Posted on: 17 March 2016
Unless you have made it a hobby, as one of the millions of DIYers, or it is a part of your livelihood, visiting an auto salvage yard can be a pretty daunting experience. This can be especially true if you are doing so for the first time. There are about 8,000 businesses in the auto parts recycling industry with the majority of these being full-service salvage yards. In these you can generally get what you need from the workers, but this is liable to cost you more and the pickings are likely to be slimmer in finding your specific car part. However, these are rapidly being replaced with self-service yards, which are said to be increasing at a rate of approximately 20 to 25 percent per year and might soon surpass that of full-service places.
So, for a novice, not only is it important to know what you're looking for and how to get them from the junk car, it is also beneficial to know the parts that are best to take from the yard that are likely to be reusable, especially since you do not have a professional to check it before you buy.
Blocking the wind
Approximately 15 million windshields end up being replaced each year in the U.S. However, if your windshield is damaged and you can find one that is intact, without scratches or scrapes, then you might not want to pass up this bit of luck. Of course, the windshield must be from a car that is the same as yours, so you should call ahead to the junkyard to see if they have your car make. Replacing a damaged windshield with a new one can cost somewhere between $100 and $400 or can even be more than $1,500 if the windshield is hard to get. However, that cost can be greatly reduced if you can get one from a salvage yard.
Your insurance might offer windshield replacement and, as such, they might have rules about what you can and cannot use in replacing your windshield, so you would need to check before going ahead.
Plastics and rubber
Rubber belts are numerous under the hood of all cars and these can certainly be reused if taken from a scrap car. These will need to be inspected for signs of wear, breaks, glazing or crystallization. Since many cars just over seven years old can end up in junk yards simply due to the deployment of the airbags, belts can be found that are relatively new and can be reused. Rubber hoses can also be removed from scrap cars and reused but these would need to be tested first to ensure that there are no fluid or air breaks to disrupt the flow.
Plastic components, such as those found on the dashboard of your car, can be found in a scrap yard and can cost significantly less than the $800 average cost to get a re-upholstery kit for the repair plus $750 for installation. Whether your dashboard is cracked or simply faded, replacing it with a junkyard version may be better for your budget.