Any tinkerer will know this concern well. Learning to fix your fix up an old car can be an economical, educational, and satisfying hobby. The problem is all the junk that builds up over the years!
Gaskets, spark plugs, sensors, fuses and all that little stuff can be easily disposed. Problems come up with those bigger pieces that are too cumbersome for typical disposal, or might still have some value. If you’re anything like most backyard mechanics, you likely have bins and boxes cluttering up your garage with old parts that you just couldn’t part with. That transmission that you replaced only had 50,000 miles on it, it’s still got plenty of life!
If this sounds familiar, you likely have a problem. Sure it’s fine to keep a spare tire for your car for emergencies, but you likely will never need that set of rims from that beater you drove in high school. Follow these steps to get rid of old car parts from your life!
1. Use them.
Do you pick up parts on a whim thinking you’ll upgrade your car, only to place that part on a shelf to install the next time you’ve got the engine pulled apart? If you said no, you’re probably lying.
Use up those parts that have been sitting and collecting dust. You bought them for a reason, so you’d better use them. Keep in mind that some parts can have a shelf life! Grease can become sludgy and rubber can become brittle if stored inadequately for too long. Don’t let those parts go to waste: use them up to reduce clutter!
2. Sell them to a parts dealer.
Do you have a pile of parts that are still in great shape? Get rid of them quickly by visiting a parts dealer. Some parts dealers have huge warehouses where they can store all those parts and sell them to people that can use them. You’ll clean out your garage quickly and still make some cash. Win-win!
Make sure you come to terms with your car parts collection problem before you visit a dealer, though. You don’t want to immediately spend that money you made and come home with even more parts. The idea is to clean out that clutter, not add to it!
3. Sell them online.
If you’ve got a bit more time, are tech-savvy enough, and want to make a bit more profit, selling your car parts online might be for you!
Many buy and sell sites such as eBay, Kijiji, or Craigslist have car parts categories where you can post your unwanted old car parts. There are other sites that specialize in car parts alone, and a quick Google search will help you find these. Once you’ve decided the best place for you to make your sales, it’s important to understand how to properly list your parts to make sure that someone that is looking for your parts can actually find them (and find you!)
Include a detailed description of your part as well as a few well-lit pictures. Also be sure to list all of the makes and models that your part will fit. Oftentimes, manufacturers will use the same part in different vehicles, so that Honda Del Sol engine could be the same one used in some Honda Civics. Do a bit of research to figure out all of the vehicles your part will fit to ensure that you reach the right people.
Be sure to price your parts correctly too. Look up what others are selling the same parts for and price lower than those. Remember, you want to move those parts out of your garage; you can afford to take a little bit of a hit to make sure that you actually get rid of your old car parts.
4. Recycle them.
Many car parts can actually be recycled. Some plastics, metals, and glass can be recycled but check with the recycling regulations in your area to make sure that the facilities exist to handle your old parts.
This is a solution for parts that have little value as actual car parts. This includes broken, worn out, or corroded parts: essentially, any parts that aren’t worth any more than the material that they’re made of. This leads into our next solution: some metal recyclers will even pay for metals!
5. Sell them to a scrapyard.
If you have a stockpile of useless old metal parts, consider selling them to a metal scrapyard. The cost of metals has gone up in recent years, so metal salvaging has become big business. Use this to you advantage!
Metals like steel, aluminum, or copper are worth money so consider making a trip down to a local scrapper to sell your old parts. A salvage yard will evaluate the materials and pay you based on weight. Easy money for your garbage! Use this strategy if the part can no longer be used elsewhere, as a scrapper will likely give you less money then a dealer.
6. Repurpose them.
This one can be a little silly, but many creative or artsy people may be inspired! Consider taking your old car parts and creating something new with them.
You could clean up an old part to use as a paperweight. Or you could weld up some of that steel into a sculpture to attach to your mailbox. Be creative and actually do something with those old car parts!
7. Get a new car!
If you find yourself constantly working on your vehicle and your car seems like a revolving door of old parts, it could be time to let that old girl rest and get yourself a new car. This may seem like you’re throwing in the towel to many gearheads, but if keeping all those car parts and doing all that work is becoming too tiring, go out and treat yourself.
After all these years of saving money and working late into the night to keep that Junker running, it could be time to move on and treat yourself to something shiny and new.
If your garage is overflowing with parts, and old bits and bobs are creeping their way into places they shouldn’t be, try out a few of these solutions to clear out those old car parts. You might be surprised how much room is actually in your garage once you can see the walls and floor!