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.
Today I bought my fourth car from Hotwheelz, not that the first three needed replaced. What impresses me the most about Shawn is his honesty and integrity! I left the area for a year after I paid off the first two vehicles, drove them 16 hours one way, no issues! We moved back to mo I needed two more vehicles went straight to Shawn/Hotwheelz. No need to shop around, I knew he would be fair and honest! Will go back if I ever need or just want another vehicle in the future!
Just bought a 2007 HHR. What really impressed me was that they did not try and push a higher priced vehicle that I had asked about, he actually said it would not be the best for what we needed. As I was sitting in the office I witnessed his crew going thru the vehicles, and Shawn directing them to make sure everything was in proper working order, before he would put them out for sale. This dealership seems to really care about what they sell.
This shop is the best place I have ever gone to get work done on my truck. I drive a Land Rover, which are as a whole, notoriously expensive and difficult to get repaired. I had previously gone to another shop in town who advised me that it would be over $2000 to fix. Looking for a second opinion I was directed to Ron and Bo at Flagg auto. I could not be more greatful. After thorough inspection they found it was a simple loose cap causing the issues. Saving me litteraly hundreds of dollars. They are the nicest people and gave me honest answers. I couldn't be happier with their service.
Awful. Bought a Nissan Altima that was bad. Dealer could care less. Very rude also. Avoid this place.
The staff has been super helpful and has led us to building our credit from the first car they put us in. And now a nice ride for our second car. Thank you soooooo much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Blown motor, still paying on the car. Spent 700 bucks to fix our problems before motor blew and still have issues. We go through about 2 bottles of power steering fluid a week on top of weekly payments. No matter your situation please don't buy here.
I just moved into town and was asking about who do I go to for a used car. I was referred to Marsh Autos. When I arrived here I met with a wonderful man by the name of James. He showed me a few cars and I test drove this Mazda. I fell in love with it and bought it. He is a very honest man and very good man. He even allowed me to take it to a mechanic. I praise God that there are people like this in this world. I will be telling all my friends of Marsh Autos. Thanks James for my awesome ride.
Sherry shame on you that is not at all how that situation went or was handled. Your vehicle just wasn't worth what you wanted to us but we were nothing but kind, caring and helpful to you.
V red, I have no idea who you are, I don't put too much thought into individuals that can't even post there name. I assume you did not get approved or told what you wanted to hear. I'm very honest and upfront w everyone. Please leave more detail upon leaving reviews and post your entire name or simply give me a call. Thx
I wanted to trade my Audi straight-across for their Dodge Stratus. The owner’s wife Tammy drove my car and said it was leaking oil (I hadn’t noticed have any spots in my driveway), and she made a big deal out of the fact the air didn’t work. I felt bad, so when they told me I would have to kick in “a few hundred dollars”, I agreed. I thought it was odd when they said they were ‘cash only’ but I took the Stratus to the ATM to get the money. Tammy was to complete the paperwork while I was gone.I put $20 of gas in the Stratus because it was past empty. I also noticed the air didn't work. When I got back, I told Tammy there was a problem with the air. She basically called me a liar, handed my title back to me and said ‘oh well, we tried’. A bit stunned, I told her I had put $20 of gas in the car and produced the receipt. She said “what do you expect me to do about it?” I told her I expected to be reimbursed since we weren’t doing a deal. She told me she didn’t have any money, she wasn’t paying me, demanded I leave and threatened to call the police. It was totally bizarre. I told her I thought we could sit down and work it out, but maybe calling the police was a good idea. Her response was to say I was embarrassing my daughter. I did not raise my voice, but I informed her to leave my kid out of it.When she realized the threat of calling the police was not going to intimidate me, she said she would give me $10. She called her husband in from the back and asked for a $10 bill. When he pulled out a $20, she had him get two tens from one of their employees.When I got home I noticed a large scrape and blue paint around the rear passenger wheel well area that was not there before.I do not know these people and have absolutely zero motivation to lie or exaggerate any of this. My hope is to prevent someone else from being taken advantage of or having the aggravation and degradation I endured at this ‘business’
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.