Zipping Past the Myth Motorway: 5 Common Misconceptions About Junkyards


Every car owner knows the feeling. Your check engine light comes on, and you hear a scary sound under the hood. For most car owners, it can only mean one thing: an enormous repair bill is headed your way soon. Luckily, budget-savvy drivers know a few things you can do to stamp down the price. One of these options is to visit a pick and pull junkyard where you can find auto parts on the cheap. 

A junkyard, or salvage yard, is a place where unusable vehicles are dismantled. The parts that are still usable are sold to customers, and the rest is sold as scrap metal and recycled.

Unfortunately, several myths about junkyards scare potential customers away from car maintenance savings. Here are some of the five most common misconceptions about junkyards. 

Salvage yards only have “junk”

It is a myth that parts from a junkyard are “junk” and not good quality. Car parts from a salvage yard can be in excellent condition. 

People have often found car radios, tires, brand new car accessories, and intact car parts from cars that wound up in a junkyard. If you need something that a broken car has, you can find the parts at far below market value. Your vehicle is a significant investment, so it’s wise to look for ways to save money when it comes to your keeping your tires spinning.

Salvage yards are unsafe

Many people think of junkyards, and an image of an unsafe place with a mean guard dog comes to mind. Those images are primarily from television. In real life, a salvage yard looks similar to a parking lot with neat rows of cars. Each car and its parts are often inventoried, and you can stroll through the yard with confidence while you sniff out your parts.

The junkyard won’t have parts for foreign cars

One myth that has persisted for decades is that junkyards will not have parts for foreign cars. In reality, a good salvage yard will purchase many makes and models of vehicles for their parts, including ones from Japan, Europe, and even Korea.

You must bring your own tools

Many people believe that you must bring your tools to a junkyard to remove parts from derelict vehicles. While it is true that you will need tools at pick-and-pull junkyards, they often have ones you can rent. 

At some salvage yards, workers will pull the part for you, and the cost of labor is included in the price of the part.

Parts are always sold as-is

Many people avoid junkyards because they worry that the parts are always sold “as-is.” While this rule can be valid for some junkyards, it isn’t always the case. Some junkyards offer warranties on parts, so it’s a good idea to call ahead if you’re concerned. 

Before visiting a junkyard or spending money, consider the price of the parts, the labor you’ll need to give, the risk involved, and whether or not it’s easier to purchase a new car instead. 

In summary

There are a lot of misconceptions about junkyards. People worry that salvage yards can have low-quality parts, that they are unsafe, that it is too much work, or that they won’t have the parts they need. 

Deciding to visit a junkyard to purchase parts depends on personal preference, budget, and convenience. If you’re willing to hunt for the parts you need, you can save a penny and a mile on your car’s maintenance.