If you've driven the last mile in your car or truck, and it's time to send it off to the scrapyard, there are some items that you can remove before selling that can net you some extra cash.
Junkyards typically offer prices for cars based on what they can get from the scrap metal. Prices are based on weight, and $150 per ton is not uncommon. Most cars will be worth around $300 to a scrapyard, so if your ride has parts that can be pulled out and sold, you could make some extra bucks for that effort.
GPS Units - All Roads Lead To Profit-town.
If your car is equipped with a factory GPS unit, that could be valuable to someone with a broken unit in their own car. Buying a new one from the vehicle manufacturer can be incredibly expensive and in some instances the cost of replacement is more than the value of the car.
Make sure all functions are working, pull the unit out of the dash and sell it online at a place like Ebay Motors. Depending on the make and model of car, these units can be worth several hundred dollars.
Factory and Aftermarket Radios - Tune-In To Make Some Money.
If your car or truck came equipped with a decent stereo, there's a demand for them in the used parts market. Manufacturers frequently offered uprated stereos from Bose, Harman Kardon, and others. These stereos are popular upgrades for people with similar cars. Same goes for the premium speakers and factory amps that complete the set-up.
Maybe you invested in a decent aftermarket stereo, speaker upgrade or went all-in with a touchscreen display and DVD player. Pull that head unit and associated parts out and sell them online. Depending on the brand, features, and fitment, you could recoup a good portion of your investment.
Exhaust System - Sounds Like Money.
Exhaust systems and components are some of the most expensive parts to replace on a vehicle, especially if your junker is European or Asian. The financial hit of replacing an exhaust system drives a lot of people to look for good condition used parts. Some used mufflers, from European manufacturers, can be worth $300-$400 if they're in great condition.
If you spent money to upgrade the exhaust on your ride, that system may be valuable to another person with the same car. Some brands of aftermarket exhaust like Borla, MagnaFlow, Flowmaster, and Supersprint are usually in high demand.
Catalytic Converters - Dirty Exhaust In, Money Out.
Selling, buying and installing used catalytic converters tends to be a grey area of the law in most states. Because vehicle emissions are regulated by the Federal Government, it's technically illegal to install a catalytic converter from a different car that doesn't match your exact make, model, engine and transmission configuration.
Despite the regulations and murky waters of the used catalytic converter market, fear not, that "cat" is still worth money to a recycler. Depending on the make and model of your car, to a recycling center, catalytic converters can be worth anywhere from $20 to $200.
Car Battery - There's Power In Profit.
Most people don't think a whole lot about car batteries, at least until they fail. So when your car is ready for the scrap yard, pull the battery and sell it separately. Used car batteries are not high dollar items, but they are worth enough to make it worth removing from the vehicle.
You can take them to an auto parts store, where you'll typically receive an in-store credit for somewhere in the $5 to $12 range. Scrap yards also buy old car batteries as they typically contain a lead core that can be remanufactured and used again. Expect to get about $7 for an old battery.
Fenders - Big Bucks For Bodywork.
Body parts and panels can be extremely expensive if you have to replace them when damaged. Because of the expense, many owners and body shops will source and purchase good used panels to keep the costs of a repair in check.
Typically held on by a few fasteners, they're relatively easy to remove from the car and can be worth several hundred dollars depending on the make and model of vehicle they come from. Dents, scratches, and rust are not desirable, but good condition parts in common colors are always in demand.
Bumpers - Build Your Bank Account By Selling Your Bumpers.
The bumpers on any car are typically the first parts to get nicks, dings, dents, and scratches. The cost to replace them with new parts is often more expensive than what most vehicle owners want to pay, making a good condition used bumper a better value.
Most newer cars have bumpers made from plastic and are prone to cracking in an accident. If your bumper is in good condition, it might be worth selling to someone who needs it. Pricing is completely dependent on the make, model and color of the bumper.
Doors - Earn Some Dough For Those Doors.
Like fenders and bumpers, your vehicles' doors can take a lot of abuse. Parking lot dings, key scratches, and the odd fender bender can leave then looking pretty tore-up. If you live in an area that uses road salt in winter, the bottoms of your cars' doors can suffer from corrosion and decay.
If your clunker is clapped-out, but your doors are dynamite, there's a very good chance that you can make some dough from them. It's not unusual to see used doors selling for $100 - $500 each depending on the car they come from.
Window Glass - Make A Wad From Your Windows.
Replacing a broken window can get expensive. Whether it's from an unfortunate break-in, accident or it's just scratched, window glass replacement costs can be as high as $450, and some insurance policies don't cover that repair. Getting used window can save a ton and if you've got a bunch of good quality glass in your car, you can make a decent profit.
Like all auto parts, what you can sell your windows for is largely dependent on the make and model it comes from. Small windows can be sold for $20 and large windows can bring upwards of a few hundred dollars.
Electrical Components - Switch On The Dollars.
Electrical components are a vast category of equipment fitted to your car that covers everything from headlight and taillights to power window motors to wiper switches. Like most other components of vehicles, electric parts wear out too. Wiper switches stop working, power window motors stop winding and switches stop switching.
If your junker has good, working electrical equipment, all of it can be worth money. Common fail items like power window and wiper motors are worth money. Headlights, taillights and turn signals are all easy to remove and sell online.
Vehicle Computers - Process Some Profit From The ECU.
The engine control unit (ECU) or engine control module (ECM) is used to control fuel and spark delivery, among other things on modern cars. While less prone to failure than other parts, they can and do go wrong. Brand new ECUs are often obscenely expensive, so the used market is quite strong.
ECU can, and often does, also refer to electronic control unit, and is a generic term for an on-board control unit that can control vehicle systems like the transmission, climate control, anti-lock brakes and advanced safety features. There is a market for these units as well, making it worth you will to pluck them from your car.
Airbags - Inflate Your Profits By Selling Your Airbags.
Replacing airbags that have been deployed in a crash can cost a small fortune. The average repair bill runs between $3000 and $5000 and depends entirely on the kind of car. If your junkyard bound car has never been in an accident, your unused airbags may be worth some money.
A specific airbag is designed to work ONLY with a specific make, model and trim level of the vehicle, so be sure to note all the vehicles' details when selling. For instance, if your airbags are made by Takata, send them to the junkyard. The past few years have seen millions Takata airbags recalled for being defective.
Wheels And Tires - Roll Your Way To A Good Payday.
Wheels deteriorate over time, suffering from curb rash, corrosion, dents and even cracking. They also make or break the look of a car, that's why they're a popular first upgrade to many vehicles.
If your old car has good wheels and tires, they may be worth money to someone looking to replace a damaged wheel or set of wheels. If you happen to have a set of aftermarket wheels, you may be able to recoup some of your investment. Prices for used wheels vary wildly depending on the make and model of vehicle they are from, as well as their condition and size.
Tailgate, Hatch, Trunk Lid -
Bumpers, tailgates, hatches, and trunk lids are common areas on a car or truck that get damaged. Dents, scratches, and corrosion are common issues that often require owners to replace those parts.
Truck tailgates can be worth quite a lot with newer model units selling for several hundred dollars. Trunk lids, hatchbacks, and SUV hatches are also hot property. In areas with harsh winters, corrosion can really take a toll, and good quality replacements command good prices. Depending on the make, model, and color of your vehicle, your trunk may not be junk and is hiding some serious cash.
A/C Components - Hot Profits From Cool Parts.
When an A/C system fails, not only is it uncomfortable, but it's also expensive. Compressors, condensers, hard lines, and control units can add up to a pricey repair bill, and when the temperatures get hot outside, bank accounts are likely to feel the burn.
Lots of vehicle owners look for alternatives to high-priced new auto parts and that extends to the climate control system. A/C compressors and condensers can be worth anywhere between $50 and several hundred dollars depending on the car it came from. Remember, DO NOT vent the system to the atmosphere, have a qualified technician remove the refrigerant before you remove parts for sale.
Interior Trim Pieces - There's Dollars In The Details.
Cars, trucks, and SUVs come in a wide variety of trim levels, options packages, and colors. This allows owners to find a vehicle that fits their taste, but can also lead to a lot of headaches if a color coded trim piece breaks.
If your junker has wood, chrome, aluminum or other types of interior trim, they could prove to be valuable to someone with a similar vehicle. Most of these pieces don't sell for a whole lot of money on their own, but complete sets can be worth quite a bit.
Seats - Sit Down And Make Some Money.
When you think about all the parts that make up a car, which ones get used the most? Engine, transmission, wheel, and tires? What about the seats, they get used every time the car is driven and are subject to the same wear and tear as the rest of the mechanical systems.
Leather, vinyl, and cloth wear out, power-seat motors fail and mounting brackets break. Most of the time when a seat wears out, or breaks, the cost to replace with a new unit is too prohibitive to make financial sense. If your seats are in good condition, your profits could be too.
Vehicle Manual - An Instruction Guide To Making Money.
If you still have the owner's/operating manual for your car, it could be your ticket to a quick payday. Many people lose or remove their manuals, and a lot of used cars being sold don't come with manuals.
While they typically don't make for compelling reading, they are helpful when needing to set the clock, figure out functions of equipment and decipher the warning lights that may appear on the dash. Depending on the make and model, manuals can range from twenty to over a hundred dollars.
Tool Kit, Emergency Equipment, Spare Tire - Saving The Day With Extra Cash.
If you've ever had a flat tire or have been stranded on the side of the road, you know how valuable a spare tire, tool kit and simple emergency equipment can be. But in the course of vehicle ownership, the jack, the tool kit and even the spare tire can go missing or get used and forgotten about.
Car and truck owners that have missing emergency equipment often look to replace those items. Complete factory tool kits can be worth over one hundred dollars if they're from the right car. A factory emergency kit, with bandages and supplies can also be worth similar money.
Check For Items Left Behind - Saving Money Is Just As Good As Earning It.
Before you send your car to the junkyard make sure to check that you haven't left anything behind. Items like phone chargers, jewelry, sunglasses, and other personal items can be a pain to replace if you forget they're in the car. Double check for spare change in the ashtray and under the seats, there's probably a few dollars rolling around down there!
Lastly, make sure any paperwork, insurance cards, bills, random mail and other things that might have your name and information on it are not left behind. Identity theft can be a real hassle and costly.