Planning To Sell Your Car For Scrap? What Should You Salvage First?

12 August 2015
 Categories: , Blog

If you have an old car or truck that is nearing the end of its useful life, you may not want to go through the hassle of trying to fix it to sell on the private market. Maybe you are considering selling it to a scrap yard for a fixed per-pound cost. However, doing so without taking careful inventory of parts that are much more valuable than the per-pound salvage rate could mean leaving money on the table. Read on to learn more about the items you may wish to salvage car parts and repurpose or sell them before selling your vehicle to a scrap yard.

Catalytic converter

Car lots and parking garages in high-crime areas frequently report catalytic converter thefts, and for good reason -- these emissions devices contain small amounts of platinum and other precious metals that can make them quite valuable. Removing the catalytic converter and selling it separately can net you $100 or more while barely making a dent in the weight (and scrap price) of your vehicle. 


If your car's battery is relatively new, you may want to remove it after arriving at the scrap yard. Used car batteries won't sell at the same premium charged for new batteries, but you'll likely be able to get a few more dollars than you'd receive if the battery was processed as scrap. You might want to inquire at independent, small auto repair shops in your area to see if any have interest in purchasing gently-used car batteries. 

Air conditioning compressor

If you've ever had your a/c compressor break, you may already know that the replacement and labor costs to install a new a/c compressor can be staggering. Selling your a/c compressor on the private market can fetch a relatively high price from auto owners who need a functioning heating and cooling system but don't want to pay dealership repair prices. 


If your vehicle is relatively late-model, it likely includes a number of valuable electronics -- including the global positioning system (GPS). You may be able to install this GPS on another vehicle or sell it; meanwhile, it has very little value as scrap, and its removal won't affect the price paid for your vehicle. 

By removing each of these items before having your vehicle appraised at the scrap yard, you may be able to double -- or more -- the amount you expected to receive from recycling and repurposing a defunct vehicle.