If you wanna save big on auto parts, getting them used at junkyard is the way to go. The state of Colorado has some really great yards to choose from. While it is a really large state and traveling cross state has it’s challenges, for the right part it could be worth it. In this article I will discuss how junkyards in Colorado work, tips on junking a vehicle and buying a salvage title in Colorado, and address FAQ’s. I will also my experience with the junkyards in Colorado.

Find Junkyards in Colorado – CO Salvage Yard Locator

If you are searching for  “junkyards in Colorado” or “Salvage Yards in Colorado”, the map has your statewide results….

How do Auto Junkyards in Colorado Work…

Junkyards in CO are also called salvage yards, scrap yards, and wrecking yards. These are businesses that deal in junk automobiles and sell of the used functioning parts to make a profit. They are all private businesses, some small mom and pop salvages, but others are brand name salvage franchises.

 

All of these salvage businesses have to have a special Colorado state permit and be in ordnance with the rules in order to operate. Many of these rules are in place for environmental protection and keeping control of junkyards. There are other rules and regulations as well around having a dealers license if they sell any vehicles.

 

Aside from state laws and regulations day to day operations of a Colorado junkyard are much like other states. They get wrecked automobiles from source such as auctions, insurance companies, tow companies, and private sellers. Then they sell the parts that still work back to the public for reuse. These businesses are part of the vehicle recycling industry and one of the key reasons steel is one of the most recycled products in the US.

How a Colorado Junk yard Processes Vehicles

Anytime a vehicle comes into the salvage yard, it needs to be processed first. The processing essentially serves two primary functions: meet environmental regulations and help the junkyard maximize their profits.

 

For meeting the Colorado state and Federal environmental regulations, the vehicle must be cleared of all hazardous material. So for example oil, gas, and other liquids need to be drained and recycled. The purpose is to make sure if the vehicle goes to the lot, that chemicals will not leak into the ground and contaminate the local eco system and water supply. Some fluids like coolant and wiper fluid might get rebottled and resold. A few yards actually even monetize used motor oil.

 

Some parts may actually get pulled up front in order to preserve their condition and help the junkyard get the most value from them. For example they will likely pull the battery and the alternator out. These are parts that deteriorate when left  out in the cold Colorado elements. In some circumstances a junkyard might pull the motor and/or transmission. If they do it will be rebuilt and resold with a warranty.

 

A well managed and organized yard will then tag, label, and log each vehicle into an inventory database. Then the vehicle goes out to the yard.

Types of Junkyards in CO

Colorado is home to a lot of junkyards. Some are specialized yards dedicated to specific vehicle classes such as cars, trucks, heavy duty equipment, tractors, airplanes, and others. You may even find more niche salvages like ones dedicated to a specific vehicle type like FN Jeep.

 

By my last count Minnesota was home to over 175+ different yards that fall into the junkyard category. That would include junkyards, scrap metal facilities, auto dismantlers, cash for junk car buyers, and other similar businesses.  If you live in Colorado that is great because you have a lot of options for used auto parts and options for getting offers on your junked auto.

In Colorado There are Different Business Models of Junkyards

The most common type of junkyard business model people think of is a self service salvage yard. Not all Colorado auto junkers function like that though. There are a few different styles of yards and some that are a hybrid. Here are the various business models of junk yards you can find in CO.

 

Self Service Yards: A junkyard in which you bring your own tools and then remove the vehicle parts yourself. These yards will often charge an entrance fee for walking around. These are the most popular and prevalent yards in Colorado. In my experience they tend to have older inventory, lower quality vehicles, but the cheapest used parts, and best variety.

 

Full Service Yards: These are junkyards in which they pull out the parts for you or come to help you with the pull. This is done so they can protect the quality of the salvage cars, from people who recklessly break stuff when they remove parts. These salvages I find to have newer inventory, better quality, but less variety and charge a bit more for parts. The cost being a bit more for parts makes sense since they provide an added service. These yards are particularly helpful if you don’t have skills or equipment to remove the parts yourself.

 

Used Auto Part Warehouses: These are junkyards that may not even have a car lot. They take junked vehicles and completely strip them down and tag, label, and log every resellable part into a database. They sell used parts online and/or from a storefront or warehouse. I find these are great places to check if doing a restoration because you can really look in detail for specific parts in the inventory. While you can find more of what you need, you will pay a bit more in price since they have provided all the upfront work like finding and pulling the part.

Popular Auto Junkyards in Colorado

Colorado has a lot of quality junkyards, but not every one has great customer service or even quality inventory worth picking used parts from. Key things to consider when evaluating a salvo are location, price, inventory, and customer service.

 

Here are a few popular junkyards with 4.5+ star ratings in Colorado:

  • Colorado Junk Cars in Commerce City
  • Brighton Truck Parts in Brighton
  • Subie Recycler, Inc in Wheat Ridge
  • Colorado Auto & Parts, Inc in Englewood
  • U Pull & Pay in Denver
  • Littleton U Pull in Littleton
  • Yoda Jim’s in Denver

Junkyards in Colorado

Selling a Junked Vehicle in CO

If you are planning to junk a car in Colorado you have a lot of choices for whom to sell it to. First you should know the in’s and outs of how to junk a car. Most junkyards are only going to offer you the cash equivalent of the scrap steel weight of your vehicle. You can estimate what that might be here. If you think your vehicle has many parts that are still valuable in it or it still runs, you want to negotiate the junkyards offer up. For tips on getting the most for a junked car, read this.

 

To junk a vehicle in the state of Colorado, you must be the title holder. You have to transfer the title to the yard, when you sell the vehcile.

Colorado: Transferring Vehicle Ownership

To sell a junked automobile in Colorado, follow these steps:

  • Complete the title assignment on the title certificate, and provide bill of sale and odometer disclosure (if applicable).
  • Complete vehicle title application form.
  • Visit any DVS office near you.

Learn about transferring a title on the Colorado DMV website.

 

If you have a vehicle manufactured after 2008 that you are junking, consider clearing all personal info from the internal computers.

Buying a Salvage Vehicle in CO

On the flipside, if you plan to buy a vehicle with a salvage title, there are also things you should know about Colorado…

 

    1. When you buy a salvage title vehicle you pay Colorado state sales tax.
    2. You have to pay for transport of the vehicle.
    3. The junkyard must give you the vehicle title, so that you can register it.
    4. To register a salvage auto, You have to have a certified inspector perform an inspection to certify the vehicle is safe to drive.
    5. Registration is done at any Colorado DMV and requires a title, photo ID, and certified inspectors report.
    6. Provide your Vin, fill out the forms, and pay the fee.

For more info and rules from the Colorado DMV on salvage titles, click here.

What to Know About Salvage Yards in Colorado Before You Go

Colorado as beautiful as it is, has some really tricky weather to contend with. There can be blistering heat and deep freezing snow. Not to mention trying to remove an engine in high altitude. For any Colorado junkyard you must dress prepared for the time of year. The right tools are also important at a pick and pull, but so is surviving the elements.

 

My recommendations for any CO vehicle salvage yard:

  • Wear the right clothes for the time of year
  • Bring water and even have extra in your car
  • Take Sunglasses and a hat even in the cold
  • Sun screen even in the winter if you think will be out for extended periods
  • Mechanic style gloves for gripping on parts
  • Hand warmers and winter gloves for winter
  • Boots, preferably steel toe (maybe even put on your wool socks)
  • Deicer for winter (good for pulling parts, but also so you don’t get stuck there)
  • Battery operated fan for the summer
  • Tools and someone to help you if you are pulling and engine or transmission.

Junkyards in Colorado Conclusion

Second hand parts have a lot of benefits with the top one being saving money. Knowing the ins and outs of used parts, how junkyards work, and buying or selling salvage vehicles can help you maximize your junkyard visit. No matter what yard you visit in CO, having the right tools is important, but so is dressing for the weather. This is what I have learned from junkyards in Colorado.