Automotive Salvage Yard – The Junkyard

Automotive Salvage Yard – The Junkyard

Billy Alexander on Free Images

Junkyards are Cool

I remember as a kid, my first experience with junkyards was when I wasn’t even school age yet.

My dad has this really cool International Harvester pickup truck. We’d pile into the truck and go to the junk yard to get rid of stuff we didn’t need.

I remember it being the coolest place ever! There was a lot of broken stuff around, but some of it was old cars. I thought the place was a big playground and I wanted to go and explore it.

Brian Tan on Free Images

Junk yards or Salvage yards as they are called now, are places where people get rid of their old tires, metal items, stoves, refridgerators, washing machines, dryers, pipes, metal tire rims, cars, trucks, lawnmowers and all other sorts of stuff that can be recycled, such as old auto parts.

Even if the vehicle doesn’t run anymore, there are still parts that may still work really well. You can reuse alternators, radiators, batteries, tires (sometimes they’re new), wiring, headlights, doors, hoods, bumpers, wiper motors and other parts. The people at the salvage yard will remove the parts and test them to make sure that they are in good working order and resell them at a lower price.

If I’m short on funds, and I need a starter (to turn the engine over in the car) or an alternator (which charges the battery), then I can go to my local junkyard to find the part. Usually I call them first to make sure they have one in stock. 

There is a place where you can search all junkyards. You can also have a part sent to your local junkyard to pick up especially if you’re looking for something like a red driver’s door or a blue mirror. I call this place the Junkyard Site.

If you have a car that needs to go to the junkyard and it doesn’t run and you have no way to get it there… did you know that some Salvage yards will pay you to give them the vehicle? They come and pick up the vehicle and tow it away.  It must have a valid title in order to do that and you have to sign it over to them. (They can help you do that if you don’t know how.)


I live close to one junkyard. I have two that I will use, but one more than the other.

I usually go to that particular one, because I know people there I have built a relationship with. When I go, I can shoot the breeze for a few and then get down to business.

I’ve gotten used auto parts, tires (only in case of dire need and little cash), I picked up a few tail light lens, and some other stuff.  My Local Junkyard has everything I need.  I even had to have my Taurus wagon towed away by them, when she had to be retired due to the rear main seal (for oil) that went bad.

If you get rid of your car to the junkyard, make sure you get a receipt from them. Make 3 copies! One for your records, one for the town hall and one for Motor Vehicle (Registry, ect).  In Connecticut, we have to show the town hall and Motor Vehicle that receipt to prove that we no longer own the car, so that we can be taken off the tax rolls. (We pay car taxes twice a year on each of our vehicles.)  

The salvage yards will also take hazardous materials at different times of the year. These are things like engine coolant, refrigerant (A/C units, refridgerators), computers, laptops, certain types of electronics, and other things that fall into that category.

Do you have any questions or comments? Please leave them below as I check back often.  Thanks for visiting!

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10 responses to “Automotive Salvage Yard – The Junkyard”

  1. I had no idea that salvage yards reuse so many useful parts like alternators, batteries, headlights, and other parts. The workers at the salvage yard will make sure to test the parts to be sure they are in good working order and then will sell them at lower price. Also, I did not know that if you have a car that does not run and you want to take it to the junk yard, salvage yards will often pay for your vehicle and will even come and pick up the vehicle for you! This would be really helpful for my brother because he has an older car that no longer starts and is just sitting in the driveway.

    • Hi Elsa,

      I’m glad you learned something from that article. If he can’t drive it to the Junkyard, call around to see which one will pick up and how much they’d be willing to pay for it. He will also have to sign over the title to them.

  2. This is some really good information about vehicle salvage. It is good to know that it would be smart to have a valid title in order to take it to a junkyard. That is a good thing for you to know beforehand.

  3. I never took into account that even if a car isn’t working, some of it’s parts could be. Recently, I purchased a newer car, so I’ve been wondering what to do with my old one. This article has really inspired me to sell my car to a salvage yard, so thank you for sharing it.

  4. IV Hydration says:

    Thank you for sharing your expertise with us! looking forward to more of your future post!!!

  5. I have an old car that won’t start and it is just sitting in my driveway and rusting away. I am so glad that I found this article because I didn’t realize that an auto wrecking company will not only pay you for your vehicle but also come and tow it for you! This would save me a lot of time and would make it cost-effective to get rid of my car. Also, I appreciate the advice that you say to make sure you have your title to give the wrecking company and to get a receipt to keep on record after you sell them the car.

    • Rosie, you have to be able to take the car off the tax dole – if you pay car taxes in your state, so a receipt is necessary for that. Make a copy for yourself as sometimes they may try to bill you for the same car later down the road years later. (Personal experience.) Glad I could be of help. 😀

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