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Used Parts save Money and the Environment

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Used Parts save Money and the Environment

Ronnie Tanner
May 27, 2009

When it’s time to repair your car, one of the best things you can do to save money and protect the environment is to investigate the option of used parts to fix your vehicle. Years ago, junk yards, as they used to be called, were nothing more than graveyards for unwanted vehicles, places where non-operative vehicles sat rusting away. Today nothing could be further from the truth. The correct term for these places today is auto recycler, and the name is a great description for what happens there.

Many years ago, no one would have considered the idea of purchasing a used part to repair a vehicle except when there was no other option. Today the value of used parts is a concept with which everyone needs to be familiar. What makes this such a good value for almost all parts that need to be replaced? There are several reasons why with some forethought utilizing the availability of a used part can be a smart choice.

Most vehicles that find their way to auto recyclers now are usually late model vehicles that have been involved in an accident of some sort. Even those automobiles that have had a severe mechanical failure still may have parts that are in excellent working order and have plenty of miles left on them. When an insurance company totals an automobile after it has been involved in an accident, the insurance company then sells the now salvage vehicle to an auto recycler in order to recover some its loss. In turn, the auto recycler then begins the process of first removing any parts that have not been damaged in the accident.

These parts are then inventoried into a computer and many times the parts are housed inside a storage facility. After having removed all usable parts, the auto recycler then removes and drains any hazardous materials from the automobile. This is where the benefit to the environment comes into play. Most people do not realize just how many hazardous materials are actually in and on a vehicle. These hazardous products can range from Freon in the air conditioner to mercury contained in some lights and switches on a vehicle. If these materials are not removed from the vehicle in a safe manner and disposed of properly, they find their way back into our water and air.

Most auto recyclers today are specially certified by state and federal environmental agencies in the safest ways to remove and handle these waste products. Once all usable parts and dangerous substances have been removed from the vehicle, the parts that are left, usually just the metal body, are then crushed and the metal recycled into to new cars and parts. So far, the metal recovered from salvage automobiles has resulted in preserving hundreds of tons of raw iron and other precious metals that are a non-renewable resource.

As far as monetary savings on used parts well that’s easy. Parts bought from an auto recycler are usually a third of the price of buying one new from the dealership. In addition, most parts purchased from the auto recycler have been tested and usually come with a warranty. The internet has also made it much easier to locate these parts. If your mechanic does not offer this a choice, ask him why. Or ask if you can locate the part yourself and have it delivered directly to him. Today most mechanics are quite willing to go this route, especially you offer to track the part down yourself. Just be sure to ask if the company you are ordering from offers a warranty on your particular part. You may also want to look carefully at the warranty yourself before you give over any credit card information. As with anything ordered from the internet, do your homework on the company and check to see if they are members of the Better Business Bureau. With just a little bit of time and effort, used parts can save big money and contribute to the welfare of our planet, and those are things everyone can feel good about.

Ronnie Tanner is a contributing writer at Quality Auto Parts. He writes about used car parts and other industry specific topics.

Source: Amazines.com

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