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You pull parts

So I needed some electrical parts for the 2000 Caravan mostly the power door actuator is noisy and one vent window motor is shot. So I went to the local pull a part, paid $2 admission fee. Found my parts but no way to test them. Went to pay for them, they wanted to charge me $25 for each part, were not willing to have it returned in case it did not work, and did not have a battery for me to test them either.

Is this the norm or should I have gone there with my oldest T-shirt? These parts sell probably for $45 to $80 new/on-line. I was trying to save money but felt if I end up buying the part again, it is essentially worse than just buying new.

Its the norm…but I never had an issue taking stuff back the next day and saying “Bro…it doesnt work…let me grab another one” lol…it works for me. Chances are that they are fine…however if this is a widely known failure item then I’d get nervous.

I often thought that the prices for many used parts was too high in relation to what a new or rebuilt part would cost. There are two techniques I learned for getting a good price: 1) call the yard before you visit and ask the price. If the yard has the part, you may get a good price since the yard assumes you may be calling othter recyclers as well; 2) have an independent shop call the recycler for a price. A shop may often get a lower price than an individual. Years ago, the mechanic at a service station where I traded would call for the price on a part. Sometimes it would be half of the quote I was given. The mechanic would then have me put on a jacket that the employees at the service station wore and would send me to the yard in the service truck. I would pick up my part and anything else the mechanic needed. I often would also stop at an auto parts store and pick up other items for the mechanic. I did him a favor and the price break helped me out as well.

The pull it yourself yard near here has gotten to the point that I don’t use them very much. It’s not a matter of parts quality, it’s their revamped pricing policies.

They charge 1 dollar admission and will warranty a part but you have to pay extra for that warranty.
They charge (last time I priced) 25 bucks for a single old cast iron Chevy 350 cylinder head but they want 2 bucks a pop for each rocker arm, 5 bucks for whichever widget is attached to it, and so on.
One part there was priced at 40 bucks. A new one from AutoZone was a shade under 50 and you don’t have to pay the admission or fool with finding it and getting it off at AZ.
They even tack on an “Environmental Charge” for each item now.

One thing I would never buy from a Pull a Part is an engine or transmission. Very few of the cars at the one here are wrecks or fire jobs. This means they’re sitting there because of a bad engine, bad transmission, or because someone tired of throwing parts at it with no improvement. You never know what you’re going to get.

My favorite yard, Colorado Auto Wrecking and Parts, has been in business for MANY years. They charge 50% of new part price and guarantee it for 30 days or you get another part…No cash refunds…

Have you guys checked the prices on some of this stuff at dealerships parts counters?? It’s a whole new world out there…

Something else that bugs me is the people who go into a pull a part yard and spend hours damaging all kinds of parts just to get something for 5 bucks as compared to 20 new.

A couple of years ago at the yard here I saw where someone had pulled a 4R70W transmission out of a Lincoln Mark VIII (which is a real PITA) and removed the tailhousing just to get a speedo drive gear. Jeez, a friend who has run a transmission shop for many years sells gears like this brand new for 8-10 bucks.
Why anyone would go to the yard and spend half a day wrestling a heavy tranny out while lying in gravel and oil to do something like this is beyond me, even if the yard were to give them the gear for free.

So seems this would be my last trip to this yard and for the next ones I will call and then go. As OK mentioned, this yard was adding recycling fees on top of tax and admission fees. One thing that bugged me was the rear hatch on most of the minivans were smashed in so you could not open it to get parts off. The cars were not supported well enough for me to go inside them either.

My previous experience in CA was in the 90’s and financially it was worth it. After that I had gone to a few yards in New England and they were much better organized, would test electric parts before you paid.