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Junk yard

we have a salvage yard in the town were i live.that sell used cars and it a good or bad idea to buy a car or truck from a salvage yard.

Cars with a salvage title are worth considerably less, even if they’re somehow in perfect condition. Which isn’t going to happen, anyways

In some areas, it’s also more difficult to title, register and insure a salvage vehicle

My former boss’s car got hit and received a salvage title. He fixed it rather easily. But he had to have the car inspected at dmv before he could reregister it. And now he has to go for smogs every year, versus every other year . . . !

Something else to consider . . . there might be a very good reason why those cars are at the junkyard in the first place

If they were so great, the owners would still be driving them, I would think

But it all depends on the condition of the car, and the price

unless you REALLY know what you’re doing, I would advise against

It might be possible that a car with a rust free body with a blown engine went to the scrap yard because it was an older car that the owner didn’t want to repair. Another car of the same year, make, and model comes in because it was totaled, but the engine is strong. This might make a one good car. In the neighborhood where I grew up, I saw two different neighbors put two cars together to make one running car.

db4690 writes …

My former boss's car got hit and received a salvage title. He fixed it rather easily. But he had to have the car inspected at dmv before he could reregister it. And now he has to go for smogs every year, versus every other year . . . !

I wonder what the folks at the Calif DMV/Bureau of Auto Repair thinks this accomplishes? If it passes in even numbered years, they don’t think it will pass in the odd numbered ones? They sure seem to have a lot of time on their hands up their in Sacramento … lol …


Who knows what they’re thinking . . . ?

My point was this . . . there’s a lot of baggage, when purchasing a car with a branded title

You need to check whether all the vehicles have salvage titles. @db4690 make several good points concerning salvage titles, and you don’t want to get involved with them unless you fully understand the ramifications.

If you are experienced…and I mean really experienced with the mechanical workings of a vehicle then it might be safe. Otherwise…stay away from salvaged vehicles. You can be easily burned and lose money very quickly.

If you’re good at fixing car problems yourself and if you just need an unreliable beater to drive around town, then it’s worth considering at the right price. Otherwise, skip it.

It’s possible…but very unlikely to really find something worth it. There’s a reason they’re at a salvage yard.

I worked with a guy who “clipped” cars as a cash earning hobby. He preferred rear-hit FWD cars as a base. He’d buy the back-end from the windshield posts rearward from a front-hit and weld that in place of the rear-hit car. The joint was in the middle of the A-pillar (a doubler was inserted for strength) and the factory spot welds across the floor and the seams of the rocker panels were the re-attachment points. That, and careful measurement insured squareness of the finished car.

The finished car was as strong as the original. He was completely honest about the cars and sold them for 75% of what a used one would cost.

The guy was very knowledgeable and had the right tools. Rebuildable salvage cars can be a bargain but you have to know what you are doing.

If this was still the '60s or the '70s, then perhaps the OP’s idea would be a practical one.
However, modern cars–with all of their computers and other electronic gear–become a virtual nightmare when they are exposed to high water levels.

Even if a salvage car from the junkyard wasn’t a “flood car” in the true sense, the OP would have no way of knowing whether the car had ever been in a water-filled ditch long enough to produce endless problems with its electronic equipment.

thanks to all the cartalk community that comment on this. I just need a cheap egg beater to get around town.

If I knew the sellers and they had a good reputation ,I wouldnt worry to much about ,especially if I had a little background in things automotive ,if its been repaired I want to know that and by whom ,stick your head in the car and sniff to detect any strange odors like mildew etc ,antifreeze and so forth -But keep this in mind "caveat emptor "

Each car is probably be a different story. I could see them swapping out a blown engine to make a sell able car.

We have a local Junk Yard that does make one good car/truck out of vehicles that have been brought in.
His mechanic’s at the yard work on these when they are not pulling an engine, rear end, or other parts that people have ordered.
Though I wouldn’t want these mechanic’s working on my car, they do know how to throw parts at a problem. After all, they have a whole yard of parts to choose from.

The owners son then puts them up for sale at his small one man Auto repair shop.

I would not feel it’s wrong for them to take a car with a blown motor and throw in a motor from a car that was rear-ended. Why not if that car with the blown motor is in pretty good condition.

I have not heard anyone mention if they got a lemon or the deal of their life, so I cannot offer an opinion. I have stopped and looked at a few that were for sale, but always found something better elsewhere.


These are worth at least a look. You know what you are buying. See if they will let you take it to an independent mechanic and an alignment shop for them to check it. If it is in alignment, the frame is straight enough. It will cost you $100 -$200 but money well spent for an expert to look it over.