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A Diamond in the Rough: The Top 10 Most Valuable Parts of a Car

Marc Skirvin
Marc Skirvin

Table of Contents

There’s a huge demand for aftermarket parts in the automotive industry. Used cars no longer sit in a lot for years to come, awaiting their inevitable compact demise.

In fact, it’s expected that the global automotive aftermarket will surpass $1 trillion by the year 2022!

Even new luxury cars are composed of rubber, steel, and other materials that have been recycled from other vehicles.

So the word is out – there are many parts of a car that are valuable, even after those vehicles are done driving.

The demand for electronic components, for example, is expected to reach almost $14 billion by 2021.

Have you been getting ready to take your car to the junkyard? Don’t do it yet! You don’t want to throw away any precious car parts, especially if they’re worth a pretty penny.

Do you want to know which parts still have value? Keep reading to learn the 10 most valuable car parts.

 1. The GPS

Your car’s GPS is one of the most valuable parts of a car to scrap. If it’s still intact, you might get a few hundred for it. Either way, it’s worth removing it and trying to sell it before you throw your car away as junk or sell it as used.

If it’s a portable version, you won’t get as much for it, but it’s still worth selling to make a few extra dollars.

2. The Catalytic Converter

Any car that was manufactured AFTER 1975 has a catalytic converter in its exhaust system, so this particular part is always in demand.

It performs the essential function of converting pollutant gasses into less harmful ones.

The part itself is valuable, and so are its materials. It’s made out of pricey metals like platinum, palladium, and rhodium. 

3. The Exhaust System

Since we just mentioned the catalytic converter, which is an essential piece of the exhaust system, it makes sense to point out that the exhaust system itself is one part that shouldn’t be overlooked.

To replace a complete exhaust system, it’ll cost you $500-$1000, or more. Not only does it reduce harmful fumes, but it also controls the engine’s noise level.

The exhaust system is made out of precious metals and is always in demand. It’s definitely worth trying to sell before you say goodbye to your beloved vehicle.

4. Wheels and Tires, and Rims, Oh My!

It’s true. You can recycle rims for cash. Even though you might not think that your old wheels and rims have value, an auto body mechanic or a car enthusiast just might. If your vehicle has aluminum wheels, your chances of earning a quick buck are even higher.

Plus, the rubber from tires is one of the most recycled parts in the auto recycling industry. Those new sandals you saved up for may just have rubber in them from an old Buick’s tires.

5. The Fenders

Fenders play an important role. They protect your wheels and other rear and front areas of a car. They are a valuable commodity, especially if they’re in excellent condition.

The cost to replace your fenders can be pricy, so many people opt to buy used ones, which is where your old car might come in!

Plus, the metal itself is sturdy and valuable.

6. The Battery

Car batteries should always be removed before getting rid of an old car. 

You can try refurbishing your battery with distilled water and Epsom salt, which can make a battery last another 5 years. But if it’s in good condition, to begin with, it should be an easy sell.

And at the very least you can recycle your old battery at a salvage yard and get at least $20 for it, even if it’s dead. And when you choose to do so, you’ll also be keeping harmful chemicals from contaminating the environment and the creatures who live in it.

7. Airbags

If your airbags have never been deployed, they could earn you a good chunk of change. 

If yours are still functionally, which they should be if they’ve never been used, you might be able to earn a few hundred dollars when you sell them. 

8. Windshield Wiper Arms

Depending on the make and model of your car, you could get at least $100 for your windshield wiper arms.

And while it doesn’t seem like much, it all adds up, especially if you have more parts to sell.

9. A Truck Hatch

The tailgate of a truck has a lot of value, especially if it’s intact. Depending on the make and model of your vehicle, you could earn a few hundred dollars from a quality hatch.

And if it’s customized in any way, just like tires, rims, or other parts of the vehicle, it’ll be worth more.

10. The Oil and Filters

Engine oil never wears out. It just gets dirty. 

Disposing of it properly is important for the environment. When you bring it to an authorized recycler or garage, you’re ensuring it gets used by future car owners.

And when it comes to the filters, they can be cleaned and refurbished for reuse once all the oil has been removed.

These parts won’t earn you big bucks, but they will earn you some, AND you’ll be doing your part to minimize waste and contamination.

But if you don’t have the time to make the extra cash, part for part, you can always look for an authorized dealer who will buy your car in totality and take care of everything for you.

Many Parts of a Car Will Earn You a Pretty Penny

There are many parts of a car that will generate some serious cash when you decide it’s time to say bye to your car, especially if those parts are in great condition.

Plus, there are many parts, which, if recycled correctly, will reduce your carbon footprint on the environment.

So why not earn some extra cash and get rid of potential contaminants in the process?

And if you can’t deal with taking your car apart and you need some extra cash quickly, fill out this form to get an instant offer, with no obligation to accept!

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About the Author


Marc is the Co-Founder of Cash Auto Salvage and Director of daily operations. He retired from a leading Internet Marketing company in 2013 and has been involved in the automotive industry ever since.

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