When it comes to finding auto parts cheap, sometimes your best bet is to sift through already-junked cars and trucks at the junk yard. The thought of heading off to a junk or auto salvage yard can be a little intimidating to some people. But there is really no need to worry. In fact, searching for parts at such establishments can be loads of fun and save you tons of money.
Call Around Before You Visit
Before wasting a lot of gas driving around, it is generally a smart idea to call around to the various junk and auto salvage yards in your area. When you call, you will want to ask a few pointed questions. Ask where they are located, if they have the part you are looking for, how much they charge for the part and how they take payments for the auto part you want. Some junk yards only accept cash payments, so expect to have cash on hand when you visit. Also, if one place quotes you a price over the phone, you can use this information to haggle a lower price with another junk yard clerk in your area.
Bring Your Own Tools
A common mistake people make is that they drive out to a junk or auto salvage yard, and they forget to bring tools with them. When they get there, they find themselves in a pickle. Either they have to pay extra to have the part removed for them, or they have to drive all the way home to get their tools and drive all the way back again.
Bring an Expert
If you are not extremely car-savvy, it is recommended that you bring someone along who knows about cars. You could find yourself walking through acres of cars, and it can be difficult to spot the right make and model of the car you are in need of locating. Even if you think you know cars fairly well, it is never a bad idea to bring someone who knows a little more than you do to help you evaluate the quality of the car parts you are able to obtain. Even if a junk yard is a wonderful place to locate all types of parts, you may want to resist the urge to purchase used timing belts, hoses, and filters from such places.
Dress for the Experience
It should go without saying that you do not want to wear business casual when heading off to the junk yard to remove parts from used and junked cars and trucks. It is best to dress down for the occasion, preparing yourself to get dirt, grime, and oil all over your hands and clothes. It might even be a good idea to wear gloves to keep your hands from getting dirty. Bring a seat cover for your car seat also, in order to avoid getting dirt and grease in your car.
Internet Parts Sources
Although the junk and auto salvage yards in your area are a great place to get started finding hard-to-find parts for cheap, it is sometimes necessary to look elsewhere for parts. The Internet is home to online specialty parts markets such as 99 Truck Parts & Industrial Equipment Ltd. that can often help you find the part for which you want to purchase.
Be sure to use all the tools available to help make your search easier, and you will eventually acquire the part you need. Don’t discount the advice of experts and experienced friends, bring the right gear, and be sure to call ahead to make your stay short, sweet, and to the point.