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5 Scenarios Where Buying Used Parts Makes Sense

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Each year, millions of vehicles end up in junkyards all across the United States. Most vehicles are junked after reaching the natural end of their useful service life while others are salvaged due to collisions. These vehicles may be off the road for good, but for a brief time they live second lives as sources for valuable used parts.

No matter how a vehicle arrives at your local junkyard, the car offers a golden opportunity to salvage parts that are still useful. The following showcases five instances where buying used auto parts is the smart choice.

1. You Want to Save Money

Everyone wants to save money on auto repairs, and few better ways of saving money exist than going used. A used auto part from your local junkyard will cost significantly less than a brand-new part, in most cases.

Used parts are so affordable when compared to their brand-new counterparts that even insurance companies make widespread use of salvaged and recycled OEM parts when rebuilding vehicles.

Keep in mind that the cost of your used parts may vary depending on a variety of factors. For instance, a particular part may cost more due to increased demand or its relative rarity on the market. The overall condition of the part can also factor into its price.

2. You Need a Hard to Find Part

If you own a vehicle from an obscure or defunct automaker, finding new parts can be a challenging ordeal. Defunct automakers often lack continuing OEM or aftermarket support for discontinued models, making newly manufactured parts extremely difficult, if not impossible, to come by. Any leftover parts that are found are also likely to be prohibitively expensive due to their rarity.

Things are a bit easier for discontinued vehicles that shared parts with other vehicles still being produced. Vehicles built by brands that were once part of a larger corporation are also a bit easier to find parts for. Unfortunately, certain model-specific parts can be nearly impossible to find. These issues often leave the junkyard as the place of last resort for anyone looking for a hard to find part.

3. You’re Restoring a Classic Car

Classic car restoration is no easy feat. It’s a labor of love that’s often a frustrating, yet rewarding process. Finding new parts for a vehicle that’s over 30 years old can be a challenge. Some new parts are only available via custom order.

Even in the age of fast 3D printing, custom-ordered parts can take a long time to manufacture and ship. Most custom-ordered parts are also prohibitively expensive for the average restorer for this very reason.

Junkyards bring in a broad range of vehicles from various eras, including vehicles considered classic collectibles. All you’ll need to do is contact your local yard and begin your search.

4. You Want Guaranteed OEM Quality

Going the aftermarket route is a popular choice for people in search of affordable auto parts. The downside is that brand-new aftermarket parts can vary drastically in quality.

Some aftermarket parts offer quality that’s comparable to or even exceeds Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) standards. Other aftermarket vendors may offer parts that have noticeably poor fit and finish, among other quality issues.

With buying new parts that a third-party vendor made, you don’t know what you’ll get for your money. You could end up lucky with a well-made part or strike out with a clearly inferior part. Buying a used part from your local junkyard offers a bit more predictability in comparison.

When you purchase a used auto part from a reputable salvage yard, the part is usually an OEM part that was designed and manufactured according to the automaker’s exact specifications. OEM auto parts not only offer better quality but you also have a better chance of the part fitting correctly the first time around. You can also refurbish these parts to like-new condition at an affordable cost.

5. You Want to Help the Environment

Vehicles that end up in the junkyard rarely go to waste. Anywhere from 80 to 86 percent of an entire vehicle is recyclable, usually in valuable automotive parts. Once a junked car no longer has its usable parts, any remaining materials are crushed or shredded.

Once a junkyard disposes of a car in this way, the junkyard extracts, sorts, and eventually reuses the raw materials for a wide variety of goods, including new vehicles and parts. Each month, the U.S. auto recycling industry reclaims a staggering 750 million pounds of scrap from salvaged vehicles.

Buying a used part from your local salvage yard keeps that component from entering the waste stream, thereby lessening its impact on the environment. Purchasing used parts also helps conserve resources by reducing the demand for newly manufactured parts. Last but not least, you’ll also have a good opportunity to reduce your personal carbon footprint.

If you’re in search of used parts for your vehicle, give City Auto Used Autoparts a call. We not only offer salvaged and used car parts but we’ll even pick up your junked car.

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4 Smart Reasons to Junk Your Car

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When you’re contemplating the end of the line for your car, you may have doubts about the wisdom of letting an older car, beat-up truck, or damaged vehicle go rather than repairing it. However, buying a replacement car is a significant investment that you don’t want to make prematurely. Learn when it’s the smart choice to junk your vehicle rather than repairing it.

1. Necessary Repairs Are Extensive

Find out the value of your car as it is right now. Compare the difference between the value of the vehicle with and without the repairs it needs. Then shop around to get an idea of how much the repairs will cost. You generally have two options for repairs: buying new parts and having a dealership repair your car and buying used parts and having a local mechanic install them. Look into the prices of both options to get a full picture of what repairs would look like.

If the repairs will cost more than the value of the fixed vehicle, it’s time to junk the car, especially if you think that you’ll need to make future repairs soon. Instead of spending money on the car now and later, put that money towards getting a new vehicle. You’ll be much better off in the long run by paying for a better car now instead of sinking money into a failing car.

2. Vehicle Parts Are Unavailable

For some makes and models of vehicles, vital aftermarket auto parts are no longer available. Car manufacturers are not compelled by law to continue producing rare or out-of-stock auto parts.

You have the following choices when parts are no longer available:

  • Find used parts in pick-n-pay lots.
  • Hire machinists to fabricate parts.
  • Purchase a junked car for parts.

Used auto-parts suppliers are great sources of information about hard-to-find parts. However, they can’t always find the parts you need right away. If having custom parts made by a machinist is out of your price range, it’s time to put your old vehicle out to pasture in the junk lot.

3. Vehicle Model Is Defective

Some cars hold their value for many years. They’re designed — and built — to last. Other cars have design flaws and component failures that limit their lifespan and reliability.

Don’t invest a boatload of money on repairs for a doomed car. Do some research on the make and model of the vehicle you want to fix. Begin by locating the auto’s vehicle identification number (VIN) on the car’s title, registration, or insurance card. You can also find the VIN on the following spots on the vehicle:

  • Driver’s side windshield/dashboard area
  • Front or back inner door frame

Search for manufacturer-sponsored and online recall sites that let you input the VIN number. If your vehicle is included in their database, you’ll then see a list of recalls for your specific make and model.

The VIN search results are limited on some sites. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration hosts an online site that searches for recalls by VIN that have occurred over the past 15 years. However, the site only covers recalls by major U.S. manufacturers of light vehicles and motorcycles.

VIN-search sites may not cover every last detail about your make and model of car, but the information they provide is reliable. Recall sites and manufacturers’ databases are useful starting places to find out if your car is unsafe.

You can also find model-specific information posted in online forums dedicated to particular cars, trucks, and other vehicles. Consumer watchdog websites routinely list information about automaker recalls and problems.

Know the risks when you repair a questionable car. If you aren’t sure whether the expense of a big auto repair will add more safety to passengers and time to your vehicle’s lifespan, sell the vehicle. Use the cash for a down payment on a newer vehicle you can trust.

4. Car or Truck Is Sitting Unused

Do you have a vehicle that’s been sitting in a barn, shed, or driveway for months? Do you have plans to fix it but have yet to get around to it? The following problems can develop in cars that sit for long periods:

  • Fouling and thickening of fluids
  • Corrosion of parts and body
  • Loss of battery power
  • Degradation of tires and brakes
  • Erosion of belts and hoses
  • Infestation by rodents, spiders, and insects

Don’t let a vehicle rust away in front of your eyes. Offer the car or truck to a junkyard for parts while the parts are still worth selling. If you wait too long, the unused vehicle won’t be worth repairing or trading.

Have that junk vehicle hauled off your property in the Chicago area by contacting City Auto Wreckers. We offer salvage-yard and junkyard services in Aurora and throughout the Northeast Illinois region. Get in touch today.