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Junkyards are commonly used as a means of dismantling decommissioned or wrecked vehicles. Junkyards are also known as the wrecker’s yard, a wrecking yard, a breaker’s yard, the scrapheap, or a salvage yard. For the most part, these vehicles are brought into junkyards to salvage used parts. However, the unusable metal parts are known widely as scrap and they’re sold far and wide to tons of recycling companies.
The main type of wrecking yards found is the one that takes care of old vehicles, the automobile wreck yard. However, it should be noted that junkyards for busses, trucks, bicycles, motorcycles, trains, boats, heavy equipment, trams and small airplanes also exist.
For the most part, most of these salvage yards tend to service local customers and companies. Whenever an automobile becomes badly damaged and can be considered as irreparable, or even too costly to repair, the owner of the vehicle can easily sell it to the owner of the junkyard. If for some reason the car is disabled and unable to be left alone, the driver has the option to call a wrecking service to take the car away.
Most abandoned, derelict, or even wrecked vehicles that are auctioned of by the police department are often bought by these businesses. Additionally, vehicles can even be bought from local tow yards as well. The driver at the yard usually tows the automobile from its last known location straight to the yard.
However, in some instances, vehicles may be driven in if they are in a decent enough condition to drive. At the yard, vehicles are typically stacked on top of each other and arranged in rows. Yard owners tend to take some inventory so that they can easily find parts, and the vehicles that they’re looking for. Since times have changed, most if not all junkyards now have specialized systems that are computerized.
“You Pull it” Junkyards
Highly sought out parts come into the yard where they’re removed from the vehicles and taken to the warehouse. When customers inquire about specific parts, they can get them on the spot without waiting too long for them to be removed. However, there are also scrapyards that are known as self-service or the “you-pull it” yard and as the name says, customers are required to remove the parts on their own. The bright side to self-service yards is that they can acquire just about any part for a lower price.
More than often enough, customers will call and determine if the yard has the part before going in. If the part is in the yard, they then make a deposit and collect the item later. Purchased parts can then be installed by an agent or the customer themselves. However, some yards have made it essential that they offer installation services as needed.
Just about every part dismantled from a vehicle can be resold. Parts including lights, mirrors, the exhaust, the hubcaps and others are all resold. Later models are typically portioned or halved. This ensures that various pieces are stored in the yard’s inventory.
Major parts like the transmission and the engine can be taken out and sold. When engines and transmissions are sold, they’re usually sold to auto-parts companies. These companies take the parts and rebuild them. Rebuilding them allows the company to resell with warranties.
In some instances, they’re also sold without the warranty and are marketed as used. Larger junkyards can even do this for themselves. At the junkyard, you’ll be able to purchase windows and windshields. Some of these yards even resell cars to amateur enthusiasts or collectors who have no problem conducting a full restoration.
When a vehicle is reduced to a hulk, they’re then sold to a scrap metal recycling company. Recycling companies crush the vehicles on-site using a baling press. Flatteners and shredders can even be used for this purpose before final disposal.
The final disposal stage revolves around the hammer mill. The hammer mill is responsible for reducing the vehicle into fist-sized chunks. The recycling company then sells these chunks by the tons where they will be further recycled or processed as desired.
The most common type of wreck yards are automobile wreck yards, but junkyards for motorcycles, bicycles, trucks, buses, heavy equipment, small airplanes and boats or trains or trams exist too.
Many salvage yards operate on a local level, when an automobile is severely damaged, has malfunctioned beyond repair, or not worth the repair, the owner may sell it to a junkyard; in some cases—as when the car has become disabled in a place where derelict cars are not allowed to be left—the car owner will pay the wrecker to haul the car away.
Salvage yards also buy most of the wrecked, derelict and abandoned vehicles that are sold at auction from police impound storage lots, and often buy vehicles from insurance tow yards as well.
The salvage yard will usually tow the vehicle from the location of its purchase to the yard, but occasionally vehicles are driven in. At the salvage yard, the automobiles are typically arranged in rows, often stacked on top of one another. Some yards keep inventories in their offices, as to the usable parts in each car, as well as the car’s location in the yard. Many yards have computerized inventory systems. About 75% of any given vehicle can be recycled and used for other goods.
Often parts for which there is high demand are removed from cars and brought to the salvage yard’s warehouse. Then a customer who asks for a specific part can obtain it immediately, without having to wait for the salvage yard employees to remove that part. Some salvage yards expect customers to remove the part themselves (known as “self-service yards”), or allow this at a substantially reduced price compared to having the junkyard’s staff remove it. This style of yard is often referred to as a “You Pull It” yard. However, it is more common for a customer to call in and inquire whether the specific item they need is available. If the yard has the requested item, the customer is usually instructed to leave a deposit and to come to pick up the part at a later time. The part is usually installed by the customer or agent ; however, some salvage yards also provide installation services.
The parts usually dismantled from automobiles are generally any that can be resold such as the light assemblies, seats, parts of the exhaust system, mirrors, hubcaps etc. Late model vehicles will often have entire halves or portions of the body removed and stored on shelves as inventory. Other major parts such as the engine and transmission are often removed and sold, usually to auto-parts companies that will rebuild the part and resell it with a warranty, or will sell the components as-is in used condition, either with or without warranty. Other, usually very large, junkyards will rebuild and sell such parts themselves. Unbroken windshields and windows may also be removed intact and resold to car owners needing replacements. Some salvage yards will sell damaged or wrecked but repairable vehicles to amateur car builders, or older vehicles to collectors, who will restore (“rebuild”) the car for their own use or entertainment, or sometimes for resale.
Once vehicles in a wrecking yard do not have more usable parts, the hulks are usually sold to a scrap-metal processor, who will usually crush the bodies on-site at the yard’s premises using a mobile baling press, shredder, or flattened, with final disposal occurring within a hammer mill which smashes the vehicle remains into fist-sized chunks. These chunks are then sold by multiple tons for further processing and recycling.
1. The Definition of Auto Salvage
If you haven’t ever heard of salvaging a vehicle, it’s worth getting a clear-cut definition. A lot of people assume that to salvage a vehicle means to turn in a totaled car over to a company that will essentially “junk it.”
This isn’t at all close to the full story.
Auto salvage is one of several options that car owners have when it comes to selling or getting rid of a car quickly. It presents a quick and easy way to get instant cash for your car, without having to worry about listing your vehicle privately through Craigslist, trading it in, or selling it to a dealership.
When you agree to have your car salvaged, you will sell it to a salvage yard for an agreed price. We will cover what a salvage quote looks like and how it’s created in the next step.
Salvage yards will then remove every single usable part from the used, junk, end-of-life, or unwanted vehicle. This can include any and all hardware, tires, wiring, exterior and interior panels, and lighting. The company will then repurpose these parts as much as possible.
Before the hardware is taken out, the yard will actually capture all fluids in the vehicle and even try to repurpose these for other vehicles or dispose of them properly.
Metal scraps that aren’t deemed useful will be recycled, and parts can be refurbished and then sold. Even tires can be retreaded and resold to customers.
Some salvage yards will sell refurbished or scrap parts on site to customers, or online as retail.
2. What A Salvage Quote Looks Like
Now that you’ve got a good grasp of what it actually means to salvage a vehicle, you’ll get a good sense of what an auto salvage quote or offer will look like.
When you call up an auto salvage yard to inquire after a quote for your vehicle, you’ll have to provide the year, make, and model of the vehicle. You will also be asked to detail the mileage the vehicle has and any damage it may have sustained since you purchased it.
The more detailed a description of your vehicle that you provide, the more accurate your quote. You can even type in all of this information and submit it online without having to talk to a representative.
However, we definitely recommend getting on the phone with a rep so that you can make sure you get the highest price possible for your vehicle.
Quotes will vary based on your vehicle’s condition, age, and usable parts. They will also depend on the type of parts that are useable and what demand is for these parts. The price of scrap metal also changes all the time.
Totaled or wrecked vehicles, in general, will have lower quotes than driveable, lower mileage vehicles.
These quotes are often free offers, meaning that you can take it or leave it without any strings attached. You’ll get this amount and this amount only in cash when you drop off your vehicle at the yard or have it picked up.
3. Who Should Salvage Their Vehicle
Not sure whether or not you should be salvaging your vehicle?
If you’re trying to get rid of your car, you luckily have a lot of options in front of you. To determine whether or not salvaging is right for you, consider first and foremost the condition of your vehicle.
If you’ve totaled or severely wrecked your vehicle, salvaging it is probably a good idea. This means you can get at least some cash for your wrecked vehicle, and you’ll have it off your hands. Plus, you’ll sell it knowing that some of it can be refurbished and resold to other car owners or auto companies.
Owners of vehicles that have been damaged in a flood, hurricane, storm, or other weather-related incidents should turn to auto salvage yards as a great way to get rid of these vehicles. They’ll get fast cash for weather-damaged vehicles that can be put towards a new car.
A lot of people have much older cars sitting on their properties. These cars may just be too old to run properly or have other mechanical issues. These car owners would benefit from salvaging their vehicles.
In general, if you’ve got an unwanted, used, or otherwise damaged vehicle you want to get off your hands quickly, salvage yards are your answer. Even people with newer and higher quality vehicles can rely on salvage yards for an effective and lucrative way to get rid of their cars.
4. How Salvage Yards Differ
Auto salvage yards are all over the country. Chances are you have a location just down the street!
Not every auto salvage yard is the same, however. It’s important to keep in mind how these yards differ so that you can feel comfortable going to the right one.
Some yards sell car parts that are refurbished online or at a shop on-site. Others simply collect and salvage vehicles. You’ll find salvage yards that work in partnership with metal recycling companies and those that do the recycling and refurbishing on the premises.
Yards will also differ depending upon areas and types of vehicles they purchase. For example, you may find that a certain company doesn’t remove abandoned vehicles. Others may only accept junk or scrap cars.
If you are unclear about any of the services a yard in your area provides, reach out to them to clarify.
7. How to Decide It’s Time
If you’ve read through this post and are thinking it may be time to sell your car to a salvage yard, awesome! Let’s make sure it’s actually time to do so.
If you are spending more on monthly maintenance on your car than the actual monthly payment, it’s probably time for a scrap. Vehicles ideal for salvage are those that cost more to run than is actually feasible for your budget.
Assess the safety of your vehicle, as well as the condition of your car’s engine and transmission. If there are any repeated safety issues that cannot be fixed, definitely decide to scrap. If you’ve replaced the vehicle’s engine and/or transmission twice, you might be en route to a junkyard.
You’ll also want to reach out to a salvage yard if the condition of your car’s body is badly rusted. Rusted vehicles can be difficult if not impossible to sell, even privately and on your own terms.
8. Other Things to Keep in Mind
There are some other things to keep in mind before you say yes to that amazing salvage quote.
If you’re still financing your car, you won’t be eligible to sell your vehicle to a salvage yard. Salvage companies will only accept vehicles that have been fully paid off.
If you do sell your car to a salvage yard, you’ll have to collect your license plates before you hand over your vehicle for good. You’ll then need to take these plates and return them to your local motor vehicle department if you aren’t transferring them to a new vehicle.
Also, make sure to cancel your insurance if you have auto insurance the moment you sell your car to a salvage company. You’ll want to check with your state’s rules to see if you need a title to sell your car to a salvage yard. Some states require it while others simply require a driver’s license and proof of registration.
Everything You Need to Know About Auto Salvage
If you are thinking about scrapping that old clunker in your backyard or want to figure out what to do with that totaled vehicle in your driveway, you may want to think about carting your car to a salvage yard.
Before you do, it’s important to know everything you can about auto salvage and how it works. Auto salvage yards purchase used or junk cars from vehicle owners for an agreed upon cash value. This quote is determined by a variety of factors.
If you accept your cash offer, the salvage company will either pick up your vehicle or have you drop it off at a set location. You’ll get instant cash for your vehicle.
Salvaging vehicles is not for everyone, so keep in mind that you should salvage your car only when you’ve assessed its condition, year, make, and model. Do your research so that you avoid scams and get the best deal possible.
At Cash Auto Salvage, we give free, no-hassle offers for junk or used vehicles you’ve decided to salvage. You’ll get a free cash offer after having a conversation with one of our representatives, and if you decide to go for it you’ll also get free towing. Walk away with cash on the spot and a space cleared in your driveway for your next dream vehicle.
It doesn’t matter what condition your vehicle is in. Get your free offer today!
People who want to sell their cars and also support the environment will love working with auto salvage companies. This is because companies salvage, refurbish, and/or recycle literally everything in your car!
This means that used or junk vehicles aren’t just going into a landfill. And because landfills are getting more and more full, it’s important to seek out eco-conscious ways to handle our vehicles.
Auto salvage yards are also doing the environment a huge favor by removing junk cars from old properties and sides of roads. Junk cars can leak toxic fluids and metals into the soil, damaging soil quality and potentially leading to contaminated water sources. Junk cars can also impact valuable ecosystems, particularly in wetland areas.
Contact an auto salvage yard if you are looking for a way to truly reduce, reuse, and recycle your unwanted vehicle.