salvage value of car parts

21 Valuable Car Parts to Salvage For Maximum Profit

If your car is destined for the junkyard, maximizing its salvage value is essential. Instead of a quick haul-away, consider removing and selling individual parts and metals to increase your earnings.

Engine and Transmission

Engines and transmissions are among the most valuable parts. Running engines and transmissions can be sold to private buyers, auto recyclers, or repair shops. Even non-working ones have valuable aluminum parts. Engines and transmissions are heavy and require proper tools and safety measures for removal.
Estimated Scrap Value: $500 - $3,000 (running), $200 - $500 (non-running).

Catalytic Converter

Catalytic converters are highly valuable due to the precious metals they contain, such as platinum, palladium, and rhodium. These metals are used in automotive manufacturing and jewelry, making catalytic converters one of the most sought-after parts by muffler shops, dealers, and recyclers.
Estimated Scrap Value: $100 - $1,000.


Car batteries are recyclable and can bring in about $20 each. They are commonly accepted by recycling centers and auto parts stores due to their lead content.
Estimated Scrap Value: $10 - $20.

Air Conditioning System

A functional air conditioning compressor is valuable and can be reused or remanufactured. Other components, like the condenser, may also have resale value. These parts are crucial for maintaining a vehicle's climate control, making them desirable for repairs.
Estimated Scrap Value: $50 - $200 (compressor), $20 - $100 (condenser).

Alternator and Starter

These components contain significant amounts of copper wiring and can be sold as is or remanufactured. Alternators and starters are essential for a vehicle's electrical system, making them attractive to auto recyclers and scrapyards.
Estimated Scrap Value: $20 - $50.


Radiators contain a large amount of aluminum and are relatively easy to remove. Aluminum is highly valued for its lightweight and corrosion-resistant properties, making radiators valuable to scrapyards and recycling facilities.
Estimated Scrap Value: $15 - $30.

Wheels and Tires

Aluminum alloy wheels and good-condition tires can be sold together or separately. Aluminum wheels are particularly valuable due to their material, while tires in good condition can be resold to other vehicle owners. Damaged wheels and tires can still be sold for their scrap value.
Estimated Scrap Value: $30 - $50 per wheel, $10 - $20 per tire.

GPS Navigation System

Built-in GPS systems retain value on the secondary market, despite the prevalence of smartphone navigation apps. These systems are often sought after by vehicle owners needing replacements.
Estimated Scrap Value: $50 - $200.

Audio System

Functional audio systems, especially aftermarket ones, can be sold to recyclers or online. These systems are integral to a car's entertainment setup, making them valuable for resale.
Estimated Scrap Value: $20 - $100.


Airbags are crucial for vehicle safety and are in high demand as replacement parts. They are most valuable when safely removed by a professional due to the risk involved in handling them.
Estimated Scrap Value: $50 - $200.


Car seats are often replaced in older vehicles due to wear and tear. They can be sold to auto recyclers or online marketplaces. The demand for replacement seats ensures they have a steady resale value.
Estimated Scrap Value: $50 - $200.

Interior Electric Motors

Motors for power windows, locks, and seats are in consistent demand. These components are essential for the operation of modern vehicle conveniences, making them valuable to auto recyclers.
Estimated Scrap Value: $20 - $100.


Modern bumpers are complex and integrated with various vehicle systems, making them valuable for resale. They often need replacement after accidents, which keeps demand high.
Estimated Scrap Value: $50 - $150.


Fenders are frequently damaged in collisions and are sought after for repairs. Their value lies in their necessity for maintaining a vehicle's appearance and protection.
Estimated Scrap Value: $50 - $150.


Car doors are complex assemblies containing numerous components, including glass, wiring, and locking mechanisms. Their complexity and necessity for replacements make them valuable.
Estimated Scrap Value: $50 - $200.

Trunk Lid, Rear Hatch, and Tailgate

These parts are common casualties in rear-end collisions and are valuable for replacements. Trucks' tailgates, in particular, can be very valuable.
Estimated Scrap Value: $50 - $200.


Hoods often need replacement after front-end collisions. Their value lies in their role in vehicle safety and aesthetics.
Estimated Scrap Value: $50 - $150.

Windshield and Other Glass

Car glass, especially windshields, is in high demand for replacements due to frequent damage from accidents and debris. Local sales are preferred to avoid shipping costs.
Estimated Scrap Value: $20 - $100.

Headlights and Taillights

Headlights and taillights, especially those with HID, Xenon, or LED technology, are expensive when new, making used ones valuable. They are crucial for vehicle safety and visibility.
Estimated Scrap Value: $50 - $200.

Windshield Wiper Arms

Windshield wiper arms are essential for maintaining clear visibility in bad weather and can fetch up to $65 each when resold.
Estimated Scrap Value: $10 - $65.

Motor Oil & Oil Filters

Motor oil and oil filters can be cleaned and reused. Proper disposal and recycling of these items can add to the value retrieved from a junk car.
Estimated Scrap Value: $5 - $10.

Tips for Parting Out Your Junk Car

  1. Skills: Ensure you have the expertise to dismantle your vehicle safely.
  2. Tools: Use proper tools and equipment for removing large, heavy parts.
  3. Storage: Secure a place to keep parts until they are sold.
  4. Photos: Take clear images for online listings.
  5. Time Management: Be prepared for the process to take longer than expected.

Choosing to sell a car for parts can be worthwhile but it takes time, tools, and knowledge.

What is the scrap price of a car body?

The scrap price of a car body can be estimated by determining its weight in tons and multiplying it by the current price per ton for scrapping a car.

For instance, if a car body weighs 1.5 tons and the scrap price is $195 per ton, the scrap price of the car body would be:

1.5 tons multiplied by $195/ton = $390 value for a car's shell

However, this is a rough estimate, and actual prices can vary based on location, market demand, and the specific scrap yard's rates. It's always best to check with local scrap yards for the most accurate and up-to-date pricing.

Consider the Time Investment

Parting out your car can be time-consuming. If it's not worth the effort, Junk Car Medics offers a quick and easy solution to get cash for your junk car. Trust our nationwide program to help you get the most value with minimal hassle.