Preparing for a Dream, Road Trip

Don't Go To A Pick And Pull Unprepared

Used car parts can be found on different websites and salvage yards, but one pastime for more than just basic repairs is the pick and pull junkyard (sometimes stylized as Pick n' Pull). These junkyards allow customers to enter with a set of tools to remove the parts that they need while paying basic salvage fees, but neither safety nor success is a guarantee. Here's what you need to know about pick and pull junkyards to get what you need, stay safe, and figure out where to go if the junkyard doesn't have what you want.

How Does Pick And Pull Business Work?

A pick and pull is like any other car salvage yard or junkyard, but with a more streamlined process for selling off parts to customers. 

Basic junkyards may have a database of what comes and goes, or it may be up to the memory of workers. With a pick and pull system, every vehicle and device that enters is added to a database and the parts of the vehicle are usually cataloged for performance. In most cases, you can find out if the part inside the car is still working or if it failed before being brought into the pick and pull.

It isn't a complete gamble. Although you'll receive a warning if the pick and pull staff don't know whether a given part is working or not, most yards will allow you to come back in and try for another part. They will inspect the part to see if it was damaged before you purchased it and as you bring it back, but it's to your best interests to have it looked at before you leave. It saves time, especially if there's only one vehicle with your part at that time.

Another thing to understand is that many makes and models share some of the same parts. Pontiac Sunfires and Chevrolet Cavaliers, for example, have many of the same components, despite being from different manufacturers. This is because just as you're a customer of the car company, the car companies are customers of specific car vendors. An easy way to understand is looking at the unfortunate Takeda airbag recall, which highlights how many different brands were customers of the single vendor. 

Getting The Right Tools

Keep in mind that your specific vehicle may have vendor-specific tools that you'll need to gather before heading into the salvage yard. These proprietary tools may even be different between components within the same car.

You could buy the tools if you're sure you'll be working with the specific tool type in the future, but if it's a one-off removal with expensive parts, you may want to rent or borrow the tools from a mechanic. Local mechanics or even the pick and pull staff may have the tools or know where to get them to keep your costs down, but you'll want to ask about the tools well before going in for part removal.

Make sure to bring protective clothing. Work gloves can help avoid tears and stabbing from any sharp objects, which is a big risk in wrecked vehicles, and long clothing such as overalls act as a comfortable, easy to get in and out of piece of protective gear.

If the salvage yard is in a rural or woodsy area—especially in the summer—protective clothing is necessary to avoid snakes, spiders, wasps and other dangerous creatures seeking shade. Contact a used car parts professional if you need help locating the right parts, or if you need other options aside from pick and pull yards. 

For more information, contact local professionals like 422 Auto Wrecking.