10-22 06:49:22
frog:  ask for the old parts back
2006-10-22 06:53:44
Russ:  It is pretty standard to ask for return of your old parts when having something replaced!
2006-10-22 08:14:42
oldhippypaul:  46 answers - wow - do any of you folks spend as much effort checking out your doctor. The car fellow can rip you off - the doctor can kill you. If you all knew how many dangerous quacks were "practicing medicine" you would have an unscheduled bowel movement down both lower extremities.
2006-10-22 09:20:05
Sandy B:  Depends on the part your worried about but by and large NO there is no way to know. When you have work done ALWAYS ask them to save your old part's which are YOURS that way you can be fairly sure they installed new parts. Dealing with mechanic's is always dicey. Go to a reputable garage and try and stay if at all possible while your car is being worked on. I think it helps keep them on the straight and narrow a little better.
2006-10-22 09:41:59
loveable_bear3030:  Some auto repair shops run bad business practices, One thing you can do is ask for the old parts, as for the serial numbers. depending on the manufacture who made that part in question. those numbers may vary due to the manufacture they go through. hope this will help you.
2006-10-22 09:59:17
SKG R:  If you have taken the car to a reputed auto garage you have to just trust them.There is no way to be sure if they have changed the part. You can ask them the old part of your car and take it to another garage and ask them if the old part which you show them is having any defect and ask them if the part replaced is new. Send it to the car manufacturers and ask them the reason for the part to get the defect. To avoid all this you should tell them that the part has to be replaced in your presence.If they do not agree go to a garage who agree.
2006-10-22 10:06:37
Viakin:  So you think there is a large market for used camry parts hun?
2006-10-22 10:39:24
CJ:  Forget all about the numbers - just ask for all your OLD parts to be returned to you and to be put in your trunk! When you get home check these parts against the invoice for charges! If they do not match up - get an attorney ASAP! Hope this helps!
2006-10-22 11:03:04
NOT THAT BAD LOOKING IN GEORGIA.:  What i do is mark my name on the part to be fixed!!! check the part before you leave to see if it's the same one, oh and don't let them see you when you put your name on it.
2006-10-22 13:50:55
Goldenrain:  Well, what is done, is done, now. So many say ask for the parts removed, however, this doesn't always work in the world of car repairs. I have asked before and not gotten them. You MUST go to someone you trust for car repairs. Sometimes, if it is possible, I have actually hung out near where my car is being repaired and keep my eye on things. If your car is running fine now, perhaps that is what matters most. Be wiser in the future with your car and mechanics.
2006-10-22 13:59:27
{***Honey***}:  run a diagnostic check on it if you no a friend with the diagnostic machine or take it to AUTOZONE an they'll run one for free
2006-10-22 15:17:17
arls:  always ask for all parts they replaced and if they won't they are not to be trusted. make sure when you get a work order they put that in writing and they must sign. some places will say the mechanic threw out the parts already. then you will know the truth. small claims after and you will win because everyone knows about their reputation! I did more than once its a pain but you will smile at the end and repair will cost you nothing and you don't have to have them repair or touch your car again just pay your bill and then some.
2006-10-22 15:38:49
Sherri M:  Is your car acting better or worse now, its been in the auto shop mechanics hand? Did you get a warranty for the work or part put in? If I were youk, start writing down the parts numbers in your car. And check them later, after the mechanic turns the car back to you. Check with the Better Busines Bueau on this mechanics garage. See why he is not listed or is.
2006-10-22 17:26:23
Ronnie B T:  There is only one serial number on a car and that is right in front of the steering wheel, or on the door post. There is no way to tell if they stole parts off your car. I doubt they would do that. They would have to replace them with working parts and so they would have to take those parts off another vehicle. That is double labor. Often the cost of labor equals the cost of parts replaced. However, when you get your care worked on, you should demand the old parts replaced and dispose them yourself. You will get a chance to inspect them and see if they were really worn out.
2006-10-22 17:29:42
Richard W:  It is quite simple, take the Vin# of your car to your local Toyota Dealer, with that number they can give you a print out from the factory with every part that was put on @ Assembly. then check the part or parts you think might have been changed. An Old school rule if your spiddie sense is tingling stay away from that shop go to a different one
2006-10-22 18:09:00
John A:  Mark the parts before you have it repaired.
2006-10-22 18:19:45
Callie:  My husband is an auto tech and his advice is to check the parts to make sure somewhere it says Toyota on them. as far as the serial number we dont think there is any way of knowing.
2006-10-22 18:58:36
macki4:  Take your car to the dealer that you baught it and they can check with there sorcesand check the manufactor and see if they have switched parts.Good Luck.
2006-10-22 19:54:44
Margie:  I know from being a woman who has had work done that I always ask to see the part that was removed. Always. Since you know about the serial numbers, I would check them, but don't really know how if the new part has the same number. It is usually pretty obvious, though, if a part is new or used. I'm pretty lucky, I know my mechanic very well, and he always explains in detail what he had to do, and what he had to replace. He also usually has me go purchase the new parts and bring them to him. Good luck. Car repairs can be nerve wracking.
2006-10-22 20:55:27
budd:  you need to go to a shop that you know you can trust ask to see the parts they replaced or take somebody with you that knows more about the problem
2006-10-22 21:13:03
jeffrey_brackett:  have shop or person who does the repair give you the old parts to you. they used to give you a core charge on certain parts such as clutches and such. but i recently had a friend replace a slave cylinder on an '89 ford ranger and while he had the transmission out, i told him to replace the clutch as well. I've got 144,000 miles on this truck. the slave was shot and the clutch was well worn and I've got the parts to prove it. shop around and get opinions on any repair work. ps. i purchased the new parts myself.
2006-10-22 23:43:17
Heather J:  get a chilton book, and go to a mechanic you trust.
2006-10-23 01:56:12
vinay_sharma554:  you can compare with the spare parts of some other persons or check out for the original spare parts in the market and compare them with urs, u can easily recognise them if they are original or not.
2006-10-23 04:37:17
fairly smart:  Put an odd scratch in a place not near any ID. Photograph it. Ask to see the old part after it is fixed. make sure you find that scratch. If it isn't on there, look on the part in the car. If it is still on there, show the pic & tell them your lawyer will be contactng them. Make sure you look at the mechanics name tag who is trying to con you. If the scratch is there, smile, thank them & walk away happy!
2006-10-23 07:55:46
KAT D:  look in the front all parts on a car have numbers that is just for this type if the numbers do not match then you can bet that they have been changed
2006-10-23 09:56:06