Auto Parts of Shelby King of Parts Gorilla in StarThe only way to accurately determine the year model of a vehicle is to decode that vehicle’s original Vehicle Identification Number, known as VIN, for short. Starting in 1980, most production vehicles carried a VIN that was made up of 17 characters – a combination of letters and numbers. For any of those 17-character VINs, it is easy to pick out the single character that denotes the year model of the vehicle.

Decode Vehicle Year from VINThe VIN is located in multiple places on each vehicle – some easily visible, some purposefully hidden. Above is a photo of a VIN decal that is located in the driver’s door jam. Some VINs are stamped into metal plates that are then attached to the vehicle. Other VINs are stamped into various parts of the vehicle’s structure.

To find the character that denotes the year model of a vehicle, start at the end of the VIN. That’s all the way to the right. Now count left 8 characters. That 8th character can be either a number or a letter, but it will tell you what year the vehicle is. Refer to the chart below to determine what character denotes which year(s).

This only works on vehicles with 17-character VINs.

Note that the letters started repeating in 2010.  For example, a 1980 and a 2010 model vehicle will both have an “A” in that 8th spot from the right of the VIN.  But that shouldn’t be a problem, as everyone should be able to tell the difference between vehicles 30 years apart.

The letters L, O, Q, U, and Z were not used.

Feel free to download this chart for future reference:
Determine the Year Model of Most Vehicles Manufactured in 1980 or Later.


Rainbow BridgeOn September 2nd of this year, sweet Molli crossed Rainbow Bridge.  We still miss her very much.

In the weeks following Molli’s passing, her best buddy in the whole wide world, our owner Jerry Allen, realized that he needed to find a way to turn this heart-breaking loss into a positive —  to whatever degree possible.  After much consideration, Jerry decided to assist a local organization that does a wonderful job of saving abandoned, homeless animals in Cleveland County andMiss Molli surrounding areas.  That organization is Clifford’s Army Rescue Extravaganza, also known as C.A.R.E., for short.

We are placing banks in trustworthy local businesses where caring people can donate their change to this admirable cause and help save these poor defenseless animals from an early and unnecessary death.  If you own or know of a local business that you believe would be a great location for one of these banks, please let us know.

And if you are willing to donate time, money, or pet supplies to C.A.R.E., know that you couldn’t help a better Bank for Clifford's Army Rescue Extravaganzaorganization and that anything you donate will be much appreciated.  No donation is too small.

Thank you in advance for anything that you can do to help save these animals and to support Clifford’s Army Rescue Extravaganza.

Learn more about Clifford’s Army Rescue Extravaganza on their Facebook page at:

To see photos and more detailed information about local loving pets in need of a forever home, go here:

Molli - Queen of Parts

Miss Molli loved to ride — cars, boats, whatever. As long as she was with her Jerry, life was good.


Now Let's Train

Most of our associates have extensive experience in the automotive parts business, and Jason Owens is no exception.  During his 18+ years at Auto Parts of Shelby, Jason has served as Inventory Manager, Shipping Manager, Production Manager, or a combination of the above.  In short, Jason will do whatever it takes to keep Auto Parts of Shelby running smoothly.

Jason is currently our Production Manager and our Shipping Manager.  He is a vital cog in our day-to-day operations.

Recently, Jason flew to Jacksonville, Florida for a professional development session entitled “Training the Trainer”.  “Training the Trainer” was developed and presented by Team PRP and is one of many examples of their commitment to the excellence andJason Owens (Production Mgr) success of all their member yards by:

  1. Establishing procedural and parts rating standards
  2. Improving the efficiency of all procedures involved in running a successful auto parts recycling location
  3. Minimizing part damage by standardizing how parts are processed and shipped
  4. Reducing overall operating costs
  5. Training key people from each member operation on how to effectively educate their associates

We appreciate the educational opportunities and guidance provided by Team PRP.  The more efficient we are at what we do, the better prices and service we are able to offer our customers like you.

We’re always looking for ways to improve.  Please let us know how we’re doing.


Free Candy to Children in Costume on Halloween DayHalloween should be a fun day for our children. Let’s all do our parts to make sure they stay safe while they are out trick-or-treating and afterwards as they devour their bounty.

Here are a few safety tips from the CDC that we would all be wise to follow:

Going trick-or-treating?

Swords, knives, and other costume accessories should be short, soft, and flexible.

Avoid trick-or-treating alone. Walk in groups or with a trusted adult.

Fasten reflective tape to costumes and bags to help drivers see you.

Examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before eating them. Limit the amount of treats you eat.


Hold a flashlight while trick-or-treating to help you see and others see you. Always WALK and don’t run from house to house.

Always test make-up in a small area first. Remove it before bedtime to prevent possible skin and eye irritation.

Look both ways before crossing the street. Use established crosswalks wherever possible.

Lower your risk for serious eye injury by not wearingdecorative contact lenses.

Only walk on sidewalks whenever possible, or on the far edge of the road facing traffic to stay safe.

Wear well-fitting masks, costumes, and shoes to avoid blocked vision, trips, and falls.

Eat only factory-wrapped treats. Avoid eating homemade treats made by strangers.

Enter homes only if you’re with a trusted adult. Only visit well-lit houses. Never accept rides from strangers.

Never walk near lit candles or luminaries. Be sure to wear flame-resistant costumes.

You will find more great Halloween Safety Tips at the CDC’s website and at Safe Kids Worldwide. You may also want to check the National Sex Offenders Registry by Family Watchdog for any area where you plan to allow your children to trick-or-treat.

Remember, Auto Parts of Shelby will be giving away candy to children in costume today from 8:00am to 5:00pm. If you’re in our area, we would love for you to drop by our office at 1021 County Home Road in Shelby, NC.

Stay safe out there this evening. Please do your part to help protect all children and animals by simply following a few Halloween Safety Tips.

Happy Halloween from Auto Parts of Shelby!


Check out some of our Halloween Specials:

$5 OFF Your Total Purchase thru Halloween 2014


Used Batteries Only $25 + Exchange Thru Halloween 2014





What is Team PRP and How Does It Benefit Me?

Team PRP LogoGood questions. Let’s start by defining the name. First, “PRP” is an acronym for Premium Recycled Parts. And “Team PRP” is a nationwide network of independently owned automotive recyclers with millions of quality used and remanufactured auto parts in stock – ready for delivery to discerning customers who value a dollar.

Every Team PRP member is required to uphold specific standards and practices. Here are some of the benefits you gain by dealing with Auto Parts of Shelby, a proud Team PRP member:


Our warranties are some of the strongest in the business.

Buy With Confidence red and gold medallionEvery part we sell is covered by our standard 90-Day Warranty* at no extra cost to our customers. If you purchase a part from us and your part fails within 90 days of purchase, return it to us and receive an exchange part or full credit toward your next purchase at Auto Parts of Shelby. What’s more, for our customers who want even better coverage, we offer the opportunity to purchase Silver (6-month), Gold (1-year), or Platinum (5-year) Extended Warranties*. And as you may have already heard, our awesome Remanufactured Engines & Transmissions come with a fabulous 3-Year/100,000-Mile Parts and Labor Warranty* included.

*Some conditions and limitations may apply. Ask your salesperson for details.


Each Team PRP member uses an identical quality assurance program based on ISO 9000 standards. The result is a nationwide label that delivers consistently high quality parts and maximizes consumer, mechanical repairer, collision center, and estimator confidence. If we don’t stock the part you need on site at Auto Parts of Shelby, rest assured that any parts we get from our Team PRP partners will also be excellent quality and carry the same superb warranties.


Team PRP members ship and deliver parts faster than our competitors. All Team PRP members share inventories regionally and nationally, with a nationwide delivery system that is both fast and dependable. Immediate parts availability throughout our extensive network and a 24-Hour In-Stock Shipping Policy ensure our customers get what they need quickly.


We pay any supplements on our parts and communicate with the estimator and repairer so there won’t be any surprises.


Your call, fax, or e-mail will guarantee a quick response from one of our expert sales staff.


Our quotes are guaranteed a minimum of 7 days. If the part we quoted has been sold to another customer, we will do our best to find you another part at the same price. Finding that replacement part is based on availability, of course.


We have a 30-Day, No-Hassle Return Policy.


Remanufactured Engine We offer Team PRP branded remanufactured engines and transmissions. These products are manufactured under the strictest of standards. Our 3-Year/100,00-Mile Parts and Labor Warranty* attests to the superior quality of these remanufactured engines and transmissions.

*Some conditions and limitations may apply. Ask your salesperson for details.


Re-using auto parts and recycling those parts that can’t be re-used are great for our environment. Even most automotive fluids can be re-used or recycled.  For example, at Auto Parts of Shelby, we recycle certain automotive fluids by using them to heat our warehouse each winter.  In fact, as it turns out, about 95% of an end-of-life vehicle can be used or recycled!  Pretty awesome, huh?  And of course, that benefits us all.

Here’s more about Team PRP, what it means to you, the customer, and what it means to our environment:



For over 60 years, the high quality remanufactured engines and transmissions that we sell have exceeded industry standards with same-as-new performance.

Here are some of the reasons that our remanufacturing partner has developed such a reputation for quality and reliability over the years:

QUALITY ADVANTAGE   Remanufactured Engine Engine air tested Cold run test Computerized air gapping No Welding

ASSEMBLY DC-torqueing of critical fasteners Variable lines-flexible-expandable-quick start End-of-line spin testing for oil flow, compression, and torque

MACHINING CAPABILITIES Six CNC horizontal machining centers Robotics CNC crankgrinder CNC honing

UNEQUALED QUALITY CONTROL ISO-9002, QS-9000, ISO-14000 Six Sigma Two coordinate measuring machines – the latest in deck and cylinder surface finish measuring equipment

APPLICATIONS  Remanufactured Engine Parts Ford GM Nissan Land Rover Chrysler Toyota Honda Marine

Because our high-quality remanufactured engines and transmissions are built to last with the latest technology available anywhere in the world today, we are able to confidently offer one of the best warranties in the business.  Our Warranty covers parts and labor as described in Remanufacturer’s Limited Warranty for a period of 36 Months/100,000 Miles.  Yes, that’s right.  36 MONTHS / 100,000 miles!

Auto Parts of Shelby is a proud Team PRP Member.



Aftermarket body parts for saleeYou’ve had an accident, or your car needs repair for another reason.  You have choices to make.  Which parts should you buy — new OEM (produced by your vehicle’s manufacturer), Aftermarket, Used, or when available, Remanufactured?  Sometimes, the insurance company makes the choice for you unless you’re willing to pay additional fees to get what you want.

Usually, new OEM parts will cost more than any of the other options.  Sometimes, OEM parts are better than the other new options; sometimes they’re not.  In fact, certain Aftermarket parts actually exceed the quality of some OEM parts.  The trick is knowing when that’s the case and when it isn’t.

And it gets a little more complicated.  There’s only one manufacturer of Ford OEM parts, for example, and you usually buy their parts at a Ford dealership.  Aftermarket parts are manufactured by thousands of different companies, and you can buy them from thousands of different sources.  Some of the Aftermarket manufacturers produce outstanding products that are even better than the OEM parts.  These parts aren’t always cheaper than the OEM parts, but when they’re not, their price is often justified by the higher quality of the products.

Other Aftermarket parts are really good and available at considerable savings to the consumer.  The key is determining which manufacturers’ parts fall in this category because there are other manufacturers whose parts are very much hit and miss.  Sometimes they fit; sometimes they don’t.  Their quality isn’t really up to reasonable standards.  Putting those lower-quality parts on a nice vehicle can cost you more in reduced vehicle value than what you save on the parts.

At Auto Parts of Shelby, we sell Used, Aftermarket, and Remanufactured parts.  What’s more, we would use any of the 3 types of parts on our vehicles.  In fact, we do just that.

We started selling Aftermarket parts in the mid-80s.  To be frank, the parts we sold then weren’t that good.  But they were the best we could find then, and they were quite inexpensive.  Since that time, more manufacturers got in the Aftermarket parts business, and the cream rose to the top as it usually does.  We’re proud of the quality of the Aftermarket parts we sell today.  They look good, they fit, and they save our customers money.

Give our Aftermarket parts a try and see for yourself.


Broken Headlight on Snow-Covered Car

Drivers experienced treacherous road conditions in many parts of our country — including major metropolitan areas — during our recent winter storms. Scores of vehicles damaged are now in need of repair. Fortunately, if you found yourself in a fender bender or a more severe accident during these storms, we’re here to help.

For those of you with damaged but repairable vehicles, we invite you to shop with us.  We have one of the largest inventories of used, aftermarket, and remanufactured auto parts in the nation.  Let us provide you an excellent deal on the parts you need to put your car or truck back in tip-top shape.

And if your vehicle isn’t repairable, or if you just don’t want it anymore, we would like the opportunity to buy it from you.

Either way, we hope we can make dealing with the aftermath of your accident a little bit easier for you.


Brrrrrrrr.  It’s that time of the year again, folks.  The shortest day of the year and the first official day of winter is known as the winter solstice.  This year the winter solstice fell on December 21.  If you haven’t already winterized your vehicles, it’s time to get that done.  A little care and preparation now may prevent a misfortune later.  Snow Covered Winter Road Through Woods

Let’s discuss a few things you can do to make your vehicle safer for you and your passengers in the coming months.

  • Make sure your defroster and heater work properly.
  • Be sure your windshield is clear of all heavy frost, ice, or snow before turning on your windshield wipers.  Turning on wipers that are frozen to the windshield can result in damage to the wiper blades and windshield wiper motor.  You may want to keep de-icer handy for quick defrosting.

Note:  Remember to turn off your wipers when you turn off your vehicle.  That way your wipers won’t automatically attempt to start when you crank your vehicle. 

  • Be sure you have good wiper blades installed.  Poor visibility in adverse weather conditions can be disastrous.
  • Be sure your windshield washer fluid reservoir is full and that you’re using washer fluid that will not freeze.
  • Check your antifreeze.  Make sure it’s full and that it is concentrated enough to protect you below the lowest temperatures you expect.  Add a higher concentration of antifreeze if needed.
  • Check your oil.  Often, lower viscosity oil is called for during colder weather.  Read your owner’s manual and be sure to use the correct oil viscosity during the upcoming months.  If your oil is too thick, it can damage your engine.
  • Carefully inspect all your hoses and belts for wear.  Replace as needed.
  • Warm up your engine before you start driving.
  • Be sure to keep plenty of gas in your tank in case you get stranded and need to run your heater for an extended period.
  • Pack an emergency kit and keep it in your vehicle.  Be sure to include blankets.
  • If your vehicle is 4WD, verify that its 4WD is working properly.
  • Check your battery.  If its cranking power is marginal or if the battery is soon to be out of date, consider replacing it before it strands you.
  • Check your tires.  Confirm that you have sufficient tread for safely navigating wet or snow-covered roads.  Be sure all tires are properly inflated to the manufacturer’s specifications.
  • Consider installing snow tires or all-season tires depending on the conditions where you will be driving.