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Parting Out: Making the Most Out of Your Junker

You might not know much about cars, but anyone can figure out the basics of parting out if it means making a little money from an otherwise useless junk car. If you’ve got an old junker sitting around in your garage just taking up space, you might not realize how much you can actually make by selling it piece by piece.

You could call a junk yard and get it hauled away, of course—that would be the easiest solution. But parting out your car will make you more money than most scrap yards are willing to give, and if you’re willing to learn something new, you might even have fun while you tear your old car apart.

Where do I Start?

Before you dive under the hood of your car and start pulling engine pieces out, take some time to learn a little about your car. Every make organizes their engines a little differently, so look through some owner’s manuals or consult with a friend who knows cars.

Clear out a work station in a garage or shop and make sure you won’t need the space for a while. It might take longer than you think to sell all the parts you want to, and you don’t want to be pushed for time or space.

Once you pull the pieces out, store them in a safe, cool, dry place.

Post the parts on eBay, craigslist, or other local listings. Be ready to deal with the politics of bidding on eBay, shipping costs, PayPal, and customers who try to haggle prices with you.

How Much Will It Go For?

Some parts will definitely bring in more cash than others, but specific values depend on the car’s make and model. Here are a few average prices:

·         Fenders: $20

·         Bumper covers: $40

·         Radiator: $80

·         Fuel tank: $50

·         Mufflers: $20

·         Engine computer: $100

·         Throttle body: $15

·         Ignition switch: $25

·         Rear deck speakers: $14

·         Air-filter box: $10

·         Alternator: $10

·         Hazard lights switch: $5

·         Window regulators: $25

Don’t forget about the body of the car. Once you’ve parted out the inner workings (and doors, windows, etc.), sell the scrap metal to an iron scrap yard that will pay pennies by the pound—it’ll add up fast!

Alternative Solutions

If you feel like taking your car apart is too much hassle or too difficult, you have other options.

·         If you still want to part out, put the car’s information up on the listings but make it clear that any buyers will have to take the parts out themselves.

Many people, especially mechanically-minded people, will still jump at the chance to get a few cheap parts. You might have to bill them a little cheaper since they have to do the manual labor themselves, but you’ll still be able to get rid of most of your junker that way.

·         Sell the car to a car enthusiast. Advertise your junk car as a single package; someone will probably be willing to buy the whole thing. He’ll probably turn around and part it out himself, or if it’s in decent condition, fix it up and sell it for profit. But at least you’ll have some cash in your pocket too!

·         Sell the car as a whole. Most scrap yards will pay for junk cars, and you won’t have to deal with auctioning off the engine and scrap metal to the highest bidder on Craigslist. If you decide to sell the whole vehicle at once, find a salvage yard that will be able to sell the parts to other customers, instead of just a junkyard that will use your car to fill a landfill (Information Credit: MessyMotors.com).

Call various scrap and salvage yards in your area and see what kinds of deals you can get. Parting out will probably still be your best bet, but if it’s not worth the time and effort to you, one of these options will put a little cash in your pocket too.

Whatever route you choose, know that your junker car is worth more to you if you’ll take the time to get it taken care of. Dive in, learn something new, and walk away with an empty garage and a heavier wallet.

Written on Thursday, July 24, 2014 by
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