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5 Items to Remove Before Junking Your Car

Selling or donating your vehicle to the local salvage yard is a great way to dispose of an unwanted or unreliable vehicle. But before you give your vehicle a final send-off, you’ll want to make sure you don’t leave anything important behind. Here’s a list of important items that are too valuable or too important to leave behind in a junked vehicle.

1. Personal Belongings

Whether you keep your vehicle spotless or tend to be a bit messier, chances are you don’t want to leave all of your belongings in the car once the tow truck arrives. You have the responsibility to remove all of your personal belongings from your vehicle prior to pickup. Before the wreckers come for your vehicle, go through it with a fine-tooth comb and remove as many personal effects as you can find.

Go through your vehicle’s door pockets, cup holders, seatback pockets, and glove box. Don’t forget to flip down your sun visors and search through overhead compartments and rear seat storage areas. Don’t forget to check your CD player or CD changer for any stray discs. Insurance cards and other important paperwork should also be removed from the vehicle.

If you have any personal belongings you don’t want, do the sensible thing and throw them away yourself. While you might be tempted to leave these items behind, that only makes more work for the salvage yard.

You’re also more likely to forget something important if you leave behind unimportant items on purpose. Deliberately leaving unwanted items in the car can even affect the price you’ll get for your junk vehicle, in some cases. Plan on cleaning out your vehicle a day or two in advance, as this will give you plenty of time to look around.

2. Custom Wheels and Tires

Aftermarket wheels and tires are a popular add-on for many vehicles. The right set of alloys can drastically change a vehicle’s personality, while a good set of rubber offers performance and fuel efficiency perks. If you’ve recently upgraded your vehicle’s wheels and tires, you don’t want your investment to get junked along with your vehicle.

Before removing your custom wheels and tires, make sure you have a substitute set to swap with. The wreckers won’t provide you with a set, and some may have reservations about taking away vehicles sans wheels. An alternate set of wheels will make things easier for you and the tow truck driver.

You can always put your wheels and tires up for sale online, especially if the wheels are in pristine shape and the tires have little-to-no wear. Some aftermarket wheels fit a broad range of vehicles with little-to-no modification. If the right vehicle comes along, you can transplant the set over to your new vehicle.

3. Custom Audio Systems

While today’s vehicle audio systems offer excellent sound quality and clarity, custom audio systems are still a popular modification. After spending thousands of dollars on speakers, amplifiers, and custom head units, you don’t want to see your audio system riding on the back of a tow truck.

Before junking your car, carefully remove your custom audio components from the vehicle. Although your car is headed to the junkyard, keep the removal as minimally invasive as possible. Don’t worry about leaving any custom wiring behind. If you plan to transplant your audio system into another vehicle, you’ll need to run brand-new wiring anyway.

Custom audio systems often go for big money on online classifieds and auctions. You can also hold onto your audio system in case another vehicle needs an audio upgrade.

4. GPS Devices

GPS devices have helped countless wayward drivers regain their sense of direction. If the thought of losing your GPS device leaves you lost, remove it prior to vehicle pickup. Not only should you remove the device itself, but also the mounting hardware that came with your GPS.

The above advice only pertains to portable GPS units and custom-installed navigation systems. If your car, truck, or SUV has a factory GPS unit, you’re better off leaving it behind.

5. License Plates

Unless it’s personalized or a specialty design you enjoy, a license plate may hold little-to-no sentimental value to you. Nevertheless, you should remove it before the tow truck arrives. Although many states require owners to return their plates to the DMV or Secretary of State before canceling registration and insurance, Illinois lets owners keep their plates.

So what can you do with a license plate from a junked vehicle? If you’ve recently purchased or plan on purchasing another vehicle, you can have your old plate transferred to your new vehicle. If you’ve just paid registration fees on your vehicle, you may be eligible to have those fees refunded in full. If all else fails, your old license plate makes a great garage decoration.

When you want to bid farewell or good riddance to your vehicle, call the salvage auto parts experts at City Auto Wreckers today, and we’ll pick up your junked car.