Before tech savvy salvage yards started listing their vehicle inventories on their business websites, the only way to find out if a junkyard had the car you needed a part from was to call the business and ask. Looking on the internet is faster, but let’s face it, you’re not looking to buy an entire salvage car; you want to buy a particular part from the car. How do you know if the vehicle has the component you need?
Unfortunately, there’s not a simple answer, and the reason why has to do with time, money, and logistics. If large salvage yards sent an employee out to do a parts check for every parts request that came in, they’d need to hire quite a few more employees just to do the checking.
Hiring those extra hands would force salvage yards to raise the price of parts and offer less cash for junk vehicles, which would erode the value proposition of doing business with them. It wouldn’t be good for Killeen salvage yards, and it wouldn’t be good for your wallet. So, you’re in the position of having to assess whether the part you need is still attached to the vehicle. There are three ways to make an educated decision.
1. Ask when the online inventory was last updated
First, make sure the vehicle is still in the salvage yard. Because it directly impacts customer service, most Killeen salvage yards are vigilant about keeping their inventory updated by the day, but you don’t know until you ask. If the inventory was updated in the last 24 hours, there’s a slim chance that all of the vehicle’s parts have sold and it’s no longer in the yard.
2. Ask when the vehicle was placed in the salvage yard
Most Killeen salvage yards keep a record of when vehicles were placed in the yard. They can usually give you the information with a few clicks of a mouse. If the car you need a component from was recently inventoried (e.g. in the past week), there’s a strong chance that most of the parts are still there. But you’re interested in that one particular part. Proceed to step three.
3. Ask about the popularity of the part you need
Some replacement parts tend to be more popular than others. For example, most cars don’t need new axles or engine coolant reservoirs as often as they require new starters and batteries. But that’s a general assessment. You can get more specific by using the internet to research which parts on your make and model are replaced most often. If you need a part that’s low on the replacement list, there’s a good chance you’ll find it on the vehicle.
You can also quiz the person who answers the parts hotline about how quickly the part you need tends to sell. If the part sells like hotcakes or rarely sells, the parts specialist will probably know. Taking these three steps doesn’t guarantee success, but it can also help you make your first trip to the salvage yard your only trip.
One of the leading Texas salvage yards for parts availability and cash offers made for used and end-of-life vehicles, Wrench-A-Part has locations in Austin, Belton, Holland, and Lubbock, and proudly serves surrounding areas. To inquire about our inventory or services, call our closest location, or send us an email through our contact form.