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My Top 10 Tips & Tricks for Pulling Parts from Auto Wreckers Near Me

CarPart  ·  August 6, 2021

My Top 10 Tips & Tricks for Pulling Parts from Auto Wreckers Near Me

Does searching for used car parts near you sound like an exhausting prospect? If all you’ve earned are nicks on the arms and a few spats with fellow customers in exchange for some cheap auto parts, then you’ve probably been doing it all wrong! 

Here are some tips and tricks that I’ve learned over the years of pulling parts from self-serve auto wreckers and which I’m sharing with you. 

The Best Way to Save on Car Parts from Auto Wreckers AND Have Fun!

Yes, having fun (short of parkour-ing all over the place) while finding parts you need is the secret. The thing is, you can’t have fun if you don’t know the steps. So, let me hand-hold you as we go through the correct steps (and attitude, I must say).

1. Shortlist the self-serve wreckers nearest you – The night before the big day, I make it a point to shortlist the wreckers near me. You can check yours using directories, or you may also refer to this list of wrecking yards in Melbourne if that’s where you live.

2. Search each prospect online – In other words, don’t venture into the unknown. You’ll want to know if their inventory has the car (make, model, and year) from which you wish to harvest parts. 

For instance, Jollys Wreckers in Geelong, Ringwood, Dandenong and Centre Road wreckers like Imlach, have systematic and user-friendly websites. If the yard you want to visit doesn’t have a website, then you can at least call them a day ahead.  

3. Be clear with your goals – Are you out on a mission to get only a couple of specific parts, or are you ready for some delightful finds? Your goal can be either of the two. If you want to get your hands on the exact parts you need in the shortest time, then that’s quite easy with an inventory confirmation and a map to the donor vehicle, and you’re in and out of the yard in no time. 

You can also do open-ended hunting or side missions that can take more time, as you poke around the yard for random items. While both can be satisfying, the latter will be more fun, with many surprising finds and aha moments!     

4. Wear the right clothes and protective outfit – You don’t want to leave the auto wreckers with scrapes and cuts all over you, so be wise to protect yourself. Take along with you a pair of mechanics gloves and wear a thick long-sleeved shirt and a good pair of sturdy shoes to protect you from shards of glass, nails and everything else. Goggles are a good idea too for protecting your eyes from rust that you dislodge from metal parts.

5. Don’t leave your house without the proper tools – You may find the right car and the exact part you need in perfect condition, but you have nothing without the tools to remove the part from the vehicle. So does it mean that you need to lug the whole toolshed with you? Nope! 

Since you know what part you need and from which car model and make, you should be familiar with the bolt and screw sizes used on most parts, so bring correspondingly-sized long and short screwdrivers, open-ended wrenches, adjustable wrenches, and pliers. 

Planning ahead, you can also watch a YouTube instructional on how to remove the part you intend to find, and take note of the tools used.

6. Know ahead which tools are not allowed in the junkyard – Spare yourself the trouble and misunderstandings – do not bringing cutting torches and other banned items into the wrecking yard.    

7. Have realistic expectations – You’re going on an adventure that involves wading through stacks of cars piled high, rusted by the elements, with parts that may have been harvested earlier by other customers. 

Expect to grease your elbows because removing rusted parts involves doggedness and skill. If you’re not in a rush and only looking around for anything that you might need in the future, you can leave your number and ask to be notified when a car of your particular model/make arrives in the yard. That way, you’ll have a higher chance of finding useful second-hand car parts.  

8. See if your car shares parts with other brands and models – Knowing this makes it easier to find alternate sources or donor cars. Like, did you know that your Kia Sportage was built on the same platform as a Hyundai Tucson? Can’t find a chassis for an Audi TT? Check out its sibling VW Touran! 

In Australia, especially, Holden cars share parts with some Ford, Daewoo, Opel, Toyota, and Nissan cars through badge-engineering and model-sharing schemes in the past. For instance, the Holden Nova LE series was based on Toyota Corolla 6th gen.

9. Be courteous and have the right attitude – Whether you’re rummaging for car parts in Brisbane, Melbourne, or Sydney, there’s an unwritten rule that everyone should abide by – be courteous to the wrecking yard staff and your fellow u-pull-it customers. 

If someone beats you to a car, be polite enough to wait till the other guy is done or at least ask if it’s all right for you to mine other parts simultaneously.   

10. Look beyond what you need now – Assuming that you’ve accomplished your mission without any event – no scuffles with the other guy over a tailgate; no gaping wound that calls for emergency stitching and anti-tetanus shot – it’s a good time to take a look around for other parts that you might need in the future. 

High-value items like a sporty grille or antique analog dashboard clock that you know a friend will pay for are just a few of what you can possibly find in a wrecking yard.

So like I said, you can make a dash to the auto wreckers near you, pull the parts you need, and leave with your find. If you follow my tips, your search will be effective and efficient.

You can also be more adventurous, with no well-laid agenda of the exact parts you need. You can spend more time and have fun poking around. Still, you need to follow the tips and general rules, do your homework about possible donor cars, and enjoy your day in the car parts junkyard.  

If Searching Parts in Junkyards Is NOT Your Kind of Fun

Now, if this is not what you have in mind and you need a used car part faster and easier – no tools, no driving to several self-serve wreckers in Australia, no wading through high piles of junk, no rushing to beat other customers – there’s another way.

What about this?

Fill out an online request form, describe the part you need, press Send Request, sit back, wait for quotes from wreckers near you or all across Australia, and pick the wreckers with the best quote.

If that sounds more like it, then why don’t you fill out this form and start getting a quote!


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