What to Know About: Auto Damage »
When a car is damaged by an accident or weather, what can be repaired and what must be replaced? Or is it time to buy a new car?
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When a car is damaged by an accident or weather, what can be repaired and what must be replaced? Or is it time to buy a new car?
Salvaged cars present a unique opportunity to sellers and buyers.
Vehicle salvage yards can be a great place to find cheap parts to restore your car with. However, the benefits don't stop there. Find out more about these businesses.
Went to Premier and worked with Gary LeFever. He was awesome. I was set up with an amazing Dodge Ram 1500 worth every penny. Good people. Fair prices. Worth the trip
Found a used Subaru Outback for my son who lives out of state. We were test driving it and he was purchasing. Thomas let me know he worked for years at a subaru dealer. This was a sound car is what he told me. My husband and myself along with my son's father all drove this car. Seemed fine so we made a deal. Before we left I discovered the driver rear door would not open. Signed a note saying it would be fixed as part of the deal. They initialed the note. This was the week before July 5th. We were to pick up the car on July 7th to deliver 5 hours from our house. When called on Monday Thomas told me they hadn't taken it in to get fixed yet but would. As of Wed they still hadn't taken it in. So when I called Friday to verify it was fixed he told me it was but they couldn't get the same color door handle. I also asked him when we picked it up to check the air pressure on the tires as the light sensor for low tires was on. He ran it down the road to someone or so he said. The light didn't go off. Imagine my son's surprise when the mechanic aired up the tire the light went off. Driving to KS to meet our son halfway from CO we noticed problems when going over bumps. We pretty much knew immediately it was the struts. My son took it to a subaru only mechanic who told him all 4 struts needed replaced and the brakes were 80% worn. I called to talk to Thomas who would not return my call. My son called and Thomas said they would pay to fix the door handle. My son got an estimate to have it painted around $150.00. Thomas told him they weren't paying for that and they only agreed to "fix" the door. So he has a silver car with one black door handle, 4 bad struts and bad brakes. Thomas said "well it was sold below book value". Basically they knew they were selling car that needs about $1600 in repairs and justify it because it was below book value. Believe me I know about "buyer beware" but it's places like this that give the "used car salesman" the stereotypical bad reputation.
Took in an '84 Silverado that driver's side seat had worn down to the foam padding. Excellent repair, padding still holding up and the color match to the other side of the bench seat was as close as a non-OEM could have been. Would do again.
Professional Staff!! ( Thomas and Art )No Hassel!! No Pressure Buying!!They were honest about the history of the vehicles we looked at.
After the experience I just had, I will never buy from them again. They are dishonest, rude and con artists. My dad and uncle worked for Ford. I've driven them all my life, and after this my next car will be a Chevy. Do yourself a favor and stay away from this place.
I don't know if this is more of a Thank you note or a testimonial. From allowing me to take the vehicle for 3 days as a rental until I got feedback from Finance Company, to helping me get the lowest rates I could possibly get. Knowing all long I could easily back out of deal. Now I feel like they were running a business to make profit , But at the same time they helped me feel comfortable and make the right decision for myself. Thanks again Thomas, Art, Vito & Pat.
My "Check Engine" light came on so I stopped by this location for a free diagnostic. Randy informed me one of my ignition coils needed to be replaced. He sold me the part, and then offered to replace it for me. Within minutes I was on the road again! Randy saved me time and over $100 of labor if I had taken it to a mechanic.Great customer service!!
I work with Mr. Thomas to help me with purchasing the vehicle that I wanted. He was very helpful in sending me everything that I requested since I live almost 200 miles from the dealership. He was awesome to work with. When I arrived at the dealership for my appointment, he met me and showed me the vehicle in person. I had been looking for this vehicle over the past month and he ensured that I was able to purchase it. To complete the required paperwork for the vehicle he turned me over to Mr. Art who walked me through the necessary paperwork that I needed to sign in order to take the vehicle home. These gentlemen are very professional and down to earth at the same time. They made this one of the best buying experiences that I have ever had in purchasing a vehicle. I have purchase over 25 Vehicles before, just to give you a reference on this process.If they have the vehicle that you want, I highly recommend dealing with Premier Auto Plaza before anyone else.
We bought a 2007 Ford Freestyle from this dealer on Feb 25 2017, less than two weeks ago. We were told by more than one person that nothing was wrong with the car; we were sure to ask. We checked it over the best we could and trusted them because they assured us there was nothing wrong and the car was well taken care of. (They were so impressed with how "clean" it was when it arrived) We took the car to the shop today to have the a/c looked at, because it definitely does not work! The condenser is badly damaged on the underneath and the whole system has to be replaced. $1,700 repair to start with there. That's a problem they could have told us about; it was below freezing that day and the air appeared to work to us. We checked because they had "air conditioning" stickers on some of the other cars. Everything appeared to work, we asked if everything worked and were told it did. Nothing was wrong that they knew of, they said. Both front wheel bearings need replaced also, how this passed "inspection" is beyond me. The left front wheel bearing critically needed replaced. They risked our safety over money on that one; the mechanic spotted that first off! The serpentine belt was dry rotted, both back tires need replaced, the battery terminals had to be cleaned because the car was dying after being started, an engine mount is broken, and numerous other "less serious" repairs need done. The car also leaks oil. They did a nice job cleaning the top of the engine and left the underneath completely saturated. The mechanic had to degrease it before he could even check for a leak, which he found. All together, our repair bill will be a little over $3,000 after we paid them $4500 cash for this car. They screwed us and took this money from our children. They have already lost at least one sale because of this; my neighbor was impressed with how they operate and quickly changed her mind when she found out we were blatantly lied to. Stay away from them!
From my initial call to Art until he handed me the keys to my new SUV I have been impressed. All of the staff has a great deal of knowledge of the business, everyone was very helpful and and professional towards me and the other customers.Art worked hard to get me a down payment and monthly payment that is amazing and manageable. Thank you Art, Thomas and all the wonderful staff at Premier Auto Plaza. The best car lot business i have ever dealt with. I actually got the vehicle I wanted not what they said I can afford off their lot. From my very own observation and experience with Premier Auto Plaza everyone was smiling and happy with their level of service received. I had to show them the same love and respect they gave me from the start to finish. I'm truly happy and blessed.
Automobile owners have plenty of avenues to explore for making quick fixes to their vehicles. You don't have to wait for costly repairs if you are resourceful enough to know exactly what needs to be fixed and are sure of the parts required. By heading to your nearest salvage yard, you'll find the parts you need and more.
Salvage yards collect old vehicles and the accompanying parts. Depending on the condition, the materials can either be repaired or sold. Parts are then made available for you to purchase.
Salvage yards play a big role in ensuring old vehicles are disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner. The auto industry is the largest in the world and therefore generates the most waste.
Junkyards tend to operate on a local basis and typically purchase damaged cars from insurance companies, auto owners or cities looking to tow abandoned vehicles. Salvage yards then dismantle cars for sellable parts, while unusable components are scrapped and recycled.
You'll first need to identify exactly what parts you need. You can sometimes use generic parts, whereas other instances will require you to stick to the specific manufacturer.
Not every driver has detailed knowledge about specific parts, and that's understandable. Luckily, you can take advantage of various tools to narrow down your search. If you know your car's model, year, make and more, head to the online database carparts.com to search through categories ranging from alternators to suspension.
You can also speak to a mechanic or someone with detailed knowledge about the inner workings of a car to specifically get a better understanding of the parts you need.
You are not out of luck if you bought your car from the secondhand market and didn't get specific details regarding the year, model or submodel, or if you misplaced the owner's manual and no longer have access to that information.
Since 1981, every car has contained a vehicle identification number, otherwise known as a VIN. This 17-character code is comprised of three sections:
Where Do I Find the VIN?
The VIN is commonly found on these locations:
After you find this information, you'll have an easier time finding the necessary parts from the salvage yard.
Once you've confirmed your car's model, the next step is to locate the nearest salvage yard. While a quick online search will yield plenty of results, not all junkyards are the same, and the differences will have an effect on how you obtain the parts.
The first type of salvage location is known as a you-pick yard. Here, you bring your own tools and walk around with full reign to take any parts you find. You can set out to find a specific part for that much-needed repair, or you may stumble upon an item that is harder to find and carries a high market value.
A you-pick yard offers endless opportunities and costs very little to run, which directly benefits salvagers because so many types of salvage yards are popping up, according to Popular Mechanics.
The second type of salvage yard is known as full-service. Here, you can directly request certain parts and workers will deliver them to the front desk. No tools are required, nor will you spend time wandering the endless car piles. The catch: You'll have to pay a fee for the added convenience.
Important Steps to Take
Once you decide on the type of salvage yard to visit, your best course of action is to call before arriving. You can get a better idea of what the yards offer. For example, some salvage areas only have domestic cars for you to look through, while others may deal strictly with foreign, high-performance or vintage cars. After all, you don't want to make the trip to the salvage lot only to discover the cars will not have the parts you're looking for.
Luckily, most yards are generalists, meaning they carry what most scavengers demand. If you happen to own a rare car, chances are the yard will not carry that part simply because the demand is not nearly as high.
What to Expect
Entering a salvage yard can be an overwhelming first experience. With so many cars spread out over a wide stretch of land, the feeling is understandable. Most yards operate the same way, so you can expect the same general experiences throughout each location.
For you-pick salvage yards, you'll have to sign a liability document and pay a small fee, typically around $1. Think of this dollar as a worthy investment, particularly if you stumble across a rare component that can net you a high sale.
Navigating the Lot
Once you enter the lot, look for the ground maps to make your scavenging life a bit easier. According to Popular Mechanics, most lots are organized by keeping the in-demand parts near the front. Here, you'll find parts for vehicles that have a tendency to break down, which works to your advantage if you own a similar car.
The rear of the lot will typically contain items for cars that don't suffer from as many breakdowns. As you walk from the front to the rear, the middle of the lot will gradually progress from cars that frequently suffer mechanical issues to vehicles that don't.
Some lots will even have manufacturers grouped together to help simplify your search. However, not every salvage lot will have this type of organization - some will have no organization whatsoever. While you may spend more time searching for a specific car and an accompanying part, you also have the chance to find some hidden gems.
Don't go into the salvage yard expecting to find price tags on each individual part, as that would be a tedious task for the lot's owner.
Instead, salvage lots will usually have a price board containing necessary information. Different parts will have a generic price, and this method is generally beneficial to you and your wallet.
For example, say you drive a luxury car and are in need of a radiator. When visiting a salvage lot, the pricing for a luxury car's radiator will be around the same amount as a cheaper car's radiator.
Now that you know how the layout and pricing structures work, you have to actually find the parts, which for some, represents the most tedious and exhausting task - and for others, the most fun. You don't want to just grab the first component you need.
After finding something you think can be useful, carefully inspect it. Make sure the part isn't damaged. Likewise, check for interchangeable parts. You will then have an easier time searching for parts because you open up the number of cars to look through.
Tools Are Needed
Salvaging for auto parts is labor-intensive and sometimes dangerous. You'll want to stock up and go to the yard with the necessary tools to help pry loose much-needed parts, such as a full door.
Keep in mind though that you'll carry home any and everything you bring along. While you do want to have the tools, you also don't want to tire yourself out from the weight. Luckily, you can carry along some equipment while leaving heavier items in the car for when you get back.
Typical gear includes:
Keep these tools in the car:
Getting the Parts
Not every part will be easily accessible in a junk car. The tools you bring along will be helpful if you need to destroy portions of the vehicle - just make sure you don't accidentally destroy the part you're looking for because some areas of the car are easier to take apart than others.
When rummaging through a car or walking around the lot, stay aware of your surroundings. Remember, you aren't the only visitor looking to salvage parts. Other individuals are also looking for components, and not everyone works as safely as possible.
If you find a car you'd like to inspect, make sure working conditions are suitable, and if anything looks suspicious or dangerous, don't hesitate to find a safer vehicle to tear apart.
Buying a Specific Component
Instances may arise where you find yourself looking for a smaller component of a larger part, such as the latch to a door. It is in your interest to call the salvage yard before arriving to see if they sell smaller components individually, because some yards do not.
Some owners choose to not sell small components for financial reasons. According to Car-Part, owners will find difficulty selling the higher-priced assembly. If salvage lots come across a door without the handle, they will have to pay extra to get the handle and attach it to the entire assembly. It is therefore cost-effective for salvage lots to sell entire assemblies.
After you've successfully found a part or multiple components, take everything up to the clerk. Inform them of what you have and pay. It is in your best interest to avoid lying about what you have as a way to to pay less. You will potentially be banned if you're found lying.
Parts May Be Expensive
You-pick salvage yards will display the prices for categories of parts. However, prices may fluctuate depending on the demand. Harder-to-find items may carry a higher price tag than a brand-new one. In such instances, you have to use your best judgment to decide on which route to choose. Keep in mind that if you are salvaging for auto parts, you may also stumble across items that are difficult to find and subsequently be able to sell them for a profit. Doing so can offset the cost of the price you're paying for the parts you personally need.
Salvage yards will have different policies regarding warranties, but in most instances, the parts you find will be covered. Some salvage yards will offer warranties of anywhere from 90 days to six months, and may even offer the option for extended coverage.
Automobile owners looking to fix up their cars and save money will benefit from visiting a salvage yard. Time and dedication will be needed on your end, but the payout will be worth it because you'll save money and may even find old car parts that can be useful for non-auto purposes. You may even find rare parts you can then sell.
Before visiting the salvage yard, call ahead and ask questions about warranties, pricing and the types of cars they have for you to look through. Then, gather your tools, and get the most out of your auto salvage trip.