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How to buy car parts from a car wrecker?

used car parts

Do you want to buy car parts from car wreckers? Car wreckers are great if you want to find car parts at a low price. If it’s your first time going to car wreckers, you might be at a loss for what to do. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

This article will serve as a complete guide for you to know about how to buy car parts from a car wrecker. We offer used parts on demand where we pull the part at Xpress Auto Parts and ship throughout the country. However, I have covered points if you are planning to visit a self-serve pick-a-part. So everyone is covered.

What car parts should you buy from a car wrecker?

If you want to save money, then buying parts from a car wrecker is a great option. But in some cases, used parts don’t cost much less than new ones, so it’s better just to buy the new ones instead. There are only certain parts you can buy from a car wrecker to benefit financially.

The car parts you should consider buying from car wreckers are mainly the body parts. This includes doors, bumpers, fenders, mirrors, hoods, and such. You can also consider getting stereos, speakers, rims, and other interior components. However, you have to make sure they’re in good condition first.

What car parts shouldn’t you buy from a car wrecker?

There are some parts you should not think of getting from car wreckers. It will be more of a loss than a profit. Some parts get worn out with time, and some are impossible to inspect for condition. Getting these is risky.

These parts can include brake pads, wiper blades, filters, and such items. These wear quickly but are inexpensive to buy, so just get new ones. Some parts are really hard to remove, and it’s often not worth the trouble to get them. Also, the parts that look excessively rusted or damaged or can’t be inspected for condition stay away.

How to find the car parts you need from a car wrecker?

As you already know, car wreckers are huge. There are hundreds of cars stacked together in that place. So finding the parts you need might not be easy. In this case, you can do a few things before your visit-

  • Inquire if the car wrecker has the part you need: This is super important, especially if the part you need is rather rare. Visit your local junkyard’s website and check if the part you need is in stock. You can also give them a call to inquire, but sometimes not all workers are aware of the available parts. So it’s best to check the website.

Suppose you don’t see the part on the website. A lot of car wreckers allow you to set up email alerts for when the part you need arrives at the yard. As soon as the part is available, you will get an email about it. If the car wrecker has workers who remain updated about the parts that come in, call them and tell them to watch out for the parts. They will inform you when needed.

When you do get the alert, be sure to run to the yard ASAP before someone else gets there!

  • Ask the workers to help you out: Unless it’s a self-service car wrecker, most car wrecker workers will be glad to help you in locating a part you need. All you need to do is locate a free worker and ask them to help you.

A worker might not know the exact location of the part you need, but they will have more knowledge than you about the yard. Moreover, they can give you suggestions about which part you should and should not take. So it’s always best to ask for help.

What preparation do you need when buying car parts from a scrapyard?

Don’t just go to the car wrecker empty-handed and wander like a lost child. You must be prepared, especially if you’re going to a car wrecker that only allows self-service.

  • Bring the damaged part of your vehicle: If you’re coming to a car wrecker, it means you need a replacement for a damaged part in your car. So take out that damaged part and bring it to the yard with you. You can use the part to compare, especially if it’s a part whose size is important for it to fit in your car.

If you’re going to a self-service yard, remove the parts of your car yourself. That way, you can also practice removing parts because you’ll have to do it on your own in the yard.

  • Study compatible parts: You might not find the exact model you need in the yard. In that case, instead of waiting around, find out if there are compatible models available. Find out if the part you need can fit in your car despite being from a different model. There are lots of parts that are compatible with all vehicles regardless of the models. When you search the yard, you can watch out for all those models.
  • Get the necessary tools: Of course, if you have to remove the parts, you need some tools and gear. Instruments like screwdrivers and wrenches, as well as equipment like gloves, are a must when you go to a car wrecker. Be sure you’re taking all the tools you need in a toolbox, or you’ll be in trouble!

If the part you need requires a lot of tools to remove, call in your friends to help you out. If you have more people, it might make the operation faster.

How to save time and money?

It can take a long time to find the part you need and then retrieve it. If you need multiple parts, you might need to search for different cars to get those parts. If it’s a self-service yard (which it most likely will not be), then you’ll have to do the whole thing yourself. While that saves money, it will certainly take hours for you to finish the job.

  • Know what you’re looking for: First of all, you should have a perfect idea of what you’re looking for, the specific brand, the specific size, everything. That will make it easier for you to locate the part. You should only go after you have the confirmation that the part you need is available.
  • Ask around: You can ask other customers in the yard if they’ve seen the part you need while searching for themselves. You might be able to save time that way.
  • Learn how to remove parts: In some scrap yards, you can get some workers who will remove the car parts for you. But they will ask for some money in return for the labour, of course. If you can’t afford that right now, you will have to learn how to do it. You can go to a local car garage and just ask someone to let you watch them remove car parts. Usually, garage workers are friendly, and if you’re lucky, they’ll teach you tricks too.
  • Or find someone who knows: If you can’t do that, just try to find someone with car wrecker experience. If it’s a local scrap yard, you can go visit their website and check the customer reviews. You might find someone there who lives close by and get tips from them. If it’s someone you can ask for favours, then request them to accompany you to the yard.
  • Best to not go along: As mentioned before, it’s always better to rope in some friends with you to the yard. It will be faster for three people to look for something than one. It will also make it faster for you to remove the parts. Of course, it’s a different matter if your friend sucks at mechanics. In that case, tell them to go stand in a corner while you do your work.

If you know how to remove the parts or bring someone who will help you with it, you won’t have to spend any money. It will also make things faster for you. Calling ahead right before you go will also be helpful. Car wrecker workers will be able to tell you which parts are salvageable.

At Xpress Auto Parts we do not allow self-service therefore you check out the parts catalog on our parts website or call us to check availability. We do ship nationwide for a fee.


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