Getting parts for a foreign auto can be really expensive. This is particularly true for European vehicles, but certainly OEM parts from other parts of the world are also pricey. This is what makes finding used parts at a foreign auto junkyard ideal. You can get cheap used OEM parts, which outweighs ordering parts new or getting after market parts. Below I will share where to find foreign auto junkyards, discuss how they work, share my experience with the foreign auto salvage yards near me.
Find Foreign Auto Salvage Yards Near Me – Junk Yard Locator
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There are salvage yards specifically dedicated to foreign automobiles, where it’s literally only imports on the lot. Of course you can find plenty of foreign cars and trucks at your typical auto salvage also. The advantage though of an import yard though is that there is a bit more exclusivity and a better selection of relevant parts.
How the Foreign Auto Salvage Yards Near Me Work
The foreign auto salvage yards near me are locally run businesses. They are operated by enthusiasts who love imported vehicles. Most of these salvos charge a few bucks just to walk around. Then they will charge you for the parts that you pull.
The way these salvos operate is on a business model similar to a thrift shop. Except here they buy junked imported vehicles for cheap and then sell off the functioning parts for a profit. These businesses are part of the vehicle recycling industry and actually have a positive impact on the environment.
Where do the Junked Autos Come From?…
Import salvos get their foreign vehicles from a few different sources. These sources include the general public, insurance companies, and salvage auctions.
When a private owner junks their car it is often because the cost of repair is more then the vehicles worth. Vehicles coming from insurance companies are normally the result of an accident and the insurance company sold the vehicle for scrap to offset paying out a claim. Some vehicles may come from auction, where a junkyard bids on a “lot” of salvage vehicles and they stock their inventory with them.
How a Junkyard Preps a Vehicle for Pick and Pull
All junkyards operate a little different, but there are some basic prep steps they all have in common. First the yard will drain the vehicle of fluids. This includes oil, gas, Freon, coolant, and wiper fluid. Fluid like coolant may get re-bottled and resold. Fluids like oil and gas need to be recycled according to the EPA regulations. Fluids need to be handled this way because if the car was to leak any of these hazardous liquids it could seep into the ground water supply and impact surrounding communities.
Next the yard will begin the dismantling process. This involves pre-stripping key auto parts that have more value. This may include parts like the transmission, motor, battery, starter, alternator etc. Typically they strip parts that sell fast and/or tend to corrode fast when left outside in the elements.
What Kind of Foreign Auto Parts Can You Find?
You can find all types of parts for foreign cars at these lots. You can get doors, hoods, fenders, transmissions, tires, rims, motors, turbos, exhausts, intakes, and even find aftermarket parts like carbon fiber spoilers. Even better you can expect to save up to 60% to 75% versus buying new.
How Foreign Vehicle Salvage Yards are Structured
The foreign auto salvage yards near me, have some structure. They are arranged in the lot by manufacturer and then loosely arranged by vehicle model. So for example if you go to the BMW section, there will be an arrangement of mostly 3 series models together or M series together. Then you have a BMW truck section.
You can find most foreign automobiles at these yards. That includes Mercedes, BMW, Nissan, Honda, VW, Toyota, Kia, Jaguar, Mitsubishi, Suzuki, etc. If the imports sell over here in the states you can find them at a foreign auto salvage. My point here is aren’t going to find like a Citroen or Renault. Also you won’t find much in the way of exotics at these yards either, so don’t expect to find Ferrari parts.
If a junkyard is well managed they likely have a searchable online database of their inventory. This means you can see if they have what you need before you get there. Even if they don’t have the inventory online, you may be able to call and ask what they have. These folks tend to know everything in the lot, what condition it is in, and where it is placed. I like to call and ask questions like: “Do you have a 2012 Nissan Sentra, what condition is the passenger side in, and is the front door in good shape”?
Selling Your Foreign Car or Truck to a Junkyard
If you think you are ready to junk a vehicle, you should consider the following first:
- Can the vehicle be repaired?
- If you can repair it or even just get it running, what is the cost?
- What is the value both with the repairs and without the repairs?
The reason you should think through this is that selling an auto to a junkyard doesn’t always net you much cash. They are going to offer you the lowest value based on your cars worth in scrap metal weight. Now if your vehicle still has valuable parts attached and it runs, you may be able to negotiate a higher payout. Also if you can get it running you may want to try and sell it independently first which will get you more money.
If you decide to junk your car, here are few things you need to do…
Prepping Your Import Vehicle For Junking
- Remove your personal belongings.
- Return the license plates to the Department of Motor Vehicles.
- Cancel your state registration and insurance policy (if the junkyard has to do this, they will charge you).
- Wipe your navigation system of any personal information (your address and phone numbers).
- Siphon out the gas so you can reuse it.
- Find the title. You will need to sign it over.
- Estimate the value of the vehicle, and call around to places for the best offer.
When you sell your junked auto be prepared to negotiate. You may not only need to negotiate the price, but also the transportation of the vehicle if you need a tow service.
Used Foreign Automobile Parts in Scrap Yards
The Advantage of Used Parts for Foreign Autos
Saving money on used parts is the primary driver for visiting a salvage yard. You can find parts like batteries for $15 or less, Starters for $30 or less, Tires for $25 or less, and even an engine for $350 for a small car like a Corolla.
The other thing I love about these places is that a majority of what you find are OEM parts. 99% of everything on the yard will be manufacturer installed and assembled. This beats having to get aftermarket parts which sometimes don’t have the right fit.
Disadvantages of Buying Spare Foreign Auto Parts from the Junkyard
Of course the downside to salvage parts is the concern of quality. These vehicles were junked for a reason and now they have been sitting out exposed to the elements in the salvo. Before you remove parts you need to thoroughly inspect the, You should thoroughly inspect them again after removed and before you pay. When in doubt ask if they have a warranty program that allows you to exchange a part or get credit if the parts you purchased doesn’t work.
Foreign Auto Salvage Yards Near Me Conclusion
Foreign auto salvages are great places to save money on replacement parts. In my experience you tend to get great customer service at these businesses and they will even point you to another place if they don’t have the parts you need. While you don’t need an import salvage to find foreign autos, you can go to a general auto salvo, the part selection at these places tends to be more exclusive. That’s my experience from the foreign auto salvage yards near me.