Finding the best deals on car parts can be a pretty tough if youre not sure how to get started. New car parts are expensive, but if you know where to look, you might find your parts much cheaper than their new counterparts. Whether youre looking to repair your daily driver, or youve got a special project youre trying to complete, using pick-a-part auto salvage yards, can net you outstanding deals on parts. Also called you-pick salvage yards, these places can be a little intimidating. However, with the right tools and attitude, you-pick salvage yards offer great deals and a lot of automotive knowledge.
What to Expect on Your First Visit
When you first visit a you-pick salvage yard, youll likely have to stop in the office and sign a waiver before you enter the yard. The waiver absolves the salvage yard of any liability should you happen to drop a part on your foot or otherwise be injured while on their property. You may also be required to pay a nominal amount for entry, typically not more than a dollar or two.
Finding What You Need
Most yards have a definite order, even though they look chaotic at first glance. Ask where the most recently-arrived vehicles are located, as they have the most usable parts. The cars that are most in-demand will probably be located in the most easily-accessible areas, with less-common options being more difficult to get to. Some vehicles are very common in salvage yards; most commonly, youll be able to find a good selection of minivans, small cars, sedans and pickups. Also prevalent are vehicles which have a high breakdown rate or that dont fare well in accidents.
Some lots are divided by vehicle manufacturer, such as Honda, Chevrolet or Toyota, or they may be divided by point of origin. This means that domestic vehicles will be in one area, while imports are kept in a different area; the yard may even feature a map that indicates where to find certain manufacturers. However, sometimes the whole yard is nothing but a mess of chaos. If this is the case, it might take longer to find what you need, but the savings are definitely worth it.
The Pricing Board
Pick-a-part salvage yards dont have the time or manpower to price every salvageable part on every vehicle in the yard. Instead, a pricing board may be employed that lists generic pricing for various car parts. Since a radiator from a Mercedes and a radiator from a Ford Focus are still both radiators, they sell for exactly the same price. The savings can be enormous, especially over new part prices.
A Final Thought
Every pick-a-part salvage yard is different, but you-pick salvage yards are probably your best option for great prices on car parts. With an ever-changing selection of vehicles, finding the right parts at the right prices is just easier at you-pick salvage yards.