Classic Mercedes-Benz cars are just as elegant and gorgeous as current model year Mercedes vehicles in many cases. There is a devout following dedicated to classic Mercedes vehicles who are passionate about the technology, styling, and responsive handling that Mercedes vehicles have always been known for.
Becoming an owner of a classic Mercedes-Benz car is exciting, and enjoying its looks and driving experience is the pinnacle of ownership. However, there will likely come a time when your classic Mercedes requires a repair. When that happens, you may find yourself in a position where the parts you need are difficult to find.
Classic cars are typically considered vehicles that are more than 30 years old. That usually means parts are no longer manufactured by the carmaker, so you’ll need to find used parts, aftermarket parts, or new parts that are old stock.
Here are a few ways to find parts for a classic Mercedes-Benz.
Method 1 of 3: Find aftermarket parts for sale
When vehicles are older than 30 years, often you have to turn to alternative sources for your replacement parts. Find classic Mercedes parts from some of the most reputable aftermarket part suppliers online.
Step 1: Search online. Search for “aftermarket Mercedes parts” in your favorite web browser.
View the results to find top retailers for aftermarket Mercedes parts.
Step 2: Input your information. Select one of the top results and input your vehicle information to find parts available specifically for your Mercedes.
Most popular aftermarket parts sources such as PelicanParts, CarParts, and eEuroParts will have listings for many common mechanical parts for classic Mercedes-Benz models.
Step 3: Select direct fitment aftermarket parts where available. Often, aftermarket parts can be generic and may fit a range of makes and models, but fit few of them very well.
Generic parts can be the cause of premature failure because of poor fitment, so choose direct fit parts where you can.
Method 2 of 3: Locate use classic Mercedes-Benz parts
If you’re on a tight budget or you’re searching for a hard-to-find piece to complete your classic Mercedes project vehicle, a used part may be the best solution. Finding used parts for classic cars can be challenging and time-consuming, but rewarding when you are successful.
Step 1: Check online marketplaces for used parts. Use a site like eBay to find the used part you need for your car.
Use the most specific information you can find to look for your replacement part. If you have the part number, you can search the store online for a used part with the same part number. Try alternate descriptions to find the part. For example, a car hood is also known as a bonnet in other countries.
Step 2: Check online recyclers. Check classic car recyclers online for Mercedes-Benz cars that are being dismantled and sold for parts.
Perform a web search in your browser for “Mercedes recycled parts”. Choose a website for a car recycler service and narrow the results to the particular model, year, and part that you are looking for.
These sites compile listings from sources nationwide and, in some cases, worldwide to provide you with any part you need.
Step 3: Post a “wanted” ad on Mercedes-Benz and classic car forums. Include the part you need, the part number if you have it, and a way to contact you.
It can take some time to get responses to your wanted ad, and some of the parts you are offered may be low quality or may not be proper fitment, so vet each response to make sure you know if it’s right for you.
Method 3 of 3: Locate new classic Mercedes parts
Unlike many other car manufacturers, Mercedes-Benz has continued support for their classic vehicles, from service information and specifications to part availability. While not every part is still available new from Mercedes-Benz, you might get lucky for the part you need.
Step 1: Navigate to the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center website. On this website, you’ll find information on servicing, classic car meets, and parts support.
Step 2: Click on “Parts” on the middle of the screen. This will bring you to the Parts section further down the page.
There is an option for the eBay parts store to find the part you want or a link to the Parts Catalog so you can find the listing for the part you need. The Mercedes Parts Catalog requires an annual subscription to access it, which may be a great investment if you need a handful of parts.
You can also call the Classic Center for parts support to locate the part you need.
Step 3: Select the part you need and purchase it. Because vintage or classic parts can be expensive, call the support line to ensure the part will fit your specific model and year.
If you need a classic Mercedes-Benz part, it can take weeks or even months for the right part to surface. Be patient, and select only high-grade parts that fit your model exactly so your car will operate as it should. It is better to wait a little longer for the right part than choose the wrong one and have issues down the road. If you have any questions about finding the right part, Ask a Mechanic for some detailed advice about the part you need.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How to Source Parts For a Classic Mercedes-Benz and was authored by Jason Unrau.