How to Find the Best Junkyard Car Parts

Finding the Best Junkyard Car Parts

Are you into classic auto restoration? Or, perhaps you do mechanic work as a side-gig? Maybe you’re just looking for a cheaper alternative to pricey car repairs.

If you are looking for car parts but don’t want to pay a fortune, junkyard car parts might be the solution for you.

According to car recycling statistics, the United States recycles almost 12 million automobiles annually. It’s estimated that, on average, 80% of a car is recyclable. This means that there are plenty of usable second-hand car parts up for grabs each year in the U.S.

Many of these auto parts land in car junkyards, where they can be scavenged and bought for a fraction of what you might pay elsewhere.

Want to find out how to nab useful junkyard parts?

Read on for your guide to scoring cast-away car parts at the junkyard!

Your Go-To Guide to Score Junkyard Deals

If you have never tapped into the deals hidden in a junkyard, you could be missing out.

Junkyards are often the keepers of hidden treasure when it comes to parts for your car.

It may take a little time and effort, but you can be sure there are plenty of finds lurking among those piles of steel.

You can often find engine components, authentic vintage car parts, or spruce up your car’s appearance with junkyard treasures that cost next to nothing.

Know Before You Go

The first trick of the junkyard trade is to find out what’s waiting on you before you get there.

While it’s impossible to get a complete rundown of the contents, a little research prior to investigation can be a big help.

Find out the names, numbers, and locations of local and nearby car junkyards. If you know the right questions to ask, a quick phone call can give you the information you need to decide if it’s worth a visit.

You will need to find out the type of junkyard, and you should also find out if the location specializes in a specific class of vehicles. Some collect imports, while others may deal strictly with vintage models. Obviously, this will give you a general idea if they may carry what you need.

Self-Service Versus Full-Service Junkyards

There are typically two types of car junkyards.

  1. Full-Service Junkyards

The full-service junkyard is less do-it-yourself, but merchandise tends to come with a higher price tag. These junkyards allow you to call ahead with your request. If the item is available, the clerk will have it waiting for you to pick up upon arrival.

  1. Self-Service Junkyards

The self-service junkyard is of the pull-a-part variety. Here, you can meander through the rows of junk cars looking for the items you want. When you find what you’re looking for, you simply remove the junkyard car parts yourself and take them to the checkout counter for purchase.

The best deals often come from the self-service junkyards. These are popular for having a generic price list that includes one price for a particular part, regardless of make, model, or year.

Given the right part for the right car, this method can pay off big time.

Additionally, pull-a-part junkyards give you plenty of freedom to dig around for great buys. You can compare parts, remove them, and take a close look, before committing to buy. You can take what you like and leave the rest behind for the next junkyard scavenger.

One more reason that self-service junkyards are preferred is that they hold within them a wealth of knowledge for those who choose to take advantage of it. You can learn how parts are installed and removed, what goes where and get free hands-on mechanic practice.

Not to mention, while sifting through these old-car havens, you just might find a part with a high resale value that could potentially earn you a substantial profit.

Junkyard Car Parts Smart Shopper Secrets

When you hit the junkyard, there are a few smart shopper tricks that can help you get the best deal possible.

  1. Check the Numbers

While there are loads of deals to be had at car junkyards, there is bound to be some junk there as well. And, you don’t want to get stuck with junkyard car parts that you can’t use.

One way to avoid this dilemma is to make sure that the part number matches the dealership’s number for that part. Sometimes, junkyard car parts include makeshift models that aren’t safe to use for standard operating purposes.

  1. Compare Prices

There is a two-fold benefit to performing your own price comparisons. One, you won’t end up paying full price for a second-hand part. Secondly, you can often haggle with junkyard owners to meet a lower priced offer.

If you know exactly what you are looking for, you can run a price check of the used part online.

This will give you a ballpark range of what you will be spending and an idea of what you should ask the owner to consider should their price be higher.

  1. Bring Your Own Toolbox

When you are scouring the junkyard for car parts, you’ll need to carry a set of tools along. Once you find the part you need, it’ll be up to you to remove it. Without the right tools, you could be out of luck.

Practice Makes Perfect

Like anything, junkyard shopping techniques tend to get better in time. With some practice, you’ll soon learn what it takes to score the best deals on junkyard car parts. It won’t be long until you’re a pro at spotting the parts you need, and the super-low price will make your find seem twice as nice.

Check out our blog for more realistic ways to save on everyday costs!

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