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Whether you’re looking for parts at a junkyard because you need to find replacements for your car or because you’re a collector, learning how to find the best parts is important. Here’s a step by step guide on how to go about it.

Before Going to a Junkyard

Make Sure You’re Comfortable

If you are not well-versed in dealing with car parts, consider bringing someone who can help you. If that’s not possible, practice examining and removing parts from your car. Pay special attention to the details of the part and how it fits in.

Gather Supplies

You will need a toolbox to help you remove parts once you’re at the junkyard. Additionally, if you don’t need your car to get to the junkyard, remove the part that you are going to replace and bring it with you. Store the nuts and bolts safely, as you will need them later when it comes time to install the new part.

Research the Junkyard You’re Going to

You should find out ahead of time if the junkyard that you are going to allows power tools. If they do, bring some to make your workflow more efficient. Also find out if they offer warranties for their parts. 

Lastly, check and see if the junkyard you’re going to allows you to bring testing tools. If they do, bring a:

  • Circuit tester
  • Portable jump starter

Understand Your Vehicle

Know its make, model, and the year when it was manufactured, and find out in advance what parts are interchangeable and which ones are not. This is important because some car parts may fit different models of cars, while others are completely unique.

Once all of these things are sorted, head out to the junkyard to find valuable parts for your car. 

Once You’re at a Junkyard

Junkyards are hardly ever organized. You are likely to find cars of different types in different conditions. Some will be dismantled, while others won’t be. Regardless, never judge a book by its cover, and remember that many people have found great parts in cars that are in rough shape

Identify Potential Targets

Now that you understand the unique features of your car you can now start looking for cars that might have what you need. Here’s where you’ll need to utilize the research that you’ve already done on what’s compatible with your vehicle.

Check for the Part that You Need

If you don’t find what you need in the first car then keep looking and stay optimistic. Also, keep an open mind and remember that some parts are very rare. If this is the case with what you need, don’t be afraid to look for it at multiple junkyards.

Quickly Test the Parts

Of course, this one is predicated on whether or not the junkyard allows you to bring testing tools.

Don’t rush to remove a part before you have carefully examined it. While examining the parts, remember that it may appear dirty or damaged while still functioning properly. Once you’ve found what you need, the rest is self-explanatory. Find out how much the junkyard will charge you and determine if this price is within your budget.