Finding the Right Parts

AASA ‘Know Your Parts’ campaign helps repair shops choose the best aftermarket products

Choosing the right part

Choosing and correctly installing the right part is no simple task these days.

Automotive repairs are becoming more complicated as technology continues to advance from strictly mechanical devices to electronic devices to software devices with electronic and mechanical enablers.

It’s never been more important than it is now for those in the automotive industry to have relevant information at their fingertips.

That’s what the Know Your Parts (KYP) campaign was created to accomplish.

Supported by the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA) and created by the organization’s Marketing Executives Council (MEC), Know Your Parts helps fill the information void in an age of rapidly evolving automotive technology. It does so by helping auto repair shops and technicians make smart, professional decisions in their repairs.

To understand what Know Your Parts is all about, you first must know that it’s an educational campaign designed to provide direct access to the manufacturer’s instructions. As such, it’s packed with information in an easy-to-access place – online.

Bill Long, president and CEO of AASA, describes Know Your Parts as “the industry education and awareness campaign of the AASA, the light vehicle aftermarket division of the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA).”

AASA is a non-profit trade association that created Know as a special initiative of the MEC and funded by AASA Council members. The site is a not-for-profit entity and thus open to all users. The campaign, Long says, serves as an online resource for technicians and shop owners focused on “premium products from trusted, full-service aftermarket suppliers who stand behind their products.”

Since launching in 2009, the site has grown from about 4,300 visitors to more than 15,000 each month.

“Our metrics show that the vast majority of visitors view the site on mobile devices and spend more than two minutes on a page,” Long said.

According to Long, the campaign’s backers recently redesigned the site to enhance its functionality and navigation, with features such as the addition of transcripts and videos intended to help users access even more information. It was the site’s first major revamp.

Now, offers several ways for shop owners and technicians to use the website. To start, they can browse through the library of videos and technical articles, posted in a wide range of categories that include brakes and brake components, diesel engines, drivetrain and bearings, electrical components, engines and engine management, and more.

Those resources are there, free of charge, to help educate and promote correct and safe repair procedures, specifically with aftermarket parts.

“The site is mobile optimized,” Long said, “so technicians can use it on their smart devices in the bay.”

Techs also can reach out to specific parts manufacturers using the searchable Tech Hotline Directory, which allows them to call the hotline from their mobile devices. And once they’re in the Quality Parts Zone, a branded-content section that highlights MEC member companies, users can learn even more about parts manufacturers.

Although education is the main goal of the Know Your Parts campaign, it also offers practical tools that promote several functions a shop owner or technician will find useful when it comes to aftermarket parts.

Some of these tools include:

Aftermarket Parts Education:

Shop owners and technicians can learn more about the value of premium parts and how these name brands can help them better serve their customers, the vehicle owners.

In addition, users who are interested in the potential benefits of aftermarket parts on vehicle repairs can find reliable information in the site’s educational sections, where positive repair experiences is the main goal of the website and the campaign.

“The site is meant to educate repair professionals on the importance of doing complete and proper diagnostics and using trusted replacement parts,” Long said. “Using these techniques will help cut down on customer comebacks.”

Part-Specific Repair Information:

Site users can find parts information, repair tips and techniques for troubleshooting, and repair shops and techs that already are using aftermarket parts can locate information sourced directly from many aftermarket manufacturers. Participating manufacturer members contribute tips, advice and relevant information, where it’s sorted and organized so that users can look up what they need by product or by manufacturer.

Carolyn Wiczynski, a representative of MEYLE AG, an MEC member company that supports and participates in Know, describes the site as an “asset for technicians providing product information directly from quality suppliers that engineer and manufacture their products. KYP aims to help the technician validate product choices and troubleshoot information to help them work more efficiently and more profitably.”

For example, MEYLE AG offers videos on that demonstrate parts installation and vehicle repairs for a range of vehicles.

“The internet is full of content and videos,” Wiczynski said, “but KYP ensures that the content is beneficial. For example, videos are validated from trusted partners and experts. And MELYE has added the ‘MEYLE Mechanics’ videos, which allow us to share technical tips and assembly instructions for automotive technicians.”

Manufacturer Communication:

Another feature of the KYP site, according to Long, is that shop owners and technicians can communicate directly with the manufacturers of name-brand parts. The Tech Hotline directory allows users to call more than 100 parts manufacturers directly from the website on a smart device. It also includes links to the websites for even more information.

“MEYLE offers a wide range of training options,” Wiczynski sais. “And repair professionals, tired of rummaging around for information, will quickly find professional installation and removal instructions on the Know Your Parts site.