If you’ve ever stepped foot in a car junkyard, you know the feeling. You’re probably there because your car broke down and now you have the perfect opportunity to get it fixed. Or, maybe you’re just exploring and wanting to see what all of these cars look like. Either way, one thing is for certain: no matter how much of an outsider you may feel at a car junkyard, there’s more to these places than meets the eye.
Car junkyards are one of the best places to find parts for your car if it happens to break down when it’s least convenient for you (like when your weekly mechanic appointment is canceled). And not only that, but they can be some of the most affordable parts stores as well. That being said, no one knows about how great these places are until they try it out themselves. Here are some tips on how to use a car junkyard like a pro so that you can get what you need without spending too much time or money in the process.
Know What You’re Looking For Car Junkyard
When you’re in a junkyard, you want to be prepared to spend some money if you find something interesting. That’s what you’re there for, after all. You need to be prepared to spend at least $100 if you want to find something good. You’re also looking for the right kind of car parts that can help you with your car. That means things like brake pads, brake shoes, belts, batteries, hoses, and more. You may also have a specific car part in mind that you’re hoping to find. If that’s the case, that may tip you off to what you’re looking for. For example, if you have a car with four tires and you’re hoping to get a rim, then you may want to keep an eye out for a four-tire car.
Bring a Tape Measure
You know the saying, measure twice and cut once? That’s what you want to do with your tape measure when you’re in a junkyard. You don’t want to be tempted to cut any corners or use a different tape measure than you need to. If you find a part you’re interested in and it fits a certain car, you want to make sure that part is the right size for that car. If it’s not, you don’t want to buy it and then find out it won’t fit your car. That’s why, when you’re at a junkyard, you want to bring a tape measure along with a small bag or box to put the parts you pick up in. If you don’t have a tape measure, you can also just use a piece of string to find the right part. You can always cut the string later.
Be Prepared to Spend Money
A car junkyard can be a great place to find parts for your car, but it’s not going to be cheap. That’s just how it is. You’re going to spend money to find parts and you’re not going to get them for free. That being said, you can often find cheap parts at a junkyard that you can’t find anywhere else (especially if they’re old parts). That’s a definite perk of using a junkyard. Let’s say you have a car with four tires. The right set of four tires can make a big difference. If the tires in your car are worn out, you may have issues with the car’s performance and safety. That’s why it’s worth spending a little bit of money to find the right ones and put them on your car.
Don’t Be Afraid to Bargain
A lot of people are scared to bargain in a junkyard, but you shouldn’t be. There are no hidden corners or shady characters in a junkyard. Bargaining is just about finding the right price for the part you want to buy. That being said, you don’t want to bargain down to a price that’s way below what you want to spend. Your goal is to get the part for no more than half the price it would cost at the parts store. You’re not looking to get it for free. You’re just trying to find a good deal.
Respect the Neighbors
You’re probably wondering if you can just knock over a bunch of parts and leave them in a pile. The answer is no. You’re not allowed to take anything out of the building with you or leave anything behind. You have to take everything out of the building with you as you leave. That being said, you can take a look around while you’re there. The place you’re going isn’t going anywhere and you have full access. You can explore the building and see what you think of the place before you start taking the parts you want out of the building. That may help you decide if you want to go there at all.
Watch out for Thieves
Obviously, there’s a lot of potential for theft in a junkyard. You want to make sure you aren’t somehow tempting someone to steal from you. That can ruin the whole experience for you. The first rule of thumb is to always watch what you’re doing with the parts you pick up. You want to make sure you don’t leave behind any sort of sign that you’re a mechanic. That includes any tools you’re using or a piece of paper with a phone number on it.
Walk Away When You’re Done
There’s no reason to stay in a car junkyard that’s taking too long. You’re not getting anything out of it if you find that it’s not worth your time. That is to say, you don’t want to stay in a junkyard that’s not giving you anything that you can use. If you’re not getting anything worthwhile out of the place, then get out. You’ll be happier for it. That being said, it’s not like you’ve been at this process for an hour and you’ve already decided it’s not worth it. There are still some parts that you want to pick up that you want to make sure you get before you decide to walk away.
What to Do Next
When you find a part that you’re interested in at a car junkyard, you want to measure it and make sure it’s the right size for your car. If it isn’t, you don’t want to buy it and then find out it’s the wrong part for your car. Once you’ve measured it and confirmed it’s the right size, you want to take it to the closest parts store or mechanic and get it replaced. If you’re not sure where to take it, try going to the store that’s closest to you or to your car. Now that you know how to use a car junkyard like a pro, you can save yourself a lot of time and money! These tips will help you find the parts you need and help you avoid any potential theft.