Standard, Aftermarket and Other Equipment

The car inspectors in Japanese car auctions have a number of different ways of referring to standard and non-standard equipment and parts.

Original Parts and Equipment

These parts are fitted by the manufacturer as factory-standard items.

In the translation of the auction sheet, you will see such parts described as “original”, for example like this – “original CD stereo”.

Original equipment is also noted in our online system in the “Options” section. Here you may see the following abbreviations:

AC = air conditioning
AB = air bags
PS = power steering
PW = power windows
Navi = navigation system
AW = alloy wheels
SR = sunroof
Leather = leather seats
TV = television
WAC = double AC
AAC = climate control

Dealer Options

These are not technically “original” parts, since they were not fitted in the factory. However, equipment described as a “dealer option” in the translation was fitted by the official dealer, so the difference between these parts and “original” parts is small, and these “dealer option” parts will still sometimes have the manufacturer’s name on them anyway.

Aftermarket (AM) Parts

If the translation of the car’s auction inspector’s report describes a part as being “AM” (aftermarket), it means that this part was not made by the original manufacturer and was bought and fitted separately.

It is pretty common to see cars fitted with “AM AWs” (aftermarket alloy wheels), but with more sporting models you can find lengthy lists of aftermarket parts, from air cleaners to turbos where the owner has obviously spent a lot of time and money on customizing the car.

AM Parts from a Specific Maker

Where a part has been designated simply “AM”, it just means that the inspector knows that the part has been fitted to the car since it was bought new, but that he does not know who the manufacturer of this part is. However, if the maker of the part is known, the inspector will usually mention this in the auction report.

So, “AM suspension” just means that there are aftermarket suspension parts fitted from an unknown maker, whereas “Bilstein shock absorbers” is much more specific about which parts and who made them.

Aftermarket parts makers appearing regularly in translations are:

  • HKS
  • Nismo
  • Brabus
  • AMG
  • Lorinser
  • TRD
  • Bilstein

Non-Standard Parts

On rare occasions, you will see parts described as “non-standard”. What this means is that the car auction inspector is sure that these are not original factory-fitted items or dealer option equipment, but he is not sure whether they are actually aftermarket parts (made by another company) or whether they are parts made by the same car manufacturer but that are not normally fitted to this model.

“-Type” and “-Style” Parts

The car auction inspector or seller will use the suffixes “-type” or “-style” to refer to parts which look to be those of a particular manufacturer or model, although this is not completely clear.

So, for a number of Porsche 911s you will see “Cup-type wheels” in the translation, and what this means is that the wheels on the car look to be the same design as those on the “Cup” car, but the inspector cannot be sure that these ones are actual original “Cup” wheels.

Similarly, you will often see Mercedes with “AMG-style” parts. This means that there are parts that look very much like AMG parts, but the auction inspector is not completely sure that this is the case.

“-Spec” Parts

When the part name has the suffix “-spec” added, this means that the part concerned is an original manufacturer part, but that it is not meant for this model to which it is fitted. For example, you may see a Mercedes 300E which has “500E-spec” wheels. That is to say, someone has fitted factory wheels intended for a 500E onto this 300E model.

A variant of this is when parts from a car from one model year (usually a younger one) are fitted to a car from another one. So you may be looking at a 2005 BMW 7 Series and see a comment which says, “2007 model year tail lights”. In other words, the style of tail lights which were designed later and fitted to 2007 cars have been retrofitted to this 2005 model to make it look newer than it really is.

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