How-To: Scrapping A Car For Parts

Aluminum rims are recyclable

Scrappers and scrap yards have their scrap specialty divisions. Some examples are ferrous or non-ferrous metals, which focus only on electronic waste or deal with alloys and high-end metals. Another specialization in the industry is automotive or salvage scrap. For someone new to scrapping, auto parts and other materials from cars could be confusing and overwhelming.

Break It Down – Different Auto Parts for Recycling

Many pieces of a car or vehicle can be recycled for scrap metal. Here is a list of thed most typical items that many people will come across while scrapping. They are in order of the average scrap value from lowest to highest (per pound).

  1. Complete Cars – The mother of all salvage scrap is the vehicles themselves. While they mainly consist of steel, you can ask many scrap yards and auto wreckers to come by to pick up your car for scrap. If you can drive the vehicle to one of the locations and drop it off, it may save on trucking costs and put more money in your pocket. That said, see if you can sell any functioning parts privately for much more money than you would get while scrapping it.
  2. AL Engine Blocks – Many scrappers may come across an engine block with no life left, so it must be scrapped. The engine blocks usually consist of aluminum with steel running throughout it. Scrap yards may be able to pick this up from your location, but you will always make more money if you can bring it to them yourself.
  3. Lead Wheel Weights – On the inside of the wheels, there is usually a piece of lead a few inches long that helps balance your car while driving. They usually go for a little less than a base Lead price at most scrap yards because of the steel clips attached.
  4. Car Batteries – Car batteries should always be appropriately recycled. They can be scrapped at most scrap yards. They are easy to remove when installing a new one, and due to their heavy weight, you can get a good handful of cash when scrapping these. Some places where you buy your new car battery will take a deposit on the new battery until you return the old one.
  5. Starters/Alternators – These are not very common items to come across while scrapping, but these items will add up quickly if you are scrapping vehicles. Consisting of mostly copper, starters and alternators should be separated before going to the scrap yards or salvage yards.
  6. AL Rims – Aluminum Rims will be worth a higher aluminum price when scrapping these. They are common on most cars and can be around 25 pounds each. They can add up to some good scrapping cash with a set of four from a car. Ask your scrap yard how to dispose of the tires correctly.
  7. Catalytic converters – They are the highest-paying single scrap item on a car. Ranging from prices between $15-$200 each, catalytic converters are worth a good deal of money due to the platinum, rhodium, or palladium inside of them. Cut the catalytic converter out to make more money when scrapping a whole car.
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03/14/2024 04:36 am GMT

Not all scrap yards will accept auto scrap, so check with them before you head into their facility. If you are looking for auto wreckers in the area, you can use the new feature on the iScrap App to find auto wreckers from around the US & Canada.