9 High Value Auto Parts for Scrap Recycling

What Are The Most Valuable Parts On A Car To Scrap?

“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” This old saying is significant with vehicles. You have your old boring car, but someone else is looking for such a car for reasons better known to them. You could have an old car and think of trashing it off in a junkyard and getting some dollars. However, there is a better way of generating more money from such a car than taking it to a junkyard. 

You must remove the valuable items from the car and sell each piece separately. The work might be tedious and take time, but you will get much more than you thought the scrap could generate. This article will guide you through the most valuable items in your scrap car and how much they can generate for you. 

Catalytic Converters 

Catalytic converters were invented following the US Clean Air Act in 1975. The law required all vehicles from the year to have catalytic converters and cut their emissions by 75%. Since its invention, all cars have been required to have this component. The primary function of catalytic converters is to reduce harmful gases that vehicles emit. They reduce the gases by minimizing the toxic gases produced by cars. 

Hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxide are the leading gases that catalytic converters control. The gases are a health and environmental threat, and science has linked these gases to global warming. With all the benefits of catalytic converters, it qualifies to be a component that will always interest thieves whenever they invade a car. In the United States, the police receive approximately 4,000 cases of catalytic converter theft every year. 

Suggested Reading: Selling Your Catalytic Converter for the Most Money

On average, a new catalytic converter costs $2,000. Therefore, it would be advisable to scrap your catalytic converter and sell it to RRCats regardless of your location. Remember that selling a catalytic converter in some states is against the law. The EPA states that it is against the law for any vehicle owner to remove a catalytic converter. 

However, if your car is not in good condition and requires the replacement of most parts, you may scrap the catalytic converter to RRCats. In most cases, catalytic converters are made from expensive metals such as platinum, rhodium, and palladium. 

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Aluminum Rims 

Aluminum Rims - scrap metal prices

Remove those aluminum rims carefully once you have decided to sell your old car. You will find individual buyers to purchase them. The rims are valuable since they are aluminum; you may get several dollars. To make a reasonable amount from the rims, ensure they have been well-kept and in good condition. When selling your car rims separately, you might think they are worthless. However, suppose you target to sell them to car enthusiasts or modification specialists. In that case, you may end up with a lot of money. In such an instance, you must talk to different buyers, bargain the prices, and determine the best price. 

Suggested Reading: 7 Common Types of Aluminum Scrap

Aluminum Radiators

Dirty AL Radiators - scrap metal prices

The radiator in your vehicle typically contains a high amount of aluminum. The aluminum makes it worth selling separately when you finally scrap your vehicle. The radiator is easy to remove, and you will not require an expert. It is located right up front, behind the car grille. You can readily sell your separate radiator in a car parts recycling facility or a scrap yard. When removing the radiator, drain all the remaining coolant and dispose of it accordingly. 

Suggested Reading: Different Grades of Aluminum & How They Are Used

Engine Blocks

dirty aluminum scrap metal and engine blocks

A car engine is one of the most valuable parts you will want to scrap separately. If you are having problems with your old car’s engine, the thought of replacing it is pretty misleading. A car engine is quite expensive, and a way that will help is turning around and scrapping it at your local yard. If your engine has been well kept and is in working condition, you would quickly sell it to someone looking to replace their car engine that matches what you have. 

Do not worry if your engine has stopped working; it will still bring you some value. Since engines contain aluminum, they can still be scrapped regardless of their condition. Do not disregard any aluminum found on your car. The type of metal is more expensive than steel, and it can bring tremendous benefits whenever you decide to scrap your old car. 

Engines are valuable parts of the vehicle and can be beneficial. However, they must be prepared before reselling. You will need to remove the engine from the car, drain all the fluids from it, and transport it to the junkyard or the buyer, which may not be easy. You may need assistance from your mechanic. 

The function of a vehicle engine is to convert energy into motion. It burns the fuel in it to cause movement. Internal combustion creates large amounts of energy by expanding the gases. The engine then uses the power to move its valves, gears, and pistons. The engine then transports the energy into the transmission system, which supplies the energy to move and turn the wheels. 

If your engine has a failed part, an oil pump, spark plug, or piston will interfere with combustion and the workings of your engine and car. The engine will overheat, make unusual noises, and fail to start. 

All these engine functions confirm that the engine is a valuable part of a car. Rebuilding your car engine may cost up to $4,000, while purchasing a new one may cost $7,000. The vast amounts are an apparent reason why the engine is the first part you will need to consider reselling if you have an old car that needs scrapping

If your engine fails, you can consult repairs to bring it back to life. You can also sell it to manufacturers or rebuilders, and since used engines may cost relatively less than new ones, they may be cheaper. 

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Body Parts (doors, hoods)

A car door is another valuable part that can be very expensive to reassemble. When a car is damaged or hit, the doors may be damaged beyond repair and need replacement. Many body parts can be sold from a vehicle and bring value. There is always a ready market for door body parts, such as online markets and auto recyclers

If you wish to scrap your car, selling your hood will be a huge benefit. In a front-end collision, your car hood is likely to be affected. The function of hoods is to absorb impacts by crumpling. Therefore, too much damage may not be repairable. If your hood is in good shape, you can sell it to another car owner to replace his damaged one, and you will be paid for it. 


Alternators - scrap metal prices

Alternators are found in all vehicles. It contains a coiled copper wire inside. Their function is to convert mechanical energy into electrical energy. The new century automobiles use alternators to charge the battery and supply power to the electrical system when the engine is running. According to research conducted in August 2020, the average price of exporting an alternator in the US was $0.32 per LB. Not all scrap yards will accept if you want to scrap your alternator. You will most likely sell it to auto recyclers, and the selling price will vary depending on the size and weight. Therefore, you must determine which scrap yards accept alternators and their buying price before giving them away. 


Starters - scrap metal prices

Just like alternators, starters are found in all vehicles. They contain copper wire inside, which adds to their value. However, starters in cars have a short life, requiring frequent replacement. Therefore, you will need to occasionally scrap what you have to buy another one. Research conducted in 2020 revealed the average export price in the United States to be 0.24 dollars per Lb. Whenever you wish to scrap tour starters, look out for auto recyclers. You will need to find out the yards that accept scrap starters and their prices before you can engage any scrap yard. 

Engine Harness Wires

A wire harness is an assembly of all electrical wires found in a vehicle’s electrical parts. Typically, harness wiring contains many wires sheathed in an outer plastic cover to keep them together and serve their intended purpose. These wires run throughout the vehicle, connecting several components to make one system. Their function is to transmit electrical signals and power to several car units. Each wire has a specific color to mark its operation and function. 

You may anticipate scrapping your car and wonder where to sell the wiring separately. All scrap yards accept wiring of any vehicle type and can be taken as it is. However, you can earn more from the wiring by stripping the outer cover, leaving bare wires. If you remove the plastic cover, you will recover copper, a valuable metal. Although stripping the wires may be time-consuming and tedious, you may fetch more than if you sold with the cover. 

You might have accumulated a relatively large amount of wiring from your old cars, which might benefit you. Scrapping wiring of a single vehicle generates about 33-44 lbs of the wiring harness. 45% of the total weight is the copper content, while the remainder is the plastic covers and connector bodies. The wire harness is in high demand mainly because of the copper present in the wires. 

Car Batteries

There is always a unique way of scrapping each type of metal. A car battery is a sensitive piece of metal and should be handled carefully. Scrap batteries, particularly lead-acid batteries, are difficult to transport because they may break and spill off the acid if handled carelessly, causing many problems. Therefore, it is vital to wrap your battery properly when transporting it to scrap yards

Selling your used car battery is pretty straightforward, but it might be dangerous to the environment. Even if you sell it for reuse, it may not make more than $20. Besides, few scrap yards buy batteries because they have little to do with them, and they may store them and let them go somewhere. The best option with a battery is selling it for reuse or recycling. Before you can recycle, clean it with salt and distilled water. Cleaning will add more years to its life, appeal more to an interested buyer, and possibly give you a higher rate than you would get from a scrap yard.

The Bottom Line

There are a lot of car parts that retain their value even if the car gets old and is no longer working. Selling your old ride as a whole is okay, but if you have the skills, time, and proper tools, it would be greater if you kept aside all the car parts and sold them in single pieces. Finding the correct buyer and making the desired cash is also not easy. While you will make more money by parting the car parts and selling them separately, you may consider engaging a junk car company or an auto repair expert to help if you need a faster and easier solution. Some companies provide free towing speedy pick-up and may pay you on the spot for your scrap. 

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Therefore, you have the option of selling the entire car or getting your hands greasy, separating the parts, and selling them in pieces. You will also need to be extra careful when separating the parts to avoid spoiling or breaking some parts. Also, visit several scrap yards to determine the pieces they would be interested in and the amount they are willing to let go in exchange for them to ensure maximum benefit.

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