Recycling a Junk Car? Here Are a Few Tips

Have an unwanted car sitting around the yard or garage? It might be an eyesore or a pile of cash in waiting. You will need to take a few simple steps to turn your old car into money.

Here are a few tips you may use when recycling a junk car:

• Make sure to remove all items of importance from the vehicle before salvage. Most recyclers aren’t gentle during the dismantling process and valuables left in the vehicle may find themselves discarded, incinerated or in the crusher.

• Confirm that the vehicle’s documentation is up to date and reflects correct ownership to avoid any potential legal issues down the road.

• Do a bit of research on the vehicle to ascertain its worth. Search on-line or speak with more knowledgeable friends as some vehicles may be in high demand for one reason or another, whether they be a classic model or have high value parts.

• Determine if it is better to sell the vehicle as a whole or as parts. At times, expediency is the enemy of profit. With some patience, mechanical aptitude, and entrepreneurial savvy, owners could become their own salvage yard by pulling down the vehicle and advertising the individual parts locally or on eBay.

• Consider an intermediary, such as a trusted mechanic or friend to handle the situation. Moving the vehicle to their location for either a full or part-by-part sale could cut down on any personal time spent having to manage the enquiries.

• Call around to get the best deal possible. Recyclers tend to pay by the weight.

• Search for a specialist. There may be salvage yards that specialize in the specific brand or model to be junked which may maximize the price.

• Look out for pick-up charges. It may cost to deliver, remove, or for the recycler to pick-up the car.

• Convert the vehicle to a tax right-off by donating it to a charity like Cars 4 Charity. They, like several other charities, accept salvage vehicles. If you follow the Internal Revenue Service guidelines, you could end up with either a $500 tax credit or that of the selling price, whichever is higher.

• Another man’s junk may be another’s gold so giving it away for free is an easy recycling option.

• Make sure to follow the local regulations in relation to recycling the vehicle.

• Look into environmental considerations. If there is no plan to operate the vehicle then drain it of the old fluids such as coolant and engine oil.

Finding Parts For Your Classic Car

That’s a pretty nice ride you’ve bought; you finally found the muscle car of your dreams. She’s not in perfect condition though, and is going to need some old car parts. The question you have now is how do I find the old car parts I am going to need. Should I buy new or used? I have found that the internet is by far the best place to source out these parts these days. The internet has become a valuable tool in locating these sometimes hard to find parts.

Going with second hand parts from an identical vehicle is usually very cost effective. If you are on a restricted budget, you will find yourself calling around from dealer to dealer, and out walking around all the local junk yards finding the deals. Classifieds are another option, either the old car parts section in the newspaper, or even through local vintage car clubs. Make sure you take care to properly inspect the parts before taking them home

You can usually find new maintenance parts, like brake pads, clutches, etc, but if you are looking for a headlight enclosure, or original hub cap cover then used old car parts is the only way to go When buying online, check the previous transaction history of the vendor. This is always available from any of the major sites. You are better off avoiding any vendors who have a low feedback score. Generally 30 or higher is very safe.

If you aren’t having much luck finding car parts, used parts were not available and new parts were no longer manufactured, then you may have to consider fabrication. This is going to cost you a bit more, but you will get the exact old car part you need.

Use all the resources you have wisely, just try Googling “old car parts” and you will find a wealth of information at your finger tips. Use these resources to save you time and money so you can spend more time in the garage working on your passion! 

Tips for Responsible Car Battery Disposal

As we all know, batteries of any kind do not last forever, which means we must replace them at some point in time. This especially applies to motor vehicle batteries. But when it comes times to have a car battery replaced, it is important that you know how to safely get rid of the old one. Proper car battery disposal is crucial because old units can cause an extensive, irreparable amount of damage to our surrounding eco-system and the environment as a whole. You see, a typical 12-volt automotive battery contains highly toxic and hazardous chemicals, such as lead, that have the potential to seep into the ground.

This is a frightening concern because these chemicals can destroy plant life, contaminate our ground water sources, kill or harm wildlife, and much more. These effects can have lasting consequences to the people in the surrounding vicinity for years to come. The list of possible consequences of poor battery disposal is virtually endless, which is why it is important to learn the safest methods for getting rid of used car batteries. Do this and you can do your part to protect the well-being of our planet, and even make some fast cash while doing it!

Recycle Them to a Reputable Scrap Metal Company

When a car battery needs to be replaced, there are several options on what to do with the old battery. The recommended way is to recycle it to a scrap metal recycling company, which is actually lucrative and you’ll find out why very soon. They have the proper training, permits, and resources to safely handle and recycle automotive batteries and more. Almost all parts and components of a used car battery are reusable. For instance, not only can the lead be recycled, the plastic components can be reprocessed for new purposes as well.

Recycling is a great option for car battery disposal. It protects the environment and conserves our natural resources. But as mentioned, it can deliver a pleasing profit too. Most scrap metal recycling companies pay cash for scrap metal like used auto parts, appliances, motorized equipment, and more. As long as you choose a reputable and professional scrap metal company to do business with, you can receive a fair payout for your old car parts.

Consequences of Improper Disposal

Improper disposal would be to simply toss it in the trash to be picked up by the neighborhood garbage collectors, leaving it in a junk pile on your property, dumping it in a lake or river, and similar behaviors. If this were to happen, there could be many devastating consequences. As mentioned, old automotive batteries contain lead, acid, and other toxic chemicals. Overtime, these chemicals and various constituents can contaminate water, plant life, and even the air we breathe!

Not only can these chemicals be harmful to the environment, they can harm us too. When handling automotive batteries, it’s important to take certain safety precautions to avoid accidents. It is suggested to wear long rubber gloves and safety goggles to protect your skin from chemical burns and other types of injuries.

Car Buying Tips: Why Does It Make Sense to Buy a Discontinued Car Model?

Often while planning to purchase a car, the right model and the car manufacturing brand become the key deciding factor. Many a times, the research proves to be outdated as some car models become discontinue.

When a car manufacturer stops producing a model because of a number of reasons, it is called a discontinued car model. However, the benefits of buying a discontinued car model outweigh the risks. Buying a car which is no longer in showrooms can mean greater savings. If you are planning to purchase a car, the following points will help you to comprehend why it makes sense to buy a discontinued car model.

1) Discounted Purchase Price

It will have a significantly lower price than a brand new car. One of the benefits of purchasing it is that you get a new car for the price of a used car. As a buyer, you are in a good position to get a favorable deal for a discontinued car model. The dealer needs to move inventory to create space for new cars in demand. Therefore, it becomes easy to negotiate a price that suits your wallet.

2) Shared Spare Parts

Many car buyers hesitate to purchase it due to the potential risk of unavailability of spare parts in the future. You can minimize the risk as many car manufacturers continue producing car parts long after they stop manufacturing a car. Additionally, you can transfer many spare parts of current models to the discontinued model. While purchasing from the manufacturer can become expensive, you can find shared spare parts easily. Thus, if the car requires repairing in the future, you can mend it without any tension.

3) Wide Choice of Selection

It comes at a relatively cheaper price than a new car. The value for money received from buying a discontinued model significantly increases due to cheap pricing. The money spent on purchasing a new car can mean compromising on a few features. However, purchasing it can aid you to step up your choice of selecting a better car. Therefore, you can avail a pool of upgraded features for a lower price.

4) Warranty Period

When you purchase a recently discontinued model, chances are that you eligible for warranty. During the warranty period, the servicing and maintenance of car parts are the responsibility of the original car manufacturer. Many manufacturers produce parts in high volumes to cover the entire warranty period. Thus, you will be able to repair it easily, until it falls under the warranty period. And, a mechanic or an expert can attend to any defect after the warranty period is over.

Purchasing it may bring some risks with it. However, there are many benefits of buying such a car. It can be a lucrative deal for a car buyer looking to make an affordable purchase. So, next time when you want to buy a car, consider a discontinued car model.

Master the Craigslist – Used Car Buying Tips

  • Why buy used?

A used car (be it 1000 miles or 100,000 miles) is much cheaper than that same car when bought brand new off the lot (obviously). Craigslist, aka private party, lets us find these cars for the best price. Read on to learn how to become a master of the used car buying and selling process.

  • Finding the right car

First, find a budget that you are willing to work with. If you do not have the cash, and if the car qualifies, a bank or credit union may offer a loan.

Always refer to KBB (Kelly Blue Book) for the current private party value of the car you are purchasing. This will give you a better idea on how much you should be paying for the car, as well as potential negotiating power to lower the price.

If not familiar with cars, we suggest finding a shop to do a Pre Purchase Inspection. That way you know the mechanical condition and can use it as negotiating power. The thing to remember with all used car buying tips, you must always negotiate the price.

Pro Tip Most people expect to get lowballed, so they set the price much higher than what they would really like to get.

A Note on Smog

If you live in a state that requires a SMOG check, make sure that the seller has a smog certificate included. Verify that the smog was completed within 90 days, otherwise it is not valid for transfer of ownership (CA).

Double check to make sure the registration is current. A lot of times, people sell their car for a cheap price only because they cannot smog it due to a Check Engine Light, or other issues.

  • Setting up for finding the right deals

On the Craigslist page, navigate to your location’s web page, then click Cars and Trucks by Owner. In the search settings, set the range from $0 – (Your Max Limit). I like to add about 20% to my max limit to allow for cars that can be negotiated within the budget.

After you save your search settings, and refresh your page, you will see all the vehicles in your area that are for sale.

Pro Tip Save this Craigslist page to your home screen on your phone and your computer, that way its quick access and you do not have to mess with the settings again.

If you have this on your home screen you will see it more often, reminding you to check the listings and therefore increasing chances of finding the killer deal.

  • Contacting the seller

Remember, these used car buying tips apply for all private party car buying platforms, not just Craigslist. When I sell a car, the biggest thing I hate is when people ask “is the car still available?”.

Be polite, but do not waste anyone’s time. Contact the buyer through phone call when possible. If it’s a smokin’ deal, it will NOT last on Craigslist. The phone is the quickest and most direct method. Do not dilly dally around and have the sweet deal scooped up by a car dealer!

When buying a car, I look at the person selling me the car just as much, if not more, than the car itself. Mainly, it shows me what kind of treatment and service history the car received. If the person was older, spoke intelligently, and looked wealthy, we found that most times the car was in great shape to match.

Most Important Questions to Ask

  • “How long have you had the car?”
  • “What kind of maintenance have you done with the car”
  • “Why are you selling the car?”
  • “Are there any leaks or major mechanical problems?”

Ask these questions over the phone, and try to get a general understanding of the car’s shape before going out to see it, especially if its a long distance.

Saving time is key, you would be surprised how often people say “The car is flawless” on the ad. Asking these questions lets you determine if they are honest.

Set up an appointment to see the car if you feel like the information you’ve gathered about the car matches what you’re looking for.

  • Getting Ready to Meet and Test Drive

When meeting with a seller, I always bring:

  • Scan Tool for Monitors / Codes
  • Powerful Flashlight (I recommend Streamlight flashlights)
  • Pivoting and extendable mirror to check for leaks
  • My Drivers License / ID
  • Cash (I bring cash with me, but leave it in the car. I only do this if the amount is under $3000. Anything past that I just go to the bank with the seller and get them the cashiers check or cash when the deal is done).

Anti-Lemon Used Car Inspection Checklist

Before the meeting

  • Verify the sellers has the necessary paperwork, aka Pink Slip, proof of registration, and smog certificate (if required by state). Although not necessary, print out a copy of the bill of sale form.
  • Use CarFax or Autocheck to run a VIN background on the vehicle. This is key!
  • Set up personal guidelines to the maximum amount willing to spend on the car.
  • Make sure you have the funds ready, or instant access to them in the payment form the seller prefers.
  • Advise the seller you want the car to be COLD for your test drive. We want a cold engine to get a complete analysis. This is a key part to the used car inspection checklist!

At the car

  • Engine Inspection – Use the combination of the pivoting mirror and flashlight mentioned above to peek behind components and around the valve cover, checking for leaks. Inspect everything carefully, pay special attention to the serpentine belt area and leaks around the valve covers.
  • Check for Codes – Connect the scanner and make sure there are no engine codes. Make sure the monitors for smog are all completed – if not, be suspicious.
  • Check the body panels and paint, does it all look even? Is the texture the same everywhere? Look for panels that are a slightly different color or hue, which may indicate a sign of collision that was already repaired.
  • Check all the paperwork before starting the drive – make sure they own the car and that they have a pink slip with their name on it.
  • Check tires. Are they a matching set? Good Tread? Any signs of uneven wear? Could mean bad alignment or an accident in the past that prevents proper alignment.
  • Check brake pad thickness through the wheels if possible.
  • Check maintenance records (see if big service items have been done, like timing belt and water pump if the engine is a timing belt engine)
  • Check condition of oil. Open the oil filler cap and look under for any foamy, milky substances, which MAY indicate sludge or head gasket issues.
  • Upon vehicle start up, check the exhaust pipe for smoke. Listen to the engine for any uneven running aka “misfire” and try to smell for coolant or oil burning off which would indicate a leak.
  • Look over the serpentine belt(s) and all other engine components for any signs of damage, wear, or leaks.
  • Peek under the car to check for leaks, rust, and damage.

During the Test Drive

  • Engine Check – Make sure to use some power and get the engine to a high RPM (don’t redline someone else’s car). Have the windows down and constantly monitor for noise from the engine, as well as the suspension. Note how the vehicle idles, it should be smooth for the most part. Keep checking the instrument cluster for warning messages as well as overheating. Be keen to any burning oil or coolant smells.
  • Brake Test – Come to some stops at different speeds/intensities and try to listen for screeching or grinding noises
  • Alignment Check – During the test drive, while on a somewhat even road, let go of the steering wheel for a few moments and see if the vehicle drifts to one side. Keep in mind, most roads have “road crown” and will slightly cause all cars to drift to the right, but a barely noticeable amount.
  • Transmission Check – Make sure the test drive takes at least 15 minutes, ask the seller for permission first. This will allow the transmission to fully warm up. For automatics, issues could potentially arise online when hot, and not be present when cold. You will feel jerkiness when the auto transmission is malfunctioning. For manuals, do a clutch test by engaging 4th gear at a slow speed and go wide open throttle – see if the clutch slips (the rpms will climb extremely fast like you are in neutral).
  • Wiggle Test – At about 30 mph roll down your windows do a few quick left to right steering wheel maneuvers. Listen to the suspension and chassis – it should not make ANY noises while doing this.
  • Suspension Check – Go over some bumpy roads, and take some angled driveways / turns. Listen for any binding suspension components which will present itself with a loud knock. Also listen for failing wheel bearings by rolling up all your windows and checking for a loud whirring rotational noise.
  • Interior and Features – Finally, check all the features. This means A/C, reverse camera, navigation, etc. Check all window motors by rolling up and down the windows. Make sure everything is working to your desire.

During the Test Drive, DO NOT:

  • Drive the car like you are taking a hot lap around the Nurburgring
  • Go on an extended period test drive unless agreed upon with seller
  • Do anything that would put you or the car at risk, cosmetically or mechanically.

Remember – an honest seller will often also have a car that is in fairly decent shape. Verify that the story they tell you matches the clues you see with the car.

Ask one of the previous questions to see if the answer remains the same this time around. If something doesn’t match up, chances are the seller is hiding something, and I would investigate further.

“Gut Feeling” plays a big role in this game. Be alert to your senses and you will not buy a lemon. This is one of the key used car buying tips.

  • Inspecting the Car

If inspecting yourself, print out and follow our Inspection Checklist

Make sure to find a professional shop to do a Pre Purchase Inspection if you are not mechanically inclined. Anything wrong with the car, especially when NOT told about by the seller, can be potentially used to reduce the selling price or to save you from thousands of dollars in losses.

One of the used car buying tips I want you to take away from this is that any car can be a “good deal” so long as the issues within the car are discovered and price lowered to compensate.

Seal the Deal

First, before anything else, make sure they have the pink slip, as well as the smog certificate. Verify they are the owner by asking to see their ID and matching it to the name on the pink slip.

Make sure the smog certificate states that it has been completed within 90 days, otherwise its invalid for title transfer. Other states may have more paperwork so get familiar with your states requirements.

Reach a price that both parties can agree to.

Do NOT be afraid of throwing out an offer. They just spent their time showing the car, and people hate to lose time. Most times they will take a substantial amount below asking value as long as you show them things they have left out in their ad.

Sellers usually prefer cash money, but if the car is more expensive you should pay with a cashier’s check. Since there is a lot of check fraud going on, sellers are typically sketched out.

Invite them to come to the bank with you while you have the cashier’s check made out. If both seller and buyer have the same banking company, an instant transfer can also be arranged.

After completing the transaction, make sure to save the sellers phone number for any further questions. Also ask them for any sets of spare keys, and service records they have.

Thank you very much for reading