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FAQ: Universal Parts

What exactly IS a "universal" part, and why might you be interested in one? How would you know if a universal part fits your vehicle? Read on to learn more about universal parts and their many advantages.
FAQ: Universal Parts

What Is A Universal Part?

A universal part is not designed for any particular year, make, or model car. Rather, it is intended to fit most vehicles. Universal parts are a "one size fits many" approach to automotive parts and accessories.

How Do I Know If A Part On CARiD Is A Univeral Part Or Not?

Our website always clearly indicates whether a part is universal or not. When you select a part by clicking on it, you see either the words "Vehicle Specific" (with a check mark symbol), or the words "Universal Fit" (with an exclamation point). In addition, any vehicle-specific part will require that you enter your vehicle's year, make, and model, and you will NOT be asked that for universal parts.

Vehicle Specific Part Note
Univeral Part Note

Why Sell Universal Parts Which Aren't An Exact Fit?

There are many good reasons why we make universal parts available. Since the company making the part can produce fewer variations, prices for universal parts generally tend to be lower compared to exact-fit parts. Universal parts work well in categories where there is a lot of commonality across car lines (examples include radio speakers, fastening hardware, and decorative trim pieces). Cars which are custom-built or heavily modified can make great use of universal parts. For older or obsolete vehicles, exact-fit parts may no longer be available and universal parts can be a solution. In many cases, universal parts can also give an installer flexibility regarding mounting location, such as for speakers, spoilers, and decorative trim items.

How Do I Know If Universal Parts Fit My Vehicle?

By the very nature of universal parts, it is not possible for us to say "THIS universal part fits YOUR particular year, make, and model vehicle". In almost all cases, it is up to the vehicle owner and/or installer to measure both the part and its intended location. There is also the matter of installation instructions, which can be generic at best, if provided at all. Universal parts often rely on an installer who has some experience working on automobiles. Below, you will find helpful hints regarding some of our more popular categories of universal parts.

Universal Electronics


  • Most universal radios we sell are either "single DIN" size or "double DIN" size. These are industry-accepted standardized radio sizes.
  • A single DIN radio requires a dash opening approximately 7" wide by 2" high.
  • A double DIN radio requires a dash opening approximately 7" wide by 4" high.
  • Once you have measured the dash opening, you can narrow down your selections by making one of these choices from the on-screen menu:
Types Of Stereos


  • Most speakers are sized based on common industry sizing, such as 3" round, or 6"x9" oval.
  • In addition to diameter, depth is important if the intended location is shallow.
  • Speakers pre-installed in enclosed boxes will require measuring the width, height, and depth of both the speaker enclosure and the intended install location.


  • Remote starters, alarms, backup cameras, and similar typically are added onto a vehicle and are not replacing a factory installation.
  • It is important to plan ahead regarding install location, access to controls for the operator, and electrical connections which may require access to vehicle factory literature.


Universal Hood Scoops

  • Hood scoops are available in many different sizes. Start by selecting an intended location, and measuring it for the scoop. A suggestion is to make a cardboard cutout the same size as the scoop.
  • Universal hood scoops typically do not include attachment hardware or instructions. The installation method is left up to the installer.
  • Like any other custom exterior body work, you should expect some cutting, filing, sanding, and filling when installing the scoop. Final paint is also up to the installer.

Universal Seat Covers

  • Universal seat covers are a cost-effective way to protect your factory upholstery.
  • Their universal nature means that the fit will not be as snug as a custom-fit cover.
  • While universal seat covers protect most of the actual seating area, the sides and back of some seats may not be covered.
  • Taking the time for some extra attention during installation will go a long way toward a better-looking and better-fitting universal seat cover.

Universal Rear Spoilers

  • Universal rear spoilers are a great choice for a custom look, or if a vehicle-specific spoiler is not available.
  • Their universal design almost always means that these spoilers will bolt onto the trunk lid.
  • The bolt-on install will require careful measuring and drilling. Unlike a custom spoiler, templates are usually not provided.
  • Also be sure to consider overall width of the universal spoiler so that it does not extend past the left and right edges of the trunk lid.

Universal Mufflers & Exhaust Tips

  • Universal mufflers are a great choice for a custom exhaust system, or for a vehicle for which factory-style exhaust components are no longer available.
  • It is critical to take careful measurements of both the length and diameter of the muffler to ensure it will fit in the intended space.
  • Other considerations are the locations of inlet and outlet pipes (center, offset, dual) and the inlet and outlet diameters. You can narrow down your selections from the Refine menu on the left-hand side of the page:
Inlet Outlet Configuration Table
Outlet Diameter Table
  • Universal exhaust tips are sold by inlet and outlet size.
  • For fitment to your car, the tip's inlet diameter must match your vehicle's exhaust pipe outlet diameter.
  • In some cases, the factory tip must be cut off and/or the new tip must be welded in place.

Universal Towing Mirrors

  • Universal towing mirrors are typically designed to be fitted to your vehicle's exterior only when towing. They provide a wider field of vision to the rear, and can be removed when not pulling a trailer.
  • Most of them are designed to supplement, not replace, your existing outside mirrors.
  • Universal towing mirrors are intended to fit the majority of vehicles on the road today. Check for any install instructions or attachment points which might help you determine how well they will attach to your car or truck.

Universal Turbochargers

  • Universal turbochargers are typically used in racing or off-road applications.
  • They may be "engine specific" or may simply be listed by size and output.
  • Such turbochargers are sold individually. All related connecting parts are sold separately.
  • Any attempt to install an aftermarket universal turbocharger on a street-driven vehicle, especially one without a factory turbo, is a major undertaking.
  • The installation is almost always carried out by a professional engine shop experienced in these kinds of engine builds.
  • In many states, such a modification to a street-driven car would render it out of compliance with state and Federal emission standards.
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All manufacturer names, symbols, and descriptions, used in our images and text are used solely for identification purposes only. It is neither inferred nor implied that any item sold by CARiD.com is a product authorized by or in any way connected with any vehicle manufacturers displayed on this page.