Taking your junked car to an auto parts recycler, or bringing in your old parts after you make your own auto repairs, can keep those parts out of landfills and also support your local economy. Recycling auto parts is usually very labor-intensive work, so supporting that industry can mean supporting local jobs, a concern for many people. Before you do take your old car or old parts to a recycler, however, you might want to give them a call or check their website carefully and find out about a few simple questions. This will ensure you know what's involved and don't face any surprises once you arrive.
1. Ask if they're currently in the market for your make and model of parts
Don't assume that an auto recycler wants every single type of part, as a recycler doesn't always know the parts they're going to be getting in from one day to the next. They may have an overabundance of certain parts this week, and won't be taking any of the same part until there is room on their shelves. Check their website to see if they note any parts they don't need, or call ahead to ensure they're in the market for your part in particular. This can be especially important for larger parts; this will save you the hassle of hauling that engine block, radiator, or other cumbersome piece in to the recycler's yard, only to find that they don't need it at that time.
2. Note if you should strip and clean the part, or not
When bringing in a junked car, the auto parts recycler may not require you to do anything but remove your personal items from it. However, when bringing in individual parts, you may wonder if you should drain the fluids and oils from the parts, but note that the recycler may actually do that and be able to dispose of the fluids in a safe and legal manner. You might also assume the parts be stripped of belts and hoses and other secondary parts, but not always. Those belts, hoses, bearings, and other such pieces may be critical to the function of the part you're recycling, so they may need to stay attached so the part can be resold. Always ask or check their website for instructions so you know what to do with spare parts before you bring them in, or if you should do nothing to them at all and leave all the secondary parts and pieces attached.