What Scrap Metals Can Be Found In A Car?

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

Dissecting A Car for Scrap Metal

Pulling pieces and parts from a car can help you come across a variety of types of metals, below are some of the most common scrap metals you will pull or will be recycled from a car.


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

aluminum in carsAluminum

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


Used often for electronics, wiring harness, and the battery, copper wire is often found through 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 the exhaust on a car 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 scrapFound in the wheels weights of the car, Lead is used to keep the cars tires balanced while driving. They can often be take off from the aluminum rims and sold separately for scrap. Also the battery inside your car is lead-based and can be quite heavy, so be sure to scrap those separately, without taking them apart.

Platinum & Palladium

While they seem like very rare metals, they are very common in cars. Found within the catalytic converter, platinum and palladium help the emissions of the car reduce the pollution while running the engine. They are very valuable metals and are difficult to process separately so it is best to sell your catalytic converter to the right person to recycle 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 yourself or just interested in the types of metals that make up your favorite ride, there is a lot of scrap items that can be found just within a car. Be sure to separate everything before heading to the scrap yard. Also check the iScrap App locations in your area to make sure that they take all of the scrap metals that you have.

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