Many people think of junkyards as makeshift graveyards for abandoned vehicles, scrap metal, and unusable car parts. It’s time to reimagine the junkyard as an untapped gold mine, where you can save hundreds and even thousands of dollars on parts that would’ve otherwise been left to collect dust.
For those hoping to debunk common junkyard stereotypes, visit top-of-the-line junkyards like Tear-a-Part and witness their wide selection of used car parts, firsthand. Those visitors who are equipped with all the tricks-of-the-trade will know how to maximize their junkyard experience.
Before making your trip over, you’ll want your toolbelt to be stuffed with insider knowledge, including the pros and cons of getting your auto parts from a junkyard. This list will cover all the junkyard know-how to streamline your search and help you spot screaming deals buried just below the surface, so you can find the right part at the right price.
What are the benefits of working with a junkyard?
Most potential buyers are interested in purchasing car parts from junkyards because of their unbeatable prices. Even when these scrap parts are preserved in perfect condition, they’re still sold at a fraction of the cost of brand-new parts. Despite popular misconceptions, most of the cars that are transported to junkyards are only a few years old with minimal damage.
In most cases, many parts still function just fine and allow you to save as much as 50% of the total costs. Because there are no shipping costs involved, junkyard buys will knock off any additional costs you’d spend on brand-new parts.
As a trade-off for their low price tags, a buyer is responsible for doing all the part searching themselves. For customers who are mechanically-savvy and are well-versed in the body of a vehicle, getting auto parts from a junkyard is a no-brainer for all of their replacement-part needs.
The process of acquiring brand-new car parts can be very time-consuming, especially when one has to place online orders and await their delivery. While visiting a dealer shop reduces shipping cost, it can be equally time-consuming, especially when the part you want is not available and must be pre-ordered. In that case, the buyer will have to wait for the deliveries (which can take several days). Junkyards, however, are one-stop shops where you can find your desired car part and have any repairs fixed that same day.
Encourages environmental-friendly lifestyles
Countless vehicles are sentenced to the junkyard every day. By stripping reusable parts from used cars in junkyards, you exercise responsible recycling habits and help protect the environment from pollution stirred by uncontrolled landfills. Purchasing used auto parts also reduces the demand for new parts, discourages the overuse of environmental resources, and prevents further pollution produced during the production of new parts.
Unbeknownst to most, the engine is one of the most valuable parts of a junk car that can be recycled, as a large fraction of its structure is composed of recyclable aluminum.
Junkyards host a variety of vehicles, models, and auto parts, alike. As an interested buyer, you have the pick of the litter.
For instance, if you’re interested in building a classic car, a junkyard is the place to go. Buried under mounds of newer models, you’ll find more antique pieces, including mirrors, headlights, fenders, and radios that can be assembled and customized to suit your vision.
What are the disadvantages of working with a junkyard?
You might purchase parts that aren’t usable
The parts you find at a junkyard are typically the products of minimally to severely damaged vehicles. While some buyers might strike gold and find parts that are in perfect working conditions, others may find themselves buying parts that may be damaged beyond repair and use.
Unfortunately, junkyard sellers are under no obligation to tell interested buyers why the cars were damaged or point out the specific parts that have issues. In the case of a seller who is withholding information, the buyer will be the only one directly impacted.
Desired parts may be unavailable
From the outside looking in, junkyards appear to be chocked-full with scrap parts and potential savings. Because potential buyers rely on the luck-of-the-draw, they won’t always find what they’re looking for.
A downside to junkyard shopping is how time-consuming the process is. Some customers will spend hours walking through a junkyard and sifting through piles of auto parts, only to walk away empty-handed. There is also a high risk of sustaining an injury while searching through the scrap metals.
You won’t be secured by a warranty
Usually, when you buy a brand-new auto part, it’s accompanied by a warranty that specifies the time window in which replacements can be made or parts can be repaired, at no cost.
However, buying from junkyards has no such guarantee, making it a gamble on the part of the buyer. If you buy an auto part, and it breaks down after a short time, you will not receive a replacement and won’t be granted the luxury of a repair by the junkyard dealers. If that happens, the buyer will suffer a loss.
Purchasing your auto parts from a junkyard has its fair share of pros and cons. Though you won’t be protected by a warranty and may be susceptible to purchasing parts that ultimately fail, junkyards are a cheap alternative, and are environmentally-friendly, time-saving, and can be a source of rare parts that you won’t find on the market anywhere else.
Not to mention, buying from junkyards is a form of auto recycling that is widely encouraged. If you don’t identify as a mechanically-savvy auto-parts expert, you’ll want to recruit the services of a mechanic, so you can familiarize yourself with auto parts and how they function.