Scrap Car Parts: Let’s Take a Look at The Most Valuable Recycled Original Equipment Auto Parts

You probably have a car that’d be perfect for a junkyard. But what if it could be worth more than you think? Instead of dumping it in a junkyard, you can scrap the valuable parts and sell them.

Are you wondering who will buy them? Think of the times you’ve failed in your search for where to purchase used vehicle parts. You can always find a suitable buyer from vehicle owners looking for used replacement parts to part collectors, manufacturers, car dealers, and scrap yards.

Read on to find out the most valuable parts of the car you can scrap.

How Much Can You Make Selling All the Valuable Parts

List of Parts Covered
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    A car engine is among the most valuable part to scrap. If it’s working, it can continue to run in another car.

    Replacing a car engine with a new one can cost as much as $7,000. Therefore, most car owners prefer to buy a used engine instead of a complete replacement.

    Also, some companies remanufacture or rebuild used engines. They are first inspected, and their worn-out parts replaced, after which they can be sold as a cheaper alternative to new engines.

    Even if the engine is not running, you can still get a reasonable price for it by scraping the aluminum parts. Most engines have aluminum heads and blocks.

    You will need to remove the engine from the car before you can sell it separately. Car engines are very heavy, and you need the right tools to remove them. Be careful not to hurt yourself.

    Additionally, ensure you drain the fluids and dispose of them properly. If you are transporting the engine to the buyer, make sure you have a car ready to haul it.

    If the engine is running, you can fetch anything between $1,000 and $3,000 depending on your car’s make, year, and model.

    Transmission System

    Coming in a close second to the engine is the transmission system. It transmits and converts the engine’s energy to torque, which makes the wheels rotate.

    Repairing the transmission system can cost as much as $2,000. If you don’t want to incur the repair costs, you can sell the system to car repair shops and part buyers. It can be worth anywhere between $600 and $1,400 depending on your car’s model.

    If you cannot sell it as a whole system, you can convert the metal parts into cash. Transmission systems often have aluminum cases that you can scrap.

    Like the engine, the transmission system is heavy. If you can’t remove it on your own, consider hiring a mechanic but be ready to cover the costs.

    Catalytic Converter

    According to the US Clean Air Act, all vehicles manufactured after 1975 must have a catalytic converter. The catalytic converter converts toxic elements present in the exhaust gases into harmless substances.

    It is made of expensive metals like palladium, rhodium, and platinum. Since every vehicle must have it, it has become a significant component and often a target for thieves.

    Each year, there are 4000 reports of the stolen catalytic converters. This shows that the demand for these car parts is very high.

    Although you might want to remove your junk car’s catalytic converter and sell it to an individual buyer, it is illegal, according to the EPA.

    Instead, why not sell it as scrap at a scrap yard? You can fetch about $200.

    Infotainment System

    Most cars come with a dashboard touchscreen. The infotainment system has multi-function features that make command and control of the vehicle easier.

    If your car’s system is functioning, you can sell it at electronics shops, car accessory shops, or even pawn shops. Even if it’s not working, you can still sell individual parts such as the motherboard and electrical terminals.

    Over the past few years, they have increased in size, some being larger than a tablet. Some cars come with a two-screen infotainment system. A complete set can be worth $200+.


    If your car has unused airbags, you might make money out of them. Some recent vehicles come with multiple airbags — on the steering wheel and front passenger side.

    Installation and replacement of airbags can cost more than $1,000. To save money, some people prefer to buy unused airbags from car owners. You can sell yours for up to $200.

    Ensure an experienced person removes the airbags; otherwise, they’ll lose their value if damaged. Additionally, they’re explosive and can injure the person removing them if they’re not careful.

    Air Conditioning System

    If your air conditioning system is working, you can sell the parts separately and make some extra bucks. The compressor can be remanufactured or reused in another A/C system.

    Potential buyers include remanufacturing companies, car repair shops, and auto recyclers. However, if you don’t know how to remove the parts, you’ll need a mechanic.

    Car Stereo/Radio

    A car stereo may seem basic until it breaks down. Almost all cars come with a built-in stereo system, but it may stop working and require a replacement.

    If you had installed a new radio or custom speakers or audio system, they could be worth much more than the built-in stereo the car came with.

    People are looking to upgrade their car’s audio system. These, together with electronics shops and scrap yards, are your ideal customers.

    A quality custom car stereo can cost as much as $200 and $50-$100 for the generic car radio.

    Exhaust System

    An exhaust system complete with the cat converter can cost up to $1,000 to replace.

    Instead of buying a new system, some car owners look for used systems to save money. If yours is in good working condition, you can sell it to car parts recyclers, individual buyers, and scrap yards.

    With the catalytic converter, you can expect to find a buyer without much hassle. An exhaust system can fetch you about $100.

    GPS System

    Cars come with built-in GPS navigation systems. Even though technological advancements have developed navigation systems you can use on your smartphone, car built-in GPS systems still have a market value.

    You can sell it to buyers looking for replacement parts for their systems, such as the touchscreen. Other potential buyers include electronic stores, collectors, and manufacturers.

    A working GPS can cost about $50.


    A radiator pumps the coolant through the engine to prevent overheating. It contains high amounts of aluminum, making it worth selling separately.

    Located behind the grille, it is easy to remove and can fetch you about $40 if it’s functioning correctly. You can sell it to auto parts recyclers or scrap yards.

    Ensure you drain the coolant first before removing the radiator and dispose of it properly.


    You can find fenders at the four corners of your vehicle. They protect the wheel wells and some parts of the undercarriage.

    These parts are usually damaged during a collision. A car owner whose fenders have been damaged will need to replace them. Nowadays, bumpers and fenders are directly connected, making replacements with new ones expensive.

    Therefore, many people look for used fenders. You can sell them to individual buyers, spare parts shops, and car recyclers at about $40 each.

    Bumper, Rims, and Tyres

    Bumpers are made of aluminum, fiberglass composites, steel, and plastic. They get damaged during a collision; thus the car owner has to replace them.

    You can sell them for up to $30, depending on your car’s year, make, and model.

    The wheel setup consisting of wheels, rims, and tires can be of value if removed carefully. Aluminum alloy wheels can fetch more money, but steel wheels can also be sold. An aluminum wheel can bring around $25 and $15 for a steel wheel.

    Tires, on the other hand, should have treads that are in good condition. If your car has large tires like a truck or SUV, the price might be even higher. You might get $20 richer from selling one tire.

    Doors, Windows, and Mirrors

    Some car crashes leave doors completely damaged that they require to be replaced. A car door may seem like one part, but it’s a combination of individual components — lock/unlock buttons, puddle lights, defroster vents, sheet metal, mirror, and window controls.

    You can also sell the handles, locks, and side mirrors separately. The window glass, outside mirrors are also valuable parts you can sell.

    Each door can fetch you about $50, $50 for each window, and $20 for side mirrors.

    Car Seats

    Over the years, the upholstery, frames, and padding on seats can get damaged. If your front and rear seats are in good condition, they can be a great replacement option for someone looking to replace theirs.

    Put them up online on CraigsList or eBay or even sell them at a car recycler shop.


    Collisions, natural disasters such as hailstorms, winds, debris, extreme temperatures, among other things, break the windshield.

    Auto glass can break even in minor accidents, making it a highly sought-after item for replacement.

    Luckily, it’s easy to find a buyer for your windshield. Just place an ad online on CraigsList or sell it to car recyclers or auto glass shops. If you play your cards well, you can sell for about $50.

    Other Parts You Can Sell

    • Alternator and Starter: These two parts are attached to the engine. While they may not be of much value, they have copper wires in the steel cases. Take them to scrap yards or auto recyclers, and you can be about $30 richer.
    • Windshield Wipers: You’ll probably not get a lot from scraping wipers, but you can fetch up to about $60 for each wiper, depending on your car’s model.
    • Car Battery: Like the wipers, used car batteries are not worth much. Apart from getting more money in your wallet, recycling car batteries helps avoid environmental pollution. You’ll be about $20 richer after selling to recyclers.
    • Motor Oil and Oil Filters: Engine oil only gets dirty but doesn’t wear out. Even though it is only worth around $10, you’ll be disposing of it properly by taking it to a recycling garage.Oil filters can be cleaned, refurbished, and then reused after removing the oil.

    Don’t let Your Junk Car Waste Away, Scrap the Valuable Parts

    The junk car in your yard is worth more than you think. If repair costs are so high, you can consider scrapping the parts and selling them separately.

    You can always find buyers for the parts. Some like the engine, transmission system, and catalytic converter are very valuable and always on demand.

    So, instead of selling whole at a throwaway price, why not disconnect and sell the individual parts? Auto recyclers, dealers, repair shops, electronic shops, and remanufacturing companies will be happy to take them off your hands.

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