Working on your car can be a point of pride, whether you’re maintaining a modern daily driver or a classic showpiece. Performing your own regular maintenance saves money on labor costs and saves money over the long run by ensuring that your vehicle always operates at peak performance. Of course, that doesn’t mean that you don’t want to save money on parts costs, too.
While you probably head to your friendly local auto parts store for most maintenance needs, you shouldn’t ignore the value offered by a salvage yard. You won’t be draining used oil and pulling worn brake pads from cars on the lot, but there are plenty of other ways to save money. Keep reading to discover three ways your salvage yard can save you money on routine maintenance work.
1. Non-Consumable Brake Parts
A typical brake replacement involves replacing your brake pads and, potentially, your rotors. In most cases, you don’t need too many extra parts to get the job done. Waiting too long before changing your brakes can sometimes lead to wear on non-consumable parts, however. These worn components can impact the performance of your braking system and reduce the effectiveness of your new brake pads.
In extreme cases, you might damage the caliper mounting bolts or even the caliper itself. Calipers are costly parts that typically last for the lifetime of a car, which makes them a perfect item to source from your local scrap yard. Refurbishing your brake system in this way will allow you to save a significant amount of money on your repair and ensure that your car continues to stop safely.
Salvage yards can also be an excellent source for small, easy-to-lose parts necessary for some brake jobs. These include items such as guide pins, anti-rattle clips, and spring mounts for wear sensors. Many of these parts can be quite pricey from the dealership, so don’t ignore the value in a quick trip to your local junkyard.
2. Belt Tensioners and Pulleys
Most vehicles still make use of a relatively low-tech method to power accessories: belts and pulleys. At a minimum, your car most likely uses an accessory belt to transfer power from the motor to the alternator, power steering pump, and water pump. Some vehicles use a different belt to power the air conditioning compressor.
Mechanical wear and heating cycles wear these belts down, so they need periodic replacement. In some cases, you’ll also need to replace the pulleys and tensioners since these components include greased bearings that can wear down. Although these are consumable parts, they often last for much longer than the belt itself.
When choosing these items from a salvage yard, you’ll want to check their condition to ensure you’re getting a good part. Ensure that the pulley has no apparent side-to-side play and that you can spin the pulley smoothly with no noise.
3. Suspension Springs
While your struts and other suspension components can wear out over time, coil springs often last for the vehicle’s lifetime. Spring failures are often due to acute damage or issues such as rust. Since springs can be expensive, buying used can potentially save you some cash without sacrificing your car’s suspension performance.
If you’re shopping for used springs, always examine their condition. Avoid springs that look too rusty or that have visible signs of damage. If you are pulling the springs from the donor car yourself, follow all proper safety precautions since these components store a tremendous amount of energy. Taking your time and properly removing the springs will ensure that you safely get your new (to you) part.
Whatever your used car part needs, City Auto Wreckers can help you out. Check out our pick and pull service to help save money on your next maintenance job!