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Car 101: Right Side Left Side, Driver Side Passenger Side

  • Posted: 09-16-2015 11:02 AM
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Many people feel confused when discussing which side of the car they need to buy a part for. Some feel it is best to call out "driver" or "passenger" to try and get clarity.

The problem with this is, not everyone's car has the driver's seat on the same side! We mostly deal with Japanese cars here at Heeltoe, and in Japan the driver sits on the right. "Drvier's side" would maybe buy you the wrong side!

Some might say, "Hey, this is 'Merica! We all drive on the LEFT side." Well, that is true if you live in America, or most other countries on Earth. But, the importation of JDM cars to the US is on the rise. Likewise, Heeltoe ships parts all over the world! We've got customers in the UK, Japan, and even many places such as Barbados and Jamaica where they could be driving just about anything. As customer service experts, how are we to clearly know what side is the driver's side?

If you wanna tell us what side of the car you need a part for, just say, right or left. All directions are indicated as if you are sitting inside the car. To turn right, you use the right blinker, which is on the right side of the car.

Wherever this notion that right would need any more clarification than the surface definition baffles us. It must have been started because someone didn't know right from left, and started calling it driver's side for left.



That's it! So don't get confused by looking at the front of the car and thinking your right is the right side of the car. And next time you say "I need a left fender," and the guy behind the counter asks "driver's side?" say, "No, left side." I might be fun.

FUN FACT: Honda part numbers are coded in such a way that the first 5 digits tell you what a part is. Bumper, piston, emblem, etc. if there is a right and left for a part, the right side is always numerically lower number. So for a 1997 Honda Civic headlight:

  • Right side: 33101-S01-305
  • Left Dide: 33151-S01-305

About the Author

Marcus di Sabella Marcus is the founder of Heeltoe Automotive. He's been working with cars (mostly Honda cars) since 1996, and has been providing enthusiasts with excellent products, services, and web experiences since 2002. He's been published in Honda Tuning, and holds a degree in Engineering Technology.


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