Used Auto Part Grades: What You Need to Know

Used auto part grades are how auto recyclers measure the wear and tear on the car parts that they recover, refurbish and resell. It’s the Automotive Recyclers Association’s way of standardizing the condition of all used auto components. In other words, it’s how you know that you’re getting a quality used part from your local reseller.

Used Auto Part Grades

But in order to assess the used parts fairly, you need to understand how the grading system works! Before you start browsing inventory, learn more about used auto part grades.

Auto Body Parts

For sheet metal auto body parts, grading is based on the level of damage to each part. One unit of damage is an area that can be covered by the size of a credit card.

Category A parts require one unit of repair — for example, a car door that has one small dent on the side.

B grade parts have more than one unit of repair required, but no more than two. C grade parts have over two units of repair required.

Mechanical Parts

For mechanical parts, the grading system is based on the number of miles driven. Grade A parts have less than 60,000 miles. Grade B mechanical parts have less than 200,000 miles. C category parts have 200,000 miles or more.

Miscellaneous Parts

Depending on the car part, the ARA sets different grading standards for each.

  • Glass: Grade A glass is fully functional and isn’t cloudy or broken. All permanent mounting hardware is still intact. There is no B grade for glass. C category glass may have slight imperfections.
  • Lights: A grade A light is fully intact and is not cloudy, broken or pitted. All seals and tabs are in place. B grade lights may have cosmetic imperfections. C grade lights don’t meet A or B grade standards but they still function.
  • Seats: Grade A seats have no visual damage. B grade seats have slight imperfections but no structural damage. C grade seats, similar to the light grading standards, don’t meet grade A or B requirements, but they still function.

Further, airbags and wheels have their own defined ARA grading protocol, which you can read more about in the ARA used auto part grades guidelines.

Trust Your Local Used Auto Component Supplier

At Western Auto Wrecking, our goal is to help you feel confident in our used auto part grades and even more satisfied when you complete a successful car repair for a fraction of the price you expected. We want to help you save money while reducing waste by reusing car components that are fully functional. Visit us today and shop our inventory for the parts you need!