Did you know that more than 10 million cars reach the end of their lives in the United States every year? Did you know that automobiles are one of the most recycled products in existence?
That is because about 75 percent of a vehicle–even an old one–can be reused. Steel, for instance, can be recycled over and over without losing its strength. This means that there is a lucrative market for both used car parts, as well as junked cars.
But is it a big hassle to junk a car? Not necessarily. It may be a great alternative to trading it in. Follow these simple steps, and you will be on your way to earning enough cash for a new car payment or two.
How Does Junking a Car Work?
To junk a car, follow these two basic steps:
- Remove everything of value from it
- Schedule up a salvage yard to pick it up
Junk Car Parts
First, remove all personal items from the vehicle. Do a thorough search. It is easy to forget where you stashed things. The glove box and trunk are obvious places. But look under the seats and even in remote storage areas.
Remove your license plate. If the gas tank is nearly full consider siphoning it into a container.
Think about what parts of the car you could sell independently. With so many different avenues for selling things online these days, it is easy to find someone who may be looking for spare car parts.
Tire-changing equipment, such as the jack and lug wrench, rarely get used. You can almost certainly find someone who will want them.
Other parts may need a little elbow grease but do not require an expert to remove. These include rims, the audio, and entertainment systems. If possible, remove the GPS system as well.
Remember that most salvage yards will not tow the vehicle if it cannot roll. So, if you remove the wheels and/or tires, you need to replace them.
Now, for under the hood. Think about all those times you went to a mechanic and could not believe the price tag for a part replacement. Well, even though you may be selling these parts used, they still will have value.
The battery–especially if it is still good–is a pretty easy part to remove. The catalytic converter may take a bit more expertise. But these contain metals like rhodium, platinum, and palladium that are difficult to find. They can bring big bucks on the open market.
It may take more work, but if you are mechanically savvy, consider removing the vehicle’s exhaust system. These can be quite pricey, and used automotive dealers and mechanics are always in search of a good deal on a used one.
Fenders and bumpers also can be of value, especially if they are in very good shape. This is because people have minor accidents and do not want to file an insurance claim or pay a dealership a lot of money to fix cosmetic damage.
It is easy to go to online forums to get an idea of what each car part may be worth. It can be your most valuable tool for disassembling your old car.
Before you call the junkyard, there are a few simple things to do. Cancel your car insurance. Even if your policy is about to expire, it is important to notify your insurer that you will no longer be driving the vehicle.
You will need the title to turn over your car. If you have misplaced it, it is easy to request a replacement through your local department of motor vehicles.
Also, shop around. You may think that all salvage yards must be about the same, but treat it like any other service you are seeking. Find a dealer with a good reputation. Some states require licensing for junk car dealers. This may be a good way to look into how reputable particular ones are.
You Don’t Have Anything to Lose
There may be reasons to trade in an old car or otherwise try to get rid of it in one piece. But do not make that decision simply because you are intimidated by the process of junking it. The great thing about the steps above is that you can carry out as many or as few of them as you feel comfortable with.
The most important thing is to do your homework about your particular vehicle. It should be easy to assess what it will be worth to junk a car. And remember that there is a wealth of information on the internet and here on our site to assist you with any issues you might have.