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What to Know When Buying Junkyard Parts Near Me

When looking for auto parts to repair your car, you have the option to purchase brand new parts or used parts from a junkyard. 

Most people view junkyards as a place that's not so appealing to shop for vehicle parts. But believe it or not, it's the best place to get used car parts and save hundreds of dollars that you would otherwise spend at a mechanic's garage or auto dealership.

It's important to note that junk yards operate in a certain way. Therefore, before you can visit your local junkyard, you must learn how to go about it the right way. You don't want to go outside of the rules of the salvage lot.

This article guides you on everything you need to know when buying junkyard parts near me

How Much Cheaper Are Junkyard Parts?

At your local junkyard, you can find any car part you're looking for, including mirrors, manifolds, doors, transmissions, seats, motors, catalytic converters, and many more. Interestingly, you may even find parts that are next to brand-new. 

Some people will junk a car and try to fix it, and when everything fails, they'll leave it with the brand-new parts they tried to fix it with.

No doubt, buying used car parts is much cheaper than getting brand new auto parts. Additionally, it demonstrates your concern for the environment and support for local businesses.

With each trip you make to a junkyard, you save money. Some junkyard car parts can get pretty cheap. Just compare the prices of the following items from a junkyard near me that sells parts with brand-new ones from an auto dealership and see the difference.

  • A door at the junkyard costs about $60, while it costs about $150 at a dealership.
  • A car battery costs around $12 at a local junkyard, while a mechanic's garage sells it at about $35.
  • A mid-size car engine goes for roughly $350, while a brand new one costs approximately $1,000.

Mind you, these are just a few examples showing how cheap junkyard car parts can get. 

In addition, if you visit a self-service junkyard, you save more because you do the part-removal yourself. You pay for no labor.

Best Deals on Car Parts at Junkyards

At the junkyard, most parts cost even up to a third the price of brand-new ones. That said, you should note that some parts cost more or less the same as new parts, depending on how long the part has been in use. 

If you get a part selling almost the same as a new one, we recommend you go for the new one. Some of the best deals you can for used auto body parts for sale near me are typically for the following:

  • Doors
  • Bumpers
  • Hoods
  • Fenders
  • Mirrors
  • Batteries
  • Engines

In addition, late model vehicle parts may be available. If you're lucky enough to arrive at the junkyard fast, you can find almost-new parts on a late model totaled car that's still in pretty good condition.

At the junkyard, you also find car interior components in excellent condition. These may include speakers, stereos, and rims.

Are There Parts You Should Never Buy at a Junkyard?

Not all used auto body parts for sale near me that you come across at your local junkyard are worth buying.

Some parts are excessively worn out, while others may be stressful to inspect their condition. In such situations, refrain from buying these parts. 

For parts such as brake pads, belts, and any other component that quickly wear and tear and are affordable to purchase new ones, it's recommended that you go for the brand-new ones.

Additionally, some parts can take half a day trying to reach them. These are not worth the time and effort it takes to get them from a junk car. 

When buying junkyard parts near me, never purchase parts with severe wear and rust because sooner or later, the components may fail.

Also, note that you should never leave a junkyard with an item that you're not 100% sure of its condition. Why would you waste your money on a part that may not even work on your car?

Finding Parts at the Junkyard

You don't just wake up and visit a junkyard in search of parts. If you do, you may not find what you're looking for. 

Instead, before you can visit any junkyard, consider the following:

#1 Research the Junkyard First

Chances are, there's more than one junkyard within your locality. Therefore, you need to be sure the one you choose is legitimate and the right choice for the parts you're looking for. 

Consider calling beforehand to inquire if the items you're looking for are available. This will depend on the make and model of your car. Doing so will save you the hassle and time of moving from one junkyard to another, searching for ideal parts.

In addition, you need to know what kind of junkyard it is you're visiting. There are two main types of junkyards. 

  • Full-service junkyard, where they do everything from removal to installation for you
  • Self-service junkyard where you do everything on your own 

Knowing what kind of junkyard you're dealing with helps you prepare sufficiently in advance. Also, see whether you need a general or specialized auto yard.

#2 Check the Yard's Inventory Online

Most, if not all junkyards, keep an online inventory where customers can check what parts are available before enquiring for them. 

Websites such as Pull-A-Part and car-parts.com come in handy. They are databases of junkyards all over the country with details of what they're offering currently.

#3 Check Parts Interchange Guides

From these junkyard sites, you can also look for compatibility of other car parts with your car. This is found in parts interchange guides, available for you on their websites.

#4 Call Beforehand

A simple call to your local junkyard will go a long way. You can get an idea of what they have and whether it's what you're looking for. 

#5 Sign Up for Email Alerts

Most junkyard websites offer you the option to sign up for alerts through emails. That way, anytime the parts you're interested in are available, they send you an email notification, after which you can then act accordingly.

But remember, you're not the only one looking for such parts. Therefore, act fast because other people who received the information also want the parts. You may get there when it's too late, only to find the car is there, but the parts are already gone.

#6 Visit the Yard and Ask for Assistance

After identifying the junkyard that may offer what you're looking for, it's a good idea to visit the yard and ask for help. 

Directly contacting a junkyard portrays you as a serious customer. As such, they may help you get the parts you're looking for quicker than you thought.

Is There a Warranty for Junkyard Parts?

Every part you purchase should have a warranty. 

When looking for the best junkyards, consider those with a 90 day to 6 months warranty. Some will even offer 1-year warranties. 

In addition, let the warranty policy be clear to you. Don't forget to ask whether it requires you to install the parts yourself or an ASE-certified mechanic must do the installation.

Tips For Buying Junkyard Car Parts

Buying junkyard parts requires you to be well prepared and organized. The following tips will help you prepare for the business at hand.

1. Know What You're Looking For

To save yourself money and time, know the exact auto part you require beforehand. This will ensure you get straight to work when you reach the junkyard. 

If it's the first time you're doing it, Asking for assistance from the yard operators may be the best thing you do.

2. Bring the Right Tools

Self-service junkyards don't give their customers tools to remove or install the parts they wish to buy. So it's upon you to carry tools such as screwdrivers, hammers, and wrenches.

3. Observe Safety

Your safety and that of other junkyard users should be your priority. That means wearing the right clothing, including closed-toe shoes, gloves, and long pants and shirts.

A cutting torch is not recommendable to use in removing parts. In addition, don't smoke while in there because these activities may cause fire hazards.

4. Inspect and Test the Parts

Don't leave the junkyard before inspecting and testing the parts to ensure they're in the best condition. 

There's no point buying a part that will fail within no time. A visual inspection will help you identify parts with rust and tear. Tools like circular tests and jump starters also help test whether parts such as batteries and engines are working.

Takeaways

Visiting a junkyard is always an enjoyable adventure. It's the best place for used auto parts for your car, saving you time and money. However, bear in mind that some illegitimate junkyards out there are all about scamming people. Therefore, check to ensure you only visit reputable junkyards.

Whether it's a full-service, self-service, general, or specialized junkyard, go, and get that part your car is calling out for at an affordable price. New parts may be good, but sometimes, old is gold. 

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