Looking in from the outside, salvage yards can be pretty intimidating. Large compounds filled with junk cars and scrap metal parts in huge heaps, big men in coveralls stained with all kinds of automobile oil imaginable, equipment so big, some are taller than even the big men.
All these makes for a menacing outlook, but when you combine them with the fact that almost all salvage yards are in remote locations, places close enough to the city, but far enough to not be in the way, you can’t help but remember your favourite horror movies and how the worst always seem to happen at places like these.
In truth, however, salvage yards are not intimidating at all, and all you need to confirm this is to visit one.
They are situated in the suburbs because they need a big yard to contain all their equipment and the junk vehicles they collect, not because of anything sinister. In the place of horrors, what you are sure to find at every salvage yard are treasures; classic car parts that the workers at the yard failed to notice, replacement parts for your vehicles at a much cheaper price than the spare parts dealership will charge, and a whole lot more. Learn more about the ins and outs of auto wreckers here.
Bad experiences and accidents hardly ever happen at salvage yards, and most people who visit have nothing but good things to say about the salvage yard they visited. If you want to go look for yourself, these are the things to expect:
Entry, Admission, and Layout
Most salvage yards collect a small amount, usually $1, or, at the most, $2 for admission. Some may ask you ask you to sign a form that relieves the yard of any liability in case you get hurt, but a lot of them don’t worry about it.
It is highly unlikely that you will find a salvage yard that will arrange their parts in terms of brands, or any recognisable pattern for that matter. The best arrangement you can hope to find is: the good parts, the parts most people want, are close to the salvage yard entrance, and the old and rarer parts are closer to the back.
No Cash Refunds
Salvage yards don’t do cash refunds. If you pick a part at a salvage yard and it turns out faulty soon after you paid for it, the best you can hope for is store credit. You can use the store credit to pick another part that has similar value, but you will never get your cash back. Because of this, it is advisable that you inspect any part you’re taking away from a salvage yard extensively and make sure it in in perfect working condition.
In addition to this, most salvage yards deal in cash. Some of them take credit cards, but to err on the side of caution, take some cash along with you.
Some Parts Are Harder to Find Than Others
If you have a 4/5-year-old car, and you are going to the salvage yard to look for parts, you may not find anything tangible. Even if people who own cars that late want to sell them to the salvage yard (because of wreckage from an accident or something like that), they would have removed all the valuable parts and sold them to auto repair shops. However, if a part from an older model of the same brand can easily replace the part you need, no problem.
If your car is 12-15 years old, the salvage yard is for you. Note also that it is never easy to go to a u-pull-it salvage yard for a particular part. These places aren’t that organised, and you are likelier to find something valuable when you go with a list than when you go with only one part in mind.
This is the best thing about salvage yards. Even disregarding the classic items that the attendants don’t appreciate or know its value, most parts at a salvage are way cheaper than you will find somewhere else. A component has a fixed price, and if you find it within minutes of getting to the yard, or it takes you 3 hours to find, the price will not change.
You can haggle a little, but at some yards, it is not allowed. On special offer days, don’t bother trying to beat the price down at any salvage yard, they’ve done that already.
Apart the safety risks, there aren’t very many negatives. Generally, however, people at salvage yards are very careful, they know the risks involved, and they do their best to avoid anything that may endanger them or others.
The other major negative is: some yards are excessively rough and dirty. If you make the mistake of visiting one, don’t go back.