If you are trying to keep a Saturn on the road, parts are getting harder to find. When GM dissolved Saturn in 2009, soon after auto salvages become the prime place for spare parts for Saturn. The other option of course is compatible GM vehicles manufactured around the same time. Below, I will cover where to find junked Saturn vehicles, how the yards operate, and my experience with Saturn junkyards near me.
Map of Saturn Junkyards Near Me
For “Saturn Junkyards Near Me” or “Saturn Salvage Yards Near Me”, see the map below…
How Do the Saturn Junkyards Near Me Work?…
Salvage yards for automobiles are run like any local business. There business model is however more like a thrift shop. At these businesses they buy junked vehicles and then sell all the remaining functional parts from them. Some yards will pull the parts and sell them online or in a warehouse, while other places you go and pull parts yourself. Places where you pull your own parts will charge a few bucks for an entrance fee. You bring your own tools, pull the parts you need, and only pay for what you take.
How Do Saturn Vehicles End up at the Junkyard
Every junkyard is slightly different, but they all have some commonalities. This is particularly true for how they get their vehicle inventory. The two most common inventory suppliers are the general public/junk car buyers and insurance companies.
When a vehicle comes from the public, someone is junking their vehicle because it is no longer functional or worth the cost of repair. Vehicles that come from insurance companies have been in accidents and the insurance company sells the vehicle to off set paying out a claim. There are other places where a junked Saturn would come from such as: auctions, impounds, and businesses.
How a Saturn Gets Processed by the Salvage Yards Near Me
When a Saturn, or any vehicle, arrive at a junkyard they don’t just throw it out on the lot. first the vehicle needs to be processed in order for the salvo to meet environmental regulations and extract the maximum value out of it.
Some of the steps involved include draining the major fluids like anti freeze, gas, oil, and wiper fluid. Some of the fluids like oil get recycled, while other fluids like wiper fluid, get rebottled and resold. Other processing includes pulling parts. For example the battery will get pulled out, recharged, and resold. Other parts that corrode fast when left outside like an alternator, get extracted and then resold. You may even find some yards that pull the engine, rebuild it, and resell it with a warranty.
What Kind of Saturn Models Can I Find at Salvage Yards?…
Salvage yards are a mixed bag, some are organized real well, while others…not so much. At a general junkyard you will find Saturn models, but you typically won’t find a Saturn section or even a GM section. These models will be mixed in with everything else. Any lot you go to that is mid to large size, you can find some Saturns. Here are some of the models I’ve come across at the Saturn junkyards near me.
- Vue and Vue Hybrid
- 1990’s S-Series (SC, SL, SW)
- 2000’s L-Series (L200, L300)
- Aura and Aura Hybrid
I have seen tons of 90’s Saturns and early 2000’s in my scavenging. While some of the design elements changed over the years alot of the mechanical parts remained the same. That makes finding parts a bit easier because you can jump from one generation to the next.
While finding the replacement parts you specifically need at a salvage can be tough, the best option to check on the internet or call your local salvo. Some places will have their inventory online you can check.
If the place isn’t near you, you can call them, have them pull the part and ship it. More often then not, I just call ahead and ask specific questions, You can ask questions like: “Do you have any first gen Saturns with dual overhead cam engines and what condition are they in?”, “Do you have any ’97 Saturn coupes with the headlights still intact?”, “Do you have a 2000 Opel Vectra, that I could pull parts from for a 2000’s Saturn?”
What Kind of Used Saturn Parts Will I Find at Salvage Yards?…
While you won’t find lots of Saturns…like you will Hondas, when you do find them, you can certainly find salvageable parts. Common parts include panels, fenders, dashboards, gauges, seats, doors, mirrors, single and dual cam engines, I4 engine, old Z bodies, intakes, exhausts, etc…While there are many parts that are worth salvaging, some parts you should never pull, see a list here.
What Happens After a Saturn Gets Stripped of Parts?
Once a vehicle is stripped of it’s functional parts, what remains will depend on how the junkyard is run. A well maintained auto salvage will have the vehicle crushed and then sell it for scrap metal. This is how they squeeze the last bot of profit out of it. This practice also makes room in the yard for new junked vehicle inventory to come in. If you are curious about what parts are recyclable, read this.
Not all yards manage this process very well and they just let the frames sit and rust on the lot. This makes the lots feel cluttered and makes it harder to find what you need.
Buying Used Saturn Parts at Junkyards
Pros of Buying Used Saturn Parts at Junkyards
Saving money is clearly the number one reason to buy used parts. You can save significantly versus buying new. In the case of Saturn’s though, used is likely your only option anyway. If you are curious what kind of prices you may come across I’ve seen doors for $40, mirrors for $10, alternators for $18, and batteries for $12. I’ve even seen a gen 1 S Series engine for $250 and it still ran.
The next best thing about parts a junkyard is the ability to get a warranty. Not all yards offer one, but some will allow you to pay a few extra bucks to get a 30 day warranty. This will allow you to exchange the part or get a credit if the part doesn’t work. While you shouldn’t pay for a warranty on a fender, you should opt for one on any mechanical part that you feel is expensive.
The other thing I love is that you are pulling OEM pieces. These parts you are pulling are GM factory installed. You will find after market parts, but mostly everything you find will have been assembled by GM.
Cons of Buying Used Saturn Parts Cheap
Of course used parts come with risk. These vehicles were in accidents and/or have been junked for a reason. You have no idea what the previous owner did to this vehicle or if they road it into the ground.
Sometimes the junkyard itself is a con. If you are visiting an auto salvage that isn’t organized, then you can walk around all day and not find your parts. Some smaller yards have terrible customer service and don’t even know what they have in the yard and what condition they are in.
Resources for Saturn Vehicles
- Saturn: Everything You Need to Know – Car & Driver Mag
- SaturnFans.com Forum
- GM Authority Forum
- Reddit r/SaturnAuto
Saturn Junkyards Near Me – Wrap Up
Saturn junkyards, scrap yards, and auto salvages are the absolute best place to save money on parts. While you won’t find an exclusive Saturn auto salvage, you can certainly find these vehicles on many lots. As time goes on these cars are going to get picked apart and you will start seeing less and less as they were discontinued in 2009. While you can find some parts still online, in my opinion your best place to look and save money is the junkyard. That’s what I’ve learned from the Saturn junkyards near me.