Your older model Ford needs a part, and you toss the idea around in your head. What should you do? Certainly, the first possibility that enters your head is to go to the Ford dealership, but is that the best solution? Consider that the parts departments of the average Ford dealership is only stocked with the most common parts, so depending on the age of your car, there's a good possibility that it will have to be specially ordered. Though in some cases this may not be a problem, if it is a part that prevents your car from running or hampers security (i.e. a motor for electric windows), it can be a problem. These specially ordered parts must be paid for in advance, and chances are you will be charged extra for the "favor," especially if it a part they don't normally stock and more so if they are placing an order that conflicts with their normal ordering schedule or quantity.
What else can you do if not ordering through the Ford dealership? For starters, you can research the closest authorized Ford dealers. This can entail anything from speaking with your regular mechanic to visiting one of the independent automotive parts stores such as Pep Boys, Penn Jersey, Sears, and the like. Since the Ford dealers tend to have a large inventory than the parts departments of the Ford dealership, there is a better chance that they will have your part in stock. Since these supply houses carry a larger inventory at a given time, even if they do have to order your part, unless it's a specialized part for a very old car, one of the Ford dealers can get it for you much quicker and at a lower cost than what the dealership will charge for the same service.
If you have searched locally both the Ford dealers and the various dealerships and still cannot find the part you need, all is not lost. This is, after all, the 21st Century, and the capabilities of the Information Highway have been expanded, so we are not limited to shopping only where we can drive in a few hours. The Internet is full of retailers and wholesalers of automotive parts, and this list includes Ford dealers. A search in the Google search engine brings up over 6,000,000 possibilities under the keyword "Ford dealers." Some of the online supply houses even advertise they carry obsolete parts, so no matter what the age of your car, the Internet provides a good possibility that you will still be able to find the part you need without having to purchase a newer part and pay someone to modify it for your particular car.
Some Ford dealers do understand that there is a group of people who choose to hold onto a car as long as it is not causing any major problems and parts are available. The availability of parts for older cars has been enhanced greatly since the introduction of the Internet, and Ford is no exception. If the local parts dealers want to capture a part of this growing market, then they will have to become a part of the modern technology, not just by making their parts available online, but by incorporating a means for customers to purchase hard-to-find parts. After all, they are going to find it somewhere, so if the idea is to boost local economy, this is a good place to start.