By Amanda Zmolek, Copart Online Marketing Manager
I’ve worked in the auto industry for about seven years now, and when it comes to automotive repairs, it still surprises me how many people don’t know that they have a choice of what replacement parts to use. Whenever I get repairs done on my own vehicle, I always look at all the options. Often, recycled parts are what I choose. Here’s why.
Recycled auto parts save money.
Everyone who knows me well knows that I like to save money. Why spend more on something when I can get the same thing for less? I do my best to save on everything from groceries to household items and auto repairs too. Depending on the parts in question, recycled auto parts can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars over the cost of new parts.
I recently had to get the rear axle assembly replaced on my 2007 Mustang. The first shop I went to recommended all new parts and an entire day of labor for the repair. Between the parts and labor, it would have cost a small fortune to keep my daily driver on the road.
So I did what I always do when my car needs fixed. I examined my vehicle, I looked online to learn more about the recommended repairs, and then I asked my trusted local mechanic for his advice. As I suspected, he stated that replacing the entire axle assembly with a used auto part would save about half a day of shop labor and hundreds of dollars. In addition, recycled parts from professional auto recyclers come with warranties, so I could rest assured that I wouldn’t run into trouble later on. I scheduled an appointment on the spot.
Recycled auto parts save time.
As I mentioned above, another benefit of recycled parts is that they can save a lot of time in the repair shop. At the most recent Automotive Recyclers Association Expo, there was a discussion about recycled parts being “plug-and-play.” This means that they come with most of the necessary pieces and attachments included and are often ready to install directly on a vehicle. Plug-and-play is the reason why my mechanic was able to swap an entire assembly so fast and save me hours of shop labor on top of the money saved on the part itself.
Recycled auto parts are original equipment.
The third benefit of recycled parts is that they are original equipment. I know that my new-to-me axle assembly came off another Mustang somewhere. It was made for a Mustang, it came off of a Mustang, and now it would go back on a Mustang. At my job, I watch Copart auction vehicles to auto recyclers every day on our website, and auto recyclers give the parts new life by selling them for repairs. I don’t just sell used parts, I buy them too! There’s some satisfaction in knowing an auto part has come full circle like that.
Recycled auto parts have environmental benefits.
Speaking of satisfaction, there’s definitely something to be said about being able to reuse a part and giving it a purpose again. By choosing this recycled part, I helped put some steel back on the road that had left it, and I kept my favorite pony car going (hopefully for another 140,000 miles!). No additional resources were consumed to produce the axle I ordered because it had already been made years ago for another car just like mine. Reclaimed lumber and hardware are so popular in the building industry right now, and if you ask me, reclaimed auto parts are just as cool.
So there you have it. I choose recycled auto parts because they save time and money. They’re good for the environment, and they’re original equipment, made to the exact specs required for my vehicle. When I look at all the options for auto repairs, I know I can’t go wrong with recycled parts. My recycled axle is still going strong, and whenever I look at my car from a distance and catch a glimpse of the differential, I smile.