If you’re planning your first-ever trip to a salvage yard to pick up discount auto parts, there are a few things you should know to get the most out of your upcoming visit. Check out our best tips for finding and acquiring quality used car parts below.

Before You Go, Browse Their Parts Inventory Online

Years ago, the only way to find out which parts a salvage yard had on their lot was to visit the location and look for them yourself. But those days are long gone. Today, most quality salvage yards maintain an online parts inventory, where you can search for the item you’re looking for.

Even better, many yards allow you to fill out a quote request for parts if they don’t currently have the component you’re looking for. If they can get their hands on the item, they’ll notify you when it arrives at their location.

While you don’t have to browse the online inventory before you go, if you do, you’ll know exactly what to expect when you get there.

Don’t Forget Your Tools

If you have a hammer or mallet, don’t forget to bring it with you! Depending on the used car part you’re searching for, you may need to nudge it loose from the vehicle it’s currently housed in. Getting your hands on certain parts may also require the use of C-clamps or other tools, so if you’re not sure what you need to bring, call the yard and ask before you visit.

Ask For a Map & Plan Out Your Search

When you arrive at the salvage yard, inform the clerk of the parts you’re looking for. If they have a map that makes scouring the property easier, the clerk can point you in the right direction and highlight any areas you should pay special attention to.

It may also be helpful to bring along a notebook where you can jot down aisles or even create a crude map to direct you throughout your search. The more organized you are, the less likely you’ll be to wander aimlessly and accidentally lose track of a part you need.

Don’t Hesitate to Ask Questions or Haggle

When in doubt, ask questions! The salvage yard clerk will be more than happy to direct you toward the used car parts you need, and if they don’t have them, the clerk will let you know that too. In addition to asking part-specific questions, don’t be afraid to ask questions about pricing! Many yards have standard prices, but it never hurts to see if you can get a better bargain!

Take Advantage of the Yard’s Tools

Even if bring your own tools, acquiring certain used car parts may require the use of heavy-duty tools you don’t have on hand. For example, if you find an engine or another heavy part you need, toting it throughout the yard won’t be possible on your own.

Most locations have an A-frame, which is specifically designed to remove heavy, bulky parts, so don’t be hesitant to ask yard staff for help. If you’re collecting a lot of smaller, lighter parts, ask if the yard has wheelbarrows for temporary use.

While you’re here, check out our best safety tips for your visit to the salvage yard too!

Looking for Used Car Parts in St. Paul? Head to Ace Auto Parts

If you’re in the market for high-quality, used car parts at a serious bargain, head on down to Ace Auto Parts in St. Paul! Since 1929, we’ve proudly provided the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area with an extensive variety of discount auto parts, and when you need quality you can trust, we’re here for you too.

To learn more about which parts we have in stock, feel free to browse our inventory or give us a call at 651-717-4299. You can also contact us online with any questions or concerns, and we’ll get back to you promptly!