Can You Bring Car Parts On a Plane? 2024

There are numerous types of car parts.

And if you want to bring any type of car parts or engines with you on a flight, you will be confused with the airlines and airports rules. 

Here is the short answer.

Car and engine parts free of fuel or gas traces are allowed in both carry-on and checked baggage on most airlines, new car engine parts are permitted in checked luggage without any problem, but they need to be in their original packaging and free from any trace of gasoline or oil.

Keep reading, we have provide everything you need to know about the TSA restrictions when traveling with common car parts.

Let’s dive right in.

Take Car Parts Through The Security Checkpoint

The TSA stated that car parts without fuel or gas inside are permitted through the security checkpoint and in both carry-on and checked baggage.

Here is what the TSA has to say on its website.

You can carry car part through the security checkpoint.

Most of the airport securities do not worry about those accessories themselves but rather what they contain inside them, like fuel or other type of liquids.

And as the TSA always claims, the final decision whether an item will be allowed in the airplane is for the security officer at the airport.

Even if an item is permitted on the TSA website the security officer has the final say to let you take it on board the airplane.

Some car parts may be subject to additional screening to make sure there’s no trace of fuel or other hazardous materials inside them.


Carry On Luggage Restrictions

Now as you know that you can bring car parts in carry-on luggage if they are free from any liquids, you will also need to comply with your airline carry-on size limits.

Small pieces like side mirrors are easy to carry. You can just place them inside your carry-on and head to the airport.

On the other hand if you are taking large pieces ( like a front pumper) it is better to contact your airline, send them a pic of your item, or just send it as checked baggage.

Wes wanted to bring this pair of headlights on the plane, and the TSA customer service replied that “Car parts, including headlights, are allowed in carry-on and checked bags.

The problem though is that he still needs to confirm with the airline, as the headlights seem to be slightly larger than what the airline will normally allow in carry-on.

The carry on bag need to fit n the overhead bin perfectly, and even though there is no weight limitation the carry on still be light enough to be moved without any help.

Can You Take Car Parts In Checked Baggage?

As mentioned above you can bring car parts in checked luggage on most airlines.

However; there are some risks that your pieces will be missed or damaged if not packed properly.

Also make sure that you pack your car part safely and securely – especially if it has some sharp edges – so that anyone searching your bag will not injure themselves.

Ensure that you tagged them with fragile item stickers so the airport security agents or baggage handlers will handle them carefully.

You can save money by shipping your car part and make your life a whole lot easier.

Tiffany wanted to bring an alternator for a 74 Volvo on her flight, and she already did travel with it in 1993 without any problem, But that was before the TSA was even founded.

The TSA replied that car engine parts are allowed only in checked baggage.

But even though I don’t think they will have problems with used car engine pieces if it is well cleaned and packed neatly.

A clean and well organized packaging will increase the chances that the security officer will not remove the piece from checked baggage.

Another thing to remember is the wight of your the car pet.

Some engine part can be heavy and way more than the weight allowed in checked baggage, and I doubt there will be an airline that accepts heavy items, even as overweight luggage.

ItemsCarry on Checked baggage
Car headlightsOkOk
car shock absorbersIf they don’t have sealed, compressed gas cylinders or traces of oil & gasoline.If the don’t have sealed, compressed gas cylinders or traces of oil & gasoline.
car scannerOk.
must be removed at the security checkpoint
car alternatorYes if they do not contain any trace of fuel or oilIf packed in their original box
car alternator beltOkOk
License platesOkOk
car tire chainsOK, it may be subject to additional screening (preferred tone transported in checked bags)Ok

Final Thoughts

You are permitted to take clean and normal car parts in carry-on luggage or checked luggage.

But if a car item has fuel or gas inside it will not be accepted in both carry-on or checked baggage.

You should always empty any liquids from your car part so you won’t face any issues with the airport security.

Remember also that your items is within your airline carry-on or checked baggage size and weight.

If the items is too large to bring with the airline, it is better to select a different method of transport for your item.

I hope this helps.

Happy travels.

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