When you are restoring a car you can get really focused on getting original parts which can be hard to find. A great solution is junkyard auto parts. Many don’t consider tromping through a junkyard as exciting, but it really can be when you spot the vehicle you are looking for and then find the part you want. (And the price is great, too!)
Some parts you just can’t skimp on, things like breaks for example! But some are purely for the purists, like the right door handle or the lock mechanism, or the knob on the radio. These parts can cost an arm and a leg if you buy them from manufacturers because they know how hard they can be to find on some dealer’s shelf. But used auto parts of this nature can be found at your local junkyard in many cases.
Junkyard cars provide a wealth of cheap auto parts if you want to take the time to look. And you can get more stuff for the bucks you spend. Getting your cool auto into tip top shape is the real goal.
The internet being what it is these days you can sometimes find the part you want by searching your junkyard’s website! A junkyard search like this couldn’t be easier! You’ll also be able to find the location of the junkyard and their hours. If you do query the search engines or yellow pages you might be surprised to find that there is more than one place you can look for auto parts near you. Just remember that looking for used auto parts isn’t much different than looking for a used car. Check the classifieds too. All of these ways of looking will save you time and money.
Searching for junkyard auto parts doesn’t have to be difficult. Keep these things in mind when you head out:
1. Know exactly what you need before you go. Know the make and the model of your car, and any car that also used those parts if possible. Some things are used for more than one, like radios, for example.
2. Know what you need to get the part off and take those tools. Take some extra tools, too, so you can take off anything that has to come off to get to your part. You just never know. You can carry your tool box or bag around with you. They don’t care.
3. If what you are hunting has small parts like screws and washers, take a Ziploc baggy with you too. This will make sure you don’t lose them somewhere in the junkyard!
4. Decide what you want to spend for the part before you go. This can keep you from overspending on your budget. Sometimes these junkyards have staff who will pull the part or get it off a shelf. If you know what you want to spend it will help you determine if you want it from this place at all. Also, find out what they will charge you for it if you find it and pull it yourself. You don’t want to go through the hassle only to leave it behind because their prices are out of reach.
5. Take some bottled water with you. Those junkyards can get hot. It can also come in hand for washing your hands or parts off. Lots of those vehicles are there because they were wrecked in muddy conditions.
If you are anything like me, once you’ve tried looking for junkyard auto parts you will never turn back. Just remember to keep your eye out for that junkyard dog!