Junkyards 101


If you have DIY tendencies, you undoubtedly know that buying used car parts can save you a lot of money. The problem is where to get them. There are basically two ways: the easiest is to simply go to the internet and find someone selling the part. Type in model/make of the car and description of the part with the word “used” and you will likely find the part quickly. Chances are good it’s from an ebay seller as there are quite a few that make a living selling used parts on ebay. The other alternative is to go to your local junkyard and get it yourself.

Junkyards come in two styles: “you-pull-it” and “full-service”. At the you-pull-it’s variety, customers bring their own tools and personally get the parts off the cars and trucks. The full-service yards will pull requested items for you and deliver them to the front desk, though this convenience generally comes with added cost. In many cases, it’s well worth the extra money.

Are you going to throw caution to the wind and go the you-pull-it route? Here’s how it works. Before you are allowed to enter the yard, a clerk will likely ask for your signature on a brief document that absolves the company of liability in case you do something dumb and hurt yourself. Then you are on your own to find the right car and remove the part.

Junkyard lots are often divided by vehicle manufacturers. The junkyard attendants will know pretty much where everything is so ask them where to go. Of course, your local yard may be a mess of cars with no logic whatsoever. (Some owners are just lazy that way.)

By the way, while prowling for parts, don’t jump at the first one matching your needs. Consider looking around for the best example. Buy the way, before buying an electrical component, it is best to test the part to ensure it functions. Junkyards usually have a good 12-volt source, such as a battery, that you can use to jump the part and verify that it works.

Last piece of advice is to be careful. Junk cars are loaded with hazards. Things like broken glass, sharp metal edges and even hornet nests can ruin your day. Be careful and take your time. As mentioned before, if you have questions, run up and ask one of the junk yards attendants what they recommend. Sometimes they will even come back with you and lend a hand.

Source: Caitlin Chrysler Dodge