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?
1101 Division Ave SGrand Rapids, MI 49507
From Business: Northwestern Auto Supply was founded by Harry Ashendorf in Grand Rapids in 1946. Today, Sam Ashendorf, Harry's son, runs the business and has grown it into one of…
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.
A review about Greg Baker:My boyfriend and I had been searching online and driving to various car dealerships from Leesburg to Ocala for about two months to no avail, looking for the PERFECT vehicle for us with no luck. We knew exactly what we wanted, but couldn’t find the “right” car for us. During this time, we spoke to a variety of car salesmen, and none of them seemed concerned enough to take the time to find us the perfect deal. I am a very particular person, and knew if I didn’t wait for the right car and the right deal I would regret it for a lifetime. I recently received my associate’s degree in business, and take pride in thinking of all the logistics before purchasing a newer vehicle for myself. Together with my boyfriend’s talent when it comes to knowing about different brands and what vehicles last, we make a pretty hard pair to convince to purchase a new car. We wanted a newer Camry (it had to be at least a 07’ or newer), one with a silver, blue, or grey color, as well as one in great shape with low miles. We also did our research about prices, and what was a reasonable number for us at this point in our lives (we are both currently college students). Many salesmen have seen this, and have become almost immediately turned off; worried they might not make a good enough deal that benefits them to be worthwhile. However, on a clear Wednesday afternoon in July, my boyfriend decided to just run in and see what Camry’s were available at AutoMax in Ocala, Florida. I didn’t even plan on getting out of our car to look; I had become a bit disappointed from our previous experiences. When David was in there for longer than I expected, I decided to get out of our car and check out what was going on. Greg Baker, the internet manager, was the salesman assisting David at the time looking at a Camry I knew immediately I did not like. After being politely honest about this, Greg had absolutely no problem with this, and asked us not to leave without first letting him check his entire inventory first. In the showroom was a charcoal grey Camry with leather seats that we didn’t even look at when we walked by it previously, because we thought it was out of our price range. Greg was absolutely perfect in assisting us with this car, he gave us every detail we needed to know, and was very resourceful as well. He quickly helped us take it for a test drive, giving us useful information about the Camry during the test drive as well. When we had a concern about the brakes, and he ensured us he would take of this, as well as anything we were concerned about too. I was very impressed with how polite and hands-on Greg was, as well as personable. After being offered a deal we couldn’t resist, David and I finally took a big step into our journey as young couple, who want to start out the right way. It was a very special moment that Greg Baker created for us, and we will truly cherish it for a lifetime! I can’t promise you that you will find your perfect car the moment you walk into the doors at AutoMax; but I can promise you that if you ask to speak with Greg Baker, he will do his absolute best to assist you, and take time out of his busy day to make you feel important and a valuable customer. I can honestly say Greg was a great person to work with, and conducts himself very professionally. He takes pride in his job, and helped us find the perfect car for us without any regard to his commission he would be receiving. If we need to buy another vehicle in the future, Greg will be the first person we call!
I had a problem with my car, the cylinder. Art then gave me a list of everything that could be wrong with the cylinder including worse case. My car had a reputation for having a problem with cylinders he informed me. He told me what it could be and how to check for it, doing it myself. Not only did he save me time and frustration but $$$$. I am only asking for Art from now on because I have never ever had anyone explain it so simply and with so much knowledge. Thanks Art the best hands down!
Super helpful! I made a call in search of a part, however, Lamar took the time to ask me what problem I was having with my vehicle. He suggested checking something else first to see if that resolved the issue. I did as he suggested for only a $15.00 fix. It easily resolved what a mechanic quoted to me as, "Best case scenario, $200.00; Worst case scenario, $750.00." Thank you, Lamar for taking time to ask me what issue I was having. It saved me a lot of $$$$!
Norm and the people at pep boys on 49th in Ocala were great to deal with and easy to understand. I wanted a certain set of tires for my 2006 ram 1500 and they had them in stock and told me to come right in. I had a 3 year old little boy with me(my son) he was all over the show room, but Norm and the pep boys crew were very nice and didn't seem to mind. Thanks guys so much, my truck drives nice and smooth and the price was great.
The car was sold and, I need a Element to transport my disabled wife. Then Mike, salesman asked if he could pray with me for healing for my terminal ill wife, which we did and I appreciated that very much. Very helpful, I would buy the right car from them , I believe they would be honest and trustworthy. Thx
This is the best car wash ever. The service is great and the employees are wonderful. I would recommend this car wash to anyone. Love it! The high pressure water wiped the love bugs right off my car! The tire cleaner makes my rims shine like new and the spot free actually works! No towel drying!!!!!
I have been ordering Brite-N-Rite products online for the 2 years. SImply put, don't waste your money on store bought products! There is no comparison. Use what the dealers and professional detailers use. You won't be disapointed!BrianRichmond, VA
This mechanic has the most knowledge and ability of any I have ever dealt with. I would totally trust this man with any type of auto related work on any car I own. Great Service at a fair price. What more can you ask for?
Had an excellent experience here at Prestige. No hassle car buying and they will go out their way to get you in a vehicle. Just save some time and go straight to Prestige and see Allen. Loving the truck thanks guys.
Kudos to John Stepp at Son Rise Auto sales of Belleview (and owner Doug), who went above and beyond to make our buying experience a pleasure. We are very satisfied with the vehicle we purchased and recommend them.
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.