Reasons To Use and Not To Use a Recycler

photo courtesy of NohoDamon @ creative commons

We can think of at least four great reasons to use a salvage yard or a recycler:

  1. You can often save a bundle of cash.
  2. Every time you use a part from a recycler, you're helping to save the environment.
  3. When you buy a used part, you're generally buying an original equipment manufacturer part.
  4. You're buying a part that's been field-tested! (Okay, maybe this last reason is a little lame. But, all the other parts on your car are used, right? Why run the risk of incompatibility and rejection?!)

Of course, we can also think of four great reasons not to use a recycler, including:

  1. Many junkyards — oops, we meant "recyclers" are patrolled by rabid Dobermans, are owned by guys named Butch who swing crowbars first and ask questions later, and are populated mostly by teeming colonies of tetanus bacteria.
  2. You might lug home a 400-pound part only to discover that it doesn't work.
  3. You might install that 400-pound part... and then discover that it doesn't work.
  4. You might get your chinos dirty.

All of the statements on both lists are true, of course. And your likelihood of success varies from recycler to recycler. 

Not all recyclers are created equal. Like any other business, there are reputable guys who run well-organized operations... and there are unscrupulous, disorganized characters who see only dollar signs when a customer wanders in the door. Some recyclers will meticulously remove and inventory parts...while others will leave everything to rust in the north 40.