Buying used auto parts from a salvage yard can provide you with the opportunity to maintain your vehicle at a drastically reduced price. Salvage parts are an excellent option for any vintage cars, from classic garage queens to modern daily drivers. Grabbing any old part from the yard and running off to install it won't necessarily get you the best bang for your buck, however.
If you're looking to maximize your cost savings, then there are a few things you should know before picking up your new-to-you parts. These three tips will guarantee that your salvaged car components save you as much money as possible.
1. Shop Around
When it comes to salvage parts, "shopping around" has a slightly different meaning than you might expect. You can do all your shopping in a single yard, but you'll want to take your time looking for the best part. Yards will often have multiple vehicles of the same make and model on their lot, which means you'll have options when it comes to picking a donor for your parts.
Of course, choosing the right donor vehicle is as much art as science. If you're choosing between multiple cars, try to find one with the lowest mileage possible. Don't worry too much about the cosmetic condition; looking for a vehicle that others haven't picked over can sometimes yield the best parts.
2. Choose Parts with Few Alternatives
Some components are common failure points, and you may have a variety of options from OEM and aftermarket manufacturers. In these cases, you might be able to buy new parts for prices that aren't too much more expensive than the salvage option. While the used part might still be a good deal, you won't truly maximize your savings.
Parts that only have genuine options (often interior trim pieces, specialized electronics, and so on) can be wildly expensive, however. Using a salvage yard for these parts can save you vast amounts of money, and you'll still enjoy the quality and reliability that comes from installing a factory part in your vehicle.
3. Examine and Test
Even if you're purchasing from a salvage yard that offers a warranty, it's still a good idea to carefully scrutinize any part before leaving the yard. If you're buying electronic components, always research testing methods and consider bringing along a multimeter or even a bench battery tester. These few extra steps will help ensure that you buy a reliable part and (hopefully) save you some frustration.
Salvage buying may be less common with younger generations of mechanics, but it's an art form that can save you money and help you keep your car running great. For more information, contact companies like Trusty Pick-A-Part.