This is a collaborative post.
Owning a car has a lot of benefits, but fixing your car when something goes wrong isn’t quite as much fun.
Buying Recycled Car Parts
Replacing parts can get expensive if you pay for brand new parts plus the labor to correctly install them, and even if you know your way around the hood of your car, purchasing the used car parts alone is expensive enough.
That’s where buying recycled parts comes into play. Easy on your wallet and good for your car, buying recycled parts is an effective way to save some cash and get your car running again.
Here’s why this is such a good idea and how to get started locating recycled parts.
Why Buy Used Car Parts?
Car parts are expensive — that’s no secret. Fuel injectors cost around $500 to replace. A catalytic converter will put you down $1500, and engines often range all the way to $10,000.
While you may not be able to find a used option for every part you need, many parts are commonly recycled and sold again — and they’re just as safe and reliable as new parts.
Recycled car parts are usually taken from totaled cars. Typically, junkyards or steel yards get the cars and extract the parts that are still usable.
If a car was rear-ended, for example, its headlights and other parts on the front of the car will most likely still be working fine — so those parts can be recycled and used again. Your mechanic can take those recycled parts and swap them out for the damaged areas on your car, and the whole process will come at a much lower cost to you than buying brand new parts.
As an added bonus, you can even earn some money back by recycling your own car parts once you’re finished with them.
Engine blocks, batteries, catalytic converters, and more are common parts that you can scrap for money — and, if you feel like it, turn around and invest the money into more parts for your new car.
How to find recycled car parts
Where can you find recycled car parts? The best place to start is a junkyard, like All Truck & Car in Salt Lake City. There, you’ll find lots of vehicles that got totaled in a crash but were maintained well enough that other parts are still usable.
If needed, ask your mechanic or body shop for help locating a junkyard near you.
You can also purchase recycled car parts online — at least, small parts that can be easily shipped. For small repairs, shopping online is often the way to go.
Online forums can sometimes be helpful as well if you’re looking for parts for a specific make and model of vehicles. You can also try online auction sites like eBay, or local classifieds like Craigslist.
Things to keep in mind
Some local salvage yards will charge too much for recycled parts, so don’t be afraid to counter with a slightly lower number — the worst they can do is say no.
Before you go looking for parts, it can be helpful to do some online research to find out the average cost for a certain part both new and used. That pre-research can give you an idea of what’s normal and what’s a little too high.
It’s easier to find some parts used than others. Common car parts to buy used include:
- Tires (including spares)
- Interior parts (such as steering wheels, floor mats, etc.)
These parts are all safe to buy used. If you’re purchasing a part such as brake pads or starters, however, it’s better to buy those important parts new.
Not sure what to buy or where to start? Ask your mechanic or bring along a friend who is knowledgeable about cars.
Finally, don’t feel like you have to take the first used part you find. If the part you’re looking for is fairly common, shop around before making your final purchase.
Visit different auto shops, search several websites online, and ask about pricing and warranties at all of them.