How to Pick the Best Used Auto Parts Without Getting Screwed

Used Auto PartsNeed a used part to a vehicle?  Not sure where you can get the part for the best deal?  Well, consider salvage yards for your used auto part needs.  Due to low operating costs; auto salvage yards are popping up all over the place.  You may also see signs where they will scrap your car for free and even tow it from your home.  Remember, you used car (running or not) is worth money to someone.  There may be a part on there that someone has been looking for and is willing to pay for.  The salvage yards come in do-it-yourself and full service options.  Depending on your handiness, you may want to consider the two options carefully.

So, let’s say you are at a salvage yard for auto parts, you will want to see what options they have around in terms of pull-it-yourself and full service yards.  If you have your own tools and are confident in disassembling parts, then the pull it yourself option will usually save you some money.  However, if you are not sure of the part you need on the vehicle and aren’t able to easily take this part off of the vehicle, the full service option is the best option for you.  There are many places you can search for online.  Consider using a search site like,, which will help you find a local dealer that may have your part, with no commitment to buy.

Once you have found the proper junk yard, make sure to call them and see what they specialize in.   Some junk yards are for foreign imports and some only have domestics.  Others will have a mix of both types of vehicles.  Check to see that they have your particular model before you make the trip out there.  Most junk yards have a schedule of when they receive new inventory and some have random new inventory daily.  Check and see what their schedule is like to get the best and newest parts available.

One of the best things about junk yards, besides their affordability, is that the parts are usually about the same price (regardless of the vehicle). So, if you are looking for a radiator for a Ford it will be about the same cost if not exactly the same cost as a radiator on a Lexus.  Most junk yards have a board posted with the prices for the part itself and nothing more detailed than that.  Other auto salvage yards are more advanced and realize what their parts are worth. They actually have an inventory system that they can look up and get a better price estimate than a generic price for all brands on a part.

Newest parts and cars are usually placed up front in the lot and less sought after parts and cars are found in the back of the lot.  Try to find the best condition vehicle with the wreck happening away from the part you are looking for.  If you need a radiator, you want to find a car that was wrecked in the back or the side, to limit the changes the radiator you are buying got damaged.

Now that you have the part, take it to the counter, pay for it and enjoy all the money you have saved.

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