How to: Black Duck’s guide to correctly identifying your vehicle

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How to: Correctly identifying your vehicle

When purchasing automotive parts and accessories there are some vehicle details that are non-negotiable to know. If you need the low-down on what to know about your vehicle, we’re here to help!

Make:  The make of a vehicle refers to the manufacturer.  Typically the logo of the manufacturer is clearly visible on the front of the car and recorded on the registration records.  Some examples include Ford, Holden, Toyota, Mitsubishi.  

Model:  A vehicle model is the specific product or style of vehicle you have.  The model can consist of names, initials and numbers and is often badged on the vehicle and located on registration records.  Examples include RAV4 from Toyota, Ranger from Ford and Colorado from Holden.

Badge/Series/Variant:  Many vehicles are available in a number of versions, from base model options through to a top of the range vehicle with all the extras.  Additional labeling in the form of a badge, series or model variant is typically located with the model badge on the vehicle.  Examples include Ford’s current Ranger PX Series II, or Nissan’s Patrol ST (badge) series 2.

Date of manufacture:  When purchasing automotive parts it is important to ensure you have the year of manufacture accurate.  It is easy to confuse the build (manufacture) date, compliance date and model year (MY), however they are not all equal!  The date of manufacture can be found on the manufacture plate, which is typically a label affixed in the driver or passenger’s door jamb or under the bonnet.

Vehicle Type: 

 Seating Configuration & Options: When purchasing seat covers, the seating configuration is an important factor. Sometimes there are variations in seating configurations and other options available in each model. The most common ‘need to knows’ are:

Bucket Seat: This is a seat for one person. Usually the driver’s seat is a bucket seat.

Bench Seat: This is a seat that extends across the width of the car, or part of the car, seating more than one person. Older vehicles can have front bench seats and many utes have a driver’s bucket and passenger bench, that seats two people. Benches are also common as 2nd and 3rd row seats.

Armrests: There are many armrest options, from one armrest on the inside of a driver’s bucket to a larger fold down armrest, incorporating a cup holder in the rear bench of a ute. Count the number of armrests and check their position.

Safety Features: If your vehicle is fitted with safety features such as seat-fitted side impact airbags, ensure you’re not jeopardising the safety of your occupants! Purchase accessories that are fully certified and compliant, allowing full operation of your safety features. To check whether the vehicle has seat-fitted side impact airbags, look for a small ‘SRS Airbag’ or ‘Airbag’ tag sewn into the backrest of the seat or imprinted on a plastic badge on the seat. Alternatively, check the manual for ‘side airbags’, ‘seat fitted side airbags’ or ‘thorax airbags’. (please note ‘side curtain airbags’ are not ‘seat fitted side airbags’)

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