A wrecking yard (Australian, New Zealand, and Canadian English), scrapyard (Irish, British and New Zealand English) or junkyard (American English) is the location of a business in dismantling where wrecked or decommissioned vehicles are brought, their usable parts are sold for use in operating vehicles, while the unusable metal parts, known as scrap metal parts, are sold to metal-recycling companies. Other terms include wreck yard, wrecker's yard, salvage yard, breaker's yard, dismantler and scrapheap. In the United Kingdom, car salvage yards are known as car breakers, while motorcycle salvage yards are known as bike breakers. In Australia, they are often referred to as 'Wreckers'.
When an automobile is severely damaged, has malfunctioned beyond repair, or is not worth the repair, the owner may sell it to a junkyard. In some cases, when the car has become disabled in a place where derelict cars are not allowed to be left, the car owner will pay the wrecker to haul the car away. Salvage yards also buy most of the wrecked, derelict, and abandoned vehicles that are sold at auction from police impound storage lots, and often buy vehicles from insurance tow yards as well. The salvage yard will usually tow the vehicle from the location of its purchase to the yard, but occasionally vehicles are driven in. At the salvage yard, the automobiles are typically arranged in rows, often stacked on top of one another. Some yards keep inventories in their offices, as to the usable parts in each car, as well as the car's location in the yard. Many yards have computerized inventory systems. About 75% of any given vehicle can be recycled and used for other goods.
Often parts for which there is high demand are removed from cars and brought to the salvage yard's warehouse. Then a customer who asks for a specific part can obtain it immediately, without having to wait for the salvage yard employees to remove that part. Some salvage yards expect customers to remove the part themselves (known as "self-service yards"), or allow this at a substantially reduced price compared to having the junkyard's staff remove it. This style of the yard is often referred to as a "You Pull It" yard.
The parts usually dismantled from automobiles are generally any that can be resold such as the light assemblies (commonly known as just "lights", e.g. headlights, blinkers, taillights), seats, parts of the exhaust system, mirrors, hubcaps, etc. Late-model vehicles will often have entire halves or portions of the body removed and stored on shelves as inventory. Other major parts such as the engine and transmission are often removed and sold, usually to auto-parts companies that will rebuild the part and resell it with a warranty, or will sell the components as-is in used condition, either with or without warranty. Other, usually very large, junkyards will rebuild and sell such parts themselves. Unbroken windshields and windows may also be removed intact and resold to car owners needing replacements. Some salvage yards will sell damaged or wrecked, but repairable vehicles to amateur car builders, or older vehicles to collectors, who will restore ("rebuild") the car for their own use or entertainment, or sometimes for resale. These people are known as "rebuilders".
If your car carries a lien, it cannot be sold to a junkyard or anyone other than a state-licensed dealership. Chances are, if yours is a junk car, no dealership will be interested. With that in mind, you have a few options.
Car owners interested in selling their vehicles are advised to explore various options before deciding to sell their car to a junkyard. Truth be told, selling your car this way should be considered a last resort.
Doing business with a junkyard is inarguably the least rewarding and least profitable way to sell a car and should be reserved for a vehicle with little to no hope. For sellers who are merely looking to get rid of an old beater or offload a car that no longer runs and is just taking up space, selling it to a junkyard may be a viable option.
Buying replacement parts for your vehicle can be expensive. New parts can cost a lot, and the labor needed to install them adds on to the overall cost. Luckily, you can go to a junkyard to find used car parts that cost less. In fact, some people have been using junkyards as used-part bins for decades!
Also, keep in mind that you have two basic options when visiting a junkyard: locations where you remove the part yourself and those where they remove the part for you. While a junkyard that does all the work for you is convenient, it may be more expensive to purchase a part from them.
Step 1: Inspect your vehicle. Before traveling to the junkyard, inspect your vehicle and the part that you need to replace to make sure you know all of the tools and spare parts you need.
Step 3: Remove the old part. If you do not need to use your vehicle to travel to the junkyard, remove the parts that you need to replace. This allows you to practice removing the part, making it easier to remove in the junkyard.
Using a metal cutter, such as a pair of shears, cut the part out of the vehicle, taking care not to damage the part when doing so. If you know how to use it and if the junkyard permits you to use it, you can also use a cutting torch to extract hard-to-remove parts.
Do you have a car that costs more to repair than it is worth? Or a car that you simply cannot sell, no matter how many times you have lowered the price? If so, it may be time to think about selling your car to a junk or salvage yard. A junk or salvage yard purchases cars that other people do not want. The working parts can be pulled off of the car and sold to those in need of the parts, and the metal can be recycled. If you are thinking of selling your car to a junkyard, here are a few important steps that you should take first.
When you are selling your car to a junkyard, you may be able to take off aftermarket parts, such as fancy rims or stereo equipment. This should be done prior to obtaining quotes for the sale of your car. In most cases, you can sell those parts for more money yourself.
When you are ready to sell your car to a junkyard, call us at Ace Auto Parts in St. Paul, Minnesota. We buy both operable and non-operable automobiles for their parts and metal. Contact us today to obtain a quote for your vehicle.
Our mission is to buy junk cars in Philadelphia, Allentown, Reading, and the surrounding areas and to provide quality used auto parts and helpful service to our customers. Learn more about our story, our junkyard, and our team. Contact us at (215) 492-5700, or search our online inventory for your next part.
Ford built cars on the Fox platform from 1977 through 1993 (or 2004, if you consider the Fox-derived SN95 Mustang to be a true Fox), and I've done my best to document junkyard examples of every Fox Ford model ever built. One Fox that avoided boneyard discovery for many years was the wagon version of the 1983-1986 LTD, but my searching paid off when I found this very rough '85 in a San Francisco Bay Area knacker's yard.
The W116 was the first Mercedes-Benz to get the S-Class designation from the factory, and it was sold in North America from the 1973 through 1980 model years. During the darkest days of the Malaise Era, the W116 was a rare bright spot of performance and build quality, and I still see quite a few of these cars during my junkyard travels (because they took this long to wear out). Here's a late-production W116 sedan, found in a self-service Colorado yard last summer.
After all these years of writing about junkyard-found vehicles (15 years, to be exact), I'm trying to fill in some of the thin spots in these automotive history lessons. I've caught up on some of the post-1980s BMWs I'd neglected, I'm trying to add more SUVs to the mix, and now I realize that I haven't paid much attention to discarded VW Passats built since we called that model the Dasher or the Quantum over here. So, I decided to document the very first Passat I found in a junkyard with a manual transmission (just to make the search more of a challenge), and that turned out to be this '03 GLS.
When I walk the rows of a big Ewe Pullet-style self-service car graveyard, I always take a look inside every 2000s Toyota Camry I see. I do this because I wish to document one of the most elusive of all junkyard inmates: One of the final Camrys sold in the United States with a factory-installed manual transmission. Prior to today's Junkyard Find, the newest discarded three-pedal Camry I'd found was a 2001 model in California. We're pushing the record another five years forward today because I've found this five-on-the-floor-equipped 2006 Camry in the very same yard. 041b061a72