An auto parts recycler, or scrap yard, can be a great place to find rare car parts and parts that are much cheaper than those on store shelves. When your car needs new parts, or you're looking to recycle old car parts you have, note a few misconceptions you might have about an auto parts recycler so you know what to expect and what questions to ask before you show up at their yard.
What isn't available
You may know that an auto parts recycler won't necessarily have every part you need in stock, as they're limited to the makes and models of cars that are brought to them. However, it's also good to consider that some car parts may not be legally available for resale. This can include batteries and other electrical parts, airbags, seatbelts and certain parts needed for the brake lines. Always call ahead to ask about any part you need rather than assuming it will be available, especially if it's hazardous or something that keeps you safe when driving.
What they want
Automotive parts recyclers don't necessarily want every used part that's available, even if it's in good working order; this can include the parts they can't resell, mentioned above. They may also already have a large inventory of certain parts or find that there isn't much demand for parts from some car makes and models. If you're thinking of bringing your own used parts in to resell, always call ahead of time to see if they want that part and to note any other requirements, such as how the part should be cleaned or bagged.
How they get their parts
Never assume that you have a high risk of buying stolen parts when you shop at an auto parts recycler. Many recyclers take great pains to ensure the ownership of a vehicle they receive to strip down and for individual parts that are brought to their yard; you may even be required to show photo identification if you want to sell your own parts.
These recyclers may also have strict licensing requirements to own and operate such a yard; their license requirements may include instruction on ways to spot a stolen vehicle or stolen parts. Most, if not all, recyclers will also get notifications from law enforcement about stolen vehicles to watch out for, and they will also know how to check a vehicle's identification number to note if it's been reported as stolen.