Salvage Yard Etiquette: 3 Things You Need To Know

If you have an older car that's in need of a new part, then you might want to start by looking at a salvage yard. Often times, salvage yards carry parts from older models of vehicles; sure, the parts may be used, but you can often get them at a heavily discounted price. Before you head to your local salvage yard and start looking around, however, there are some basic etiquette tips you need to keep in mind and follow.

Most Don't Offer Refunds

First of all, understand that most salvage yards don't offer refunds on their parts for any reason. You're taking a risk (a small one, due to the low prices) by purchasing a used part from them, as they typically have no viable means to test a part before selling it. Therefore, if it doesn't work in your car, or even if you realize after the fact that you bought the wrong part, you're not going to be able to get your money back. However, if you're polite with the owner and explain your situation, you might be able to get the equivalent of "store credit."

Don't Be Surprised By Admission Fees

Secondly, realize that it's not uncommon for salvage yards to charge a fee for admission. Typically, this is a very small fee (maybe a couple dollars), but it is something that you'll be expected to pay, so be sure to have cash on you (many salvage yards don't have credit card processing machines). After all, salvage yards don't make a ton of money on their older used car parts, so a small admission charge for each person who comes through to peruse the available parts can help them stay in business.

Be Careful Handling Parts

Finally--and this may seem obvious, but it's a common problem in salvage yards--have some respect when trying to obtain a part for your car. You may very well have to grab the part yourself and climb over another salvaged vehicle to do so. Don't damage other parts in an effort to get the one you need. If you don't know how to grab a part out of a car yourself, ask a member of the staff to assist you. He or she will be happy to do so if it means keeping other parts intact.

Buying used parts at a salvage yard is an excellent way to save money on your next car repair. Check out yards like Teddy Bears Auto Parts & Salvage Inc to get started. Just be sure to keep these tips in mind.