What Metals Can You Scrap From A Car?

Whether selling your whole car or taking it apart for scrap, knowing what materials and common scrap metals can be found inside the average vehicle is essential. The iScrap App Team discusses some common metals and materials in a car. Many people know that cars are mostly made of steel, but plenty of other metals, including platinum, make up essential parts of a car.

Common Types of Automotive Scrap Metal

Pulling pieces and parts from a car can help you find various types of metals. Below are some of the most common scrap metals you will pull or recycle from a car.

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The majority of a car’s body is made of steel. While some items, like bumpers and grills, are made of plastic or rubber, the doors, hoods, trunks, and frames are steel. Steel is durable and strong enough for both safety and wear on the car, although some newer cars use aluminum for the frames.


While it may seem like a weak metal to put in cars compared to the bendable aluminum gutters on your house, cast aluminum is found throughout a vehicle, it is usually used within the engine and can withstand heat and friction from its moving parts. It also makes up the Aluminum Rims of the car, doors, and hoods.


Copper wire is often used for electronics, wiring harnesses, and the battery. It is also found in a car, passing along important signals through the car’s safety system, radio, computer, and more. Copper is also found within the starters and alternators.

Stainless Steel

Occasionally, a car’s exhaust may be made from stainless steel. The easiest way to check is with a magnet. If it doesn’t stick, you probably have stainless steel.

lead wheel weights for scrap


Lead is found in the car’s wheel weights and is used to keep the car’s tires balanced while driving. Lead can often be removed from the aluminum rims and sold separately for scrap. Also, the battery inside your vehicle is lead-based and heavy, so be sure to scrap those separately without taking them apart.

Platinum & Palladium

While they seem rare, they are ubiquitous in cars. Found within the catalytic converter, platinum and palladium help the car’s emissions reduce pollution while running the engine. They are precious metals and are challenging to process separately. So, selling your catalytic converter to the right person is best for recycling the metals properly. Some people feel the need to try to take them apart, however it is not a good idea because you will often lose money with your scrap yard. It is easiest to bring your catalytic converters into the yard with the ends on them so the yard knows what kind of car they are from.

Gather Your Scrap & Separate It

Whether you are scrapping your car or just interested in the types of metals that make up your favorite ride, many scrap items can be found within a vehicle. Be sure to separate everything before heading to the scrap yard. Also, check the iScrap App locations in your area to ensure they take all of your scrap metals.